Mark WahlbergMark Wahlberg -- as he proves in this weekend's release, 'The Other Guys' (a film that I enjoyed quite a bit) -- has the quite rare ability to step directly into a comedic role after being known primarily for his work in action movies.

Seriously, think of all of the stars who have dipped their toes into the comedy waters only to have their pinky bitten off by a piranha. At this point, can you even imagine someone like Christian Bale trying to do a comedy? The list of actors who have come out unscathed is a short one: Arnold Schwarzenegger in 'Twins'? Maybe Vin Diesel in 'The Pacifier'? Dwayne Johnson in a few supporting roles (as he is in 'The Other Guys')?

The list is much longer for those who have failed. Let's take a look at the most prolific offenders. Mark WahlbergMark Wahlberg -- as he proves in this weekend's release, 'The Other Guys' (a film that I enjoyed quite a bit) -- has the quite rare ability to step directly into a comedic role after being known primarily for his work in action movies.

Seriously, think of all of the stars who have dipped their toes into the comedy waters only to have their pinky bitten off by a piranha. At this point, can you even imagine someone like Christian Bale trying to do a comedy? The list of actors who have come out unscathed is a short one: Arnold Schwarzenegger in 'Twins'? Maybe Vin Diesel in 'The Pacifier'? Dwayne Johnson in a few supporting roles (as he is in 'The Other Guys')?

The list is much longer for those who have failed. Let's take a look at the most prolific offenders.

Sylvester StalloneSylvester Stallone
After bursting upon the scene as underdog fighter Rocky Balboa (okay, if you don't count that porn movie), Stallone became the go-to action guy for the better part of the 1980s. Among the many: a slew of amped up 'Rocky' sequels, three John Rambo films, 'Cobra' and 'Over the Top.' Then came something called 'Oscar.' Oh, no, not the award that the original 'Rocky' won in 1976 -- 'Oscar' was Stallone's first attempt at comedy. The movie's plot had something or other to do with a gangster (Stallone) who tries to go straight. "Oscar" was panned by, well, pretty much everyone.

Stallone's very next movie? Yep, 'Stop! or My Mom Will Shoot.' It's not too surprising that after this atrocious one-two punch, Stallone returned to his strength and released 'Cliffhanger.' It's a good bet that the only reason 'The Expendables' exists has something to do with Stallone still exorcising demons associated with co-starring in a movie with Estelle Getty.

Bruce WillisBruce Willis
Okay, sure, Bruce Willis started in comedy with the TV series' Moonlighting,' and then, in his first starring movie role, 'Blind Date.' But then came 'Die Hard,' which solidified Willis as a bonafide action star. And that's what's tough: returning to comedy after making your name in action.

Willis did provide the voice of the baby in 'Look Who's Talking' -- but come on, that doesn't really count. What does count is 'Hudson Hawke,' a complete disaster of a film in every respect (a movie that also ruined an otherwise perfectly fine high school first date for this writer). 'Hudson Hawke' was so bad that it took Willis -- who's a funny guy -- almost 10 years to make another comedy, 'The Whole Nine Yards,' which was ... OK. (Any good comedy capital that Willis earned with 'The Whole Nine Yards' was spent the second that 'The Whole Ten Yards' was released.)

Harrison FordHarrison Ford
It just doesn't work. I hate admitting it, but it doesn't. And the man has tried, believe me. But anytime Ford drifts too far away from playing the reluctant hero, it fails. What's interesting is (unless you count his supporting role in 'American Graffiti,' or you consider 'Regarding Henry' a comedy), Ford didn't even try a comedy until the '90s. Unfortunately, he tried a few times. My God, this is a depressing list: 'Sabrina,' 'Six Days, Seven Nights,' 'Hollywood Homicide.' This list does not bode well for the prospects of 'Morning Glory,' in theaters Nov. 12.

Arnold SchwarzeneggerArnold Schwarzenegger
'Twins' aside, comedy has not always come easy for Arnold. (And even with 'Twins,' didn't most of the laughs come from just watching Schwarzenegger stand next to Danny DeVito?) Next up was 'Kindergarten Cop,' which was tolerable. But then came 'Junior,' which featured Arnold as a pregnant man, and the holiday non-classic 'Jingle all the Way.'

I can make a case that 'Jingle all the Way' single-handedly led to two terrible popular culture events: First, it has the distinction of ruining 'Star Wars' -- if 'Jingle all the Way' hadn't released Jake Lloyd upon the world, maybe Haley Joel Osment would have actually landed the role of Anakin Skywalker. Then, because Osment would have been filming 'The Phantom Menace,' 'The Sixth Sense' would have tanked and M. Night Shyamalan never would have gotten the chance to almost destroy cinema as we know it, with 'The Village,' 'Lady in the Water,' 'The Happening' and 'The Last Airbender.'

Tom CruiseTom Cruise
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Exhibit A: 'Knight and Day.' People might point to 'Risky Business' as a successful Cruise comedic vehicle; but dancing around in his underwear aside, it's pretty far off from an actual comedy.

What's interesting about Cruise, after all these years, is that he's never even attempted a comedy. The closest example is his small part as Les Grossman in 'Tropic Thunder' or his cameo in 'Austin Powers in Goldmember.' (Before you cry foul: Jerry Maguire' is far from a traditional comedy.) He's never just been Tom Cruise acting in a pure comedic role.

Actually, that's a little weird. 'Knight and Day' comes the closest, but even that could be thrown into the action genre. But now, when his career is at a crossroads, he wants to reinvent himself with a film that features Les Grossman as the lead? Cruise would be wise to take a look at the speed bumps that some of his peers have faced while trying to be funny. Cruise's biggest problem right now is that, in a way, he's already kind of funny -- but for the wrong reasons.