Jim Carrey vs Adam Sandler

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Jim Carrey vs Adam Sandler

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Mimi Kenny
It's a comedy battle! In this installment of Versus, we have two of the funniest people in movie and TV history squaring off: Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler. For this list, we'll be comparing these two funnymen in terms of characters, box office success, and talents outside of comedy.
Transcript

Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler


Welcome to WatchMojo, and in this installment of Versus, we have two of the funniest people in movie and TV history squaring off: Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler.

For this list, we’ll be comparing these two funnymen in terms of characters, box office success, and talents outside of comedy.

Which of these two do you find funnier? Let us know in the comments!

Round 1: Characters


There are so many Jim Carrey characters you can recognize by name. Let’s see: Ace Ventura, Lloyd Christmas, Stanley Ipkiss, Truman Burbank, Bruce Nolan, and The Grinch. But we don’t remember them just because they had memorable names. We remember them because Jim Carrey was completely committed to every single performance, whether completely off-the-wall or more reserved. In one year, he gave us three iconic characters with the release of “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” “The Mask,” and “Dumb and Dumber.” Can you think of any other actor who’s pulled that off?

Adam Sandler also has plenty of memorable characters. His production company, Happy Madison, is named after two of his most famous roles: Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison. Other standout Sandler characters include titular wedding singer Robbie Hart, and titular waterboy Bobby Boucher Jr. We can’t forget his dramatic work, either, with “Punch-Drunk Love’s” Barry Egan and “Uncut Gems’” Howard Ratner bringing Sandler’s energy into exciting new contexts.

Though he might have seemed like an overgrown frat boy early in his career, Adam Sandler has still managed to create a slew of memorable characters. However, there’s no denying that Jim Carrey is on another level in terms of character development. With each role, he gives us everything we want and more. This round goes to Carrey.

Winner: Jim Carrey 1 / Adam Sandler 0

Round 2: Special Talents


Being naturally funny is hard enough as it is. Being Jim Carrey funny? You have a better chance of winning the lottery. Carrey is a master impressionist who also knows how to use his body in a way that makes us laugh just by looking at him. His talents don’t stop with comedy, either. In recent years, Carrey has shared paintings of his on social media. While the oft-political illustrations have drawn some divided responses, they’re still another indication of just how much creative energy Carrey has.

Sandler also has some gifts, both as a performer and a businessman. Like Carrey, he’s an accomplished stand-up performer. But Sandler takes his to another level with hilarious and catchy musical comedy performances. And even when he’s not on camera, you can still sense Sander’s presence. Through his Happy Madison production company, he’s released hits like “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” “Joe Dirt,” and “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.” While the quality of some of these films may be debatable, there’s no denying that people turned out for them.

Jim Carrey is a legendary performer. But when it comes to the range of talents, we have to give it to Sandler. We’ll listen to “The Chanukah Song” any time of year.

Round 3: Voices


You could watch a Jim Carrey movie with your eyes closed and still know it was him. The rubber-faced comic has an equally elastic voice. Just think of how pivotal his unique phrasing and intonation are to classic Carrey catchphrases like “smoooookin’!” and “Alrighty then!” We’ve all embarrassed ourselves trying to emulate him in conversation, but there’s only one Jim Carrey. And while “Horton Hears a Who!” is, to date, his only major voiceover role, we know that Carrey could regularly knock it out of the park as a more consistent voice actor - as evidenced by his many hilarious impressions!

Adam Sandler’s voice is also crucial to his success. Early on, Sandler was famous for a “manchild” persona, with his voice altering between nasal and bellowing. His vocal trademarks have continued in more recent films, like “Sandy Wexler.” While some have found Sandler’s vocal displays to be irritating, it speaks to his skills that we manage to find him charming regardless. And his work in the first three animated “Hotel Transylvania” movies shows he can do a decent Dracula.

This one’s close. Jim Carrey’s voice is an indispensable weapon in his comedic arsenal. But Adam Sandler has impressed us through being able to find versatility through a seemingly limited set of tricks. We’re giving this one to the Sandman.

Winner: Jim Carrey 1 / Adam Sandler 2

Round 4: Biggest Hits


There was a time when Jim Carrey’s presence in a movie didn’t just suggest box office gold; it all but guaranteed it. Audiences turned out in droves for Carrey comedies like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Bruce Almighty,” both of which grossed more than $200 million domestically. And the hits keep coming with “Liar, Liar,” “Dumb and Dumber,” and the recent “Sonic the Hedgehog” film, to name a few. In the 90s, Carrey’s box office power was so immense that he earned a then-record $20 million for starring in “The Cable Guy.”

We have to imagine Carrey was feeling a little nervous when a certain “Saturday Night Live” alum started drawing in huge crowds. Sandler saw massive success with films like "The Waterboy," "Big Daddy," "Mr. Deeds," and "Click." In more recent years, the original “Hotel Transylvania” trilogy has grossed over $1 billion. He's had a few flops along the way, but so has Carrey, and both have managed to bounce back numerous times over.

Although Sandler has had enough hits to make any actor envious, Carrey wins this round simply for having higher overall grosses. We can’t think of many modern actors who could make comedy blockbusters the way Carrey has.


Winner: Jim Carrey 2 / Adam Sandler 2


Round 5: Dramatic Performance


We all knew Ace Ventura was going to be able to make us laugh. But Jim Carrey has proven himself to be just as formidable of a dramatic presence as he is a comedic one. While he hasn’t pivoted to drama the way someone like Tom Hanks did, Carrey has still shown how compelling he can be when reigning in some of his more flamboyant tendencies. In “The Truman Show,” he delivered a heartfelt performance as a man trying to claim his life for himself. And he grounded the frequently surreal “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” showing he could pull off both infatuation and heartbreak beautifully.

Adam Sandler’s dramatic performances are also noteworthy. His first, in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Punch-Drunk Love,” was revelatory in how it showed a new, more unsettling angle on his rage-filled characters. Since then, Sandler has continued to stretch his dramatic chops, even if silly comedies are still his bread and butter. In 2019, he earned the best reviews of his career for the thriller “Uncut Gems,” playing a New York City jeweler who never found a bet he couldn’t place.

Both Carrey and Sandler are so good at drama, it makes us wish they would try it more often. However, Carrey wins this round for how he continues to be electrifying even when his energy is tampered down a notch or five. And with that, Jim Carrey is our well-deserved winner!

Winner: Jim Carrey 3 / Adam Sandler 2
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Nah. Disagree with Jim Carey pick. Totally prefer Sandler.