Every so often, an actor comes along who has a knack for playing excitable wildcards prone to random outbursts, outrageous comments and even the occasional temper tantrum.
Charlie Day is one of those actors. This week, we get to see the talented 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' star on the big screen in 'Horrible Bosses,' playing Jennifer Aniston's assistant/prey named Dale. Aniston's naughty character will do anything to get into innocent little Dale's pants, including semi-nude meetings and a constant barrage of inappropriate come-ons. Fed up with the non-stop harassment, Dale makes a pact with his equally disgruntled best buds (Jason Bateman and Jason Sudekis) to kill all three of their bosses. (Kevin Spacey and Colin Farrell are both hilarious as the other two bosses from hell.)
Day has accumulated a loyal fan base during his stint on 'Sunny' as the loveable screw-up Charlie Kelly. Charlie is the wildcard that every gang or group needs (along with "Looks" and a "Brain"). And what a wildcard he is -- you never know when Charlie's gonna bust out his Green Man suit, huff some glue, snort some coke or scrawl in his dream journal. He's so crazy, he might even write and produce a musical!
Thanks to Charlie's expert delivery, many of his lines have become oft-quoted classics along the lines of Jason Alexander's "George is getting angry!!" scene from 'Seinfeld.' Some of Charlie's most memorable outbursts include "We're gonna go America all over their asses!"; "Wild card, bitches! Yeeeeeehaaaaaaw!" and, of course, "Oh, get a job? Just get a job? Why don't I strap on my job helmet and squeeze down into a job cannon and fire off into job land, where jobs grow on little jobbies?!"
In honor of Charlie Day's first starring role in a big budget Hollywood flick, here's a list of my top five favorite movie wildcards of all time. (Including Charlie's 'Sunny' roomie/bedmate, Danny DeVito! Who Charlie gives a shout-out to in 'Horrible Bosses'!)
1. Joe Pesci as Nicky Santoro in 'Casino.' You really don't want to mess with any of Pesci's characters. Ever. He may be small, but I'd rather step on Arnold Schwarzenegger's toe than Joe Pesci's. Pesci is the ultimate movie wildcard, ready to explode at any given moment. He's amazing in 'Goodfellas' and 'JFK' too, but if I have to single out one performance it'd be Nicky Santoro because he's just such an incredible badass. He's banned from casinos, goes rogue on his mobster bosses and even has sex with DeNiro's estranged wife, played by Sharon Stone. Wildcard jackpot!
2. Danny Devito as Sam Stone in 'Ruthless People.' Who messes with wrong numbers like that? Sam Stone, that's who. Bonus points for doing it while sitting with a cop. (Click here to see the clip, it's too racy to embed here.) DeVito is the master when it comes to playing mischievous little weirdos. Maybe that's why he and Charlie Day are such an awesome duo on 'Sunny.'
3. John Goodman as Walter Sobchak in 'The Big Lebowski.' Temper, temper, Walter! Walter is the loosest of loose cannons. He's happily bowling one minute, bragging about his ability to secure severed toes (with nail polish) the next, then plotting to scam crazy nihilist kidnappers later on. What's with this guy? He's gonna get The Dude killed!
4. Chris Tucker as James Carter in 'Rush Hour.' Patience is definitely not one of Detective Carter's strong points. He's constantly berating Lee (Jackie Chan) with patronizing outbursts like, "Do you understand the words that are comin' outta my mouth?" Clearly, a bromance is on the horizon. (For more ridiculous, zany Tucker roles, you need look no further than 'The Fifth Element' or 'Friday,' where that high-pitched voice and bizarre vocab feature prominently.)
5. Donald Duck in 'Cured Duck.' We know, random. But oh so wildcard-y. How does Donald manage to keep hottie Daisy with a temper like that? Anger management courses, that's how. Daisy ain't gonna put up with him blowing a fuse and tearing up her lovely living room every time he can't open a window! Luckily for us, angry Donald returns in future productions. Because really, who wants to watch a calm Donald Duck?