August 29, 2011

Lady Gaga's Andrew Dice Clay routine — "Joe Calderone."

She's one of the guys.

All the big pop stars want to be actors, don't they? But only 2 have succeeded, by my count. Most fail, following Elvis... not that following Elvis is such a bad thing.

69 comments:

Peter said...

Lady Gaga seeks publicity: is that news?

Lady Gaga's message is always the same: See me! SEE ME ME ME!! Look at me now !!!

Blah. Why should I care? There are so many more interesting acts in the entertainment world. And so many worlds outside of the entertainment world universe.

Bob_R said...

Since Elvis' movies all made money most of them fail in a completely different way.

Did you count Steve van Zandt as a success or failure?

themightypuck said...

Joe Strummer had a certain je ne c'est quoi in Down By Law. Lady Gaga reminds me of when Annie Lennox did the Elvis schtick on some awards show.

Palladian said...

Lady Gaga should learn how to act interesting.

traditionalguy said...

A great example of the theory that acting is successful management of Multiple Personality Disorder.

In the show Lady Gaga expresses her # 9 in the repertoire.

The Muppets Show has been finally replaced.

But sanity is overrated.

E.M. Davis said...

It was actually one of the best performances of the night.

Curious George said...

Pop stars wanting to be actors?

Bet on it!

Bob_R said...

OK, I missed the BIG pop star qualification. So no van Zandt, Joe Strummer.

So are you including rap as a subset of pop? If so, did Will Smith qualify as a "big pop star" before becoming an actor?

E.M. Davis said...

So are you including rap as a subset of pop? If so, did Will Smith qualify as a "big pop star" before becoming an actor?

What Will Smith did wouldn't necessarily even qualify as rap.

Jim said...

Surely the two are Sinatra and Hope. I can't think of any others.

Ann Althouse said...

My standard of success as an actor here is actually being an actor on the level where you would have succeeded as an actor if you didn't have the leverage of your pop stardom to get you the starring roles.

Ann Althouse said...

@Jim You guessed one of my 2 (Sinatra).

werttrew said...

Is the second Barbra Streisand?

James said...

First of all, it would be Sinatra and Crosby, not Hope. But those were pre-Elvis.

Kit said...

Sinatra, was my guess, as well.

I'd also throw in the Wahlberg brothers.

themightypuck said...

Yeah definitely Will Smith. I forgot about him. He's the biggest one of all movie wise.

themightypuck said...

Now we're past two.

Sinatra
Streisand
W Smith
M Wahlberg

trumpetdaddy said...

Kris Kristofferson and Harry Connick, Jr. have done some decent film work. Dwight Yoakam and Tim McGraw have, as well.

Not "pop stars," though.

Sinatra is the gold standard of fabulous pop star and excellent actor.

E.M. Davis said...

I never thought of Hope as a pop star.

The other is Bing Crosby.

themightypuck said...

Dammit. I forgot about Ice Cube. Huge career for that dude. LL Cool J a bit less so but still made the transition.

E.M. Davis said...

Dean Martin perhaps, although not as big a pop star.

Certainly not as big as Crosby.

Bob_R said...

@E.M. - My question was not rhetorical. I have no idea what Smith did in the music industry.

@Althouse - Not thinking Crosby are you? Probably more commercially successful as an actor than Elvis or Sinatra, not as bad as Elvis. But I don't think he passes the "didn't need to be a musician" test.

Trooper York said...

There are a lot of musicians who became very good actors. Levon Helm. Julie London. Little Stevie who played Slivio on the Sopranos.
Bing Crosby. Patti Lupone. Mandy Patinkin. Diana Ross.

They might not be your cup of tea but they are at least as good as most of the douchenozzle actors who win Acadamy awards these days.

trumpetdaddy said...

If we're getting into rappers, Common and Ice T have done good work as actors. On a campy level, I loved Ice T in the kangaroos suit in Tank Girl. His tv work is really good.

Eminem pretty much played himself in his film. Decent movie, though.

I loved Mark Wahlberg in The Departed. "Hawthorne!? You don't know any Shakespeare?"

Bob_R said...

Yeah, I was thinking Ice Cube too, but I don't think he would have liked being called a "big pop star."

Bob_R said...

Don't see the case for Streisand. All her best movies are musicals.

traditionalguy said...

I remember that Streisand played a Manhattan Psychiatrist in Prince of the Tides, and she did quite a good job.

The scriptwriter may be more important than the actress.

madAsHell said...

Does this really help sell her music??

I'll guess I'm not the target demographic, but I can't imagine who is? Maybe it's the fat chick with fuchsia hair, and a ring in her nose.

trumpetdaddy said...

Queen Latifah.

Of course, for decades "pop music" was musicals and the "pop stars" were the performers in those musicals.

Scorsese and his gritty realism compatriots in the 19070s did a good job on nearly eliminating films where folks just burst out into song as an integral part of the narrative, but plenty of films are still made where music/dancing advance the overall story.

trumpetdaddy said...

"1970s"

Edmund said...

I'd add Justin Timberlake to the list of pop stars that can act. He's good in "The Social Network" and his performances on SNL have been very, very good. Needs a few more movies to see if he's got staying power.

@Trooper York: Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin were not first and foremost pop stars. They were musical theatre perfomers that had some crossover hits.

vw: inger - that Stevens lady?

edutcher said...

Actually, Elvis was a pretty good actor - take a look at "Flaming Star" some time. He sings the theme song at the end, but that's it

His problem was that Colonel Tom micromanaged his career.

Very badly, after E left the Army.

rsb said...

Cher

William said...

Justin Timberlake seems to be developing as an actor....Crosby won an Oscar, but his screen persona seems as dated as his music. But he was definitely an actor. The sexual chemistry between his Fr. O'Malley and Ingrid Bergman in Going My Way really burnt up the screen. And the subtle longing in his voice when he sang to those kids...... Frank Sinatra never moved more than two clicks off Frank Sinatra. His one successful acting role, Maggio in From Here to Eternity, was, I bet, very close to the real Sinatra. In his other roles, he played the cool guy he wanted to be......When you think about it, there were four great superstar singers of the twentieth century: Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis Presley. I would say that Sinatra is the only one whose music endures. But Elvis fans can take comfort in the knowledge that he was the most influential.....Al Jolson sang in blackface but with a white voice. Elvis never went minstrely, but he had a black voice and delivery. Maybe that was his great role.

Saint Croix said...

Eminem is an amazing actor.

Sammi Cheng, who's a huge pop star in China, is fantastic in light comic roles.

Check out Needing You.

E.M. Davis said...

But I don't think he passes the "didn't need to be a musician" test.

How could we ever know? That's my stumbling block.

Although Crosby won an Oscar, as did Cher.

Saint Croix said...

Actually, Elvis was a pretty good actor

Oh my God, he is so bad. Elvis and Madonna are both horrible.

In general, though, musicians make terrific actors. The list of musicians who can act is pretty damn long. Tom Waits is another great one.

Palladian said...

How about Mick Jagger? Haven't you ever seen "Performance"?!

Palladian said...

Or how about Paul Anka and Mel Torme in "Girl's Town"?! You may initially want to watch it for Mamie Van Doren in a Catholic girl's school outfit, but you'll treasure it for Anka's performance of "Ave Maria"!

William said...

Madonna had, by far, the lamest acting career of any superstar singer. Not just bad, but actively annoying. Next to her, Cindi Lauper is Meryl Streep.

Sixty Grit said...

I would think Cher and Sinatra are about it, but clearly many have tried and been found wanting.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Courtney Love

Mark Wahlberg

Joe said...

Don't forget Donnie Wahlberg. Queen Latifa and Bette Midler have done some good work. Meat Loaf has done some decent supporting roles.

edutcher said...

Saint Croix said...

Actually, Elvis was a pretty good actor

Oh my God, he is so bad. Elvis and Madonna are both horrible.


The critics liked him - at least in his early roles - and, remember, we're talking the 50s, when the Establishment hated anything yout-oriented.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Trooper York said...
There are a lot of musicians who became very good actors. Levon Helm. Julie London. Little Stevie who played Slivio on the Sopranos.
Bing Crosby. Patti Lupone. Mandy Patinkin. Diana Ross.


Jerry Reed.

Joe said...

A lot of the alleged musicians turned actors were actors first or did musical theater.

JohnJ said...

If we somewhat arbitrarily limited it to singers going against their established persona in their acting careers, I'd nominate Sting and, especially, David Bowie. For example, catch Bowie's rendition of Nikola Tesla in "The Prestige." You have to keep reminded yourself that: Damn! That's David Bowie!

Bob_R said...

To say that the lying Dutchman managed Elvis's career very badly ignores the fact that he made Elvis a ton of money and didn't cheat Elvis nearly as much as he cheated everyone else.

Bob_R said...

I agree that Althouse might be thinking Cher. Not exactly in the same league as Sinatra.

Popville said...

Annie Golden, tho I doubt (m)any of you have seen or heard her with The late, great Shirts.

kcom said...

You can't forget the Hoff. Big pop star in Germany, big acting career here. :) Hey!

Ann Althouse said...

My 2 were Sinatra and Cher.

I think Streisand (and Liza Minelli) are good when they are in their Broadway role.

Mark Wahlberg is mostly an affectless guy around whom stuff happens. Better actors do that stuff.

Eminem was good playing himself... like Madonna was good in "Desperately Seeking Susan." But Madonna was bad (perhaps decent in the Broadway role, Evita).

Ann Althouse said...

Remember Cher was not only excellent in "Moonstruck," she was excellent in "Silkwood" and "Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean." She was also an excellent comic actress in the sketches on her 70s era TV show.

Sheepman said...

Dean Martin had the looks and style to make it as an actor.

Doris Day is known primarily as an actress but started out as a singer.

Dylan is a consummate actor when singing, but his forays in film have flopped.

Saint Croix said...

If you want to flip it around, Kate Hudson has a damn good voice.

bgates said...

Mark Wahlberg is mostly an affectless guy around whom stuff happens.

You might be confusing him with this guy.

michaele said...

A lot of the big shots in the audience looked taken aback by the performance. It was incredibly self indulgent.

Saint Croix said...

All the Beatles are so much fun in A Hard Day's Night. It looks so easy when they do it.

Why does Elvis suck so much?

Art Garfunkel.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Mark Wahlberg is mostly an affectless guy around whom stuff happens. Better actors do that stuff.

That sounds more like a description of most of the characters around him in Boogie Nights. Wahlberg has lots of emotionally intense scenes in that movie.

Methadras said...

Her attention whoring has finally provided the ramp for her to jump the shark.

E.M. Davis said...

If you want to flip it around, Kate Hudson has a damn good voice.

Better than that Paltrow chick.

E.M. Davis said...

Remember Cher was not only excellent in "Moonstruck," she was excellent in "Silkwood" and "Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean." She was also an excellent comic actress in the sketches on her 70s era TV show.

Yeah, but her 70s-era Scooby Doo movies left a lot to be desired.

No mention of "Mask"?

Will Cate said...

She looks better as a guy.

el polacko said...

lady caca's male look is lifted directly from cher's 1995 'walking in memphis' video. everything this so-called 'artist' has done has been stolen from those more talented and inventive than she.
i'm still wondering why bette midler hasn't sued caca's tail off for her blantant appropriation of bette's iconic mermaid-in-a-wheelchair bit.

el polacko said...

blatant not blantant, of course. too bad these comment don't have an edit feature.

E.M. Davis said...

The scriptwriter may be more important than the actress.

if only you worked in Hollywood.

walter said...

Poor thing can't deliver her lines without the cacamaniac's squeals.

walter said...

Would have been better if Borat had lowered into the frame and wrapped his hairy thighs around her.

Mark said...

How come nobody mentioned Sammy Davis Jr.?
Racists...