Why TJ Miller Thinks Comedians Taking Serious Roles Is Stupid

Actor T.J. Miller has been popping up in all kind of funny material recently, from the animated Big Hero 6, to the action-heavy Deadpool, to the fantastic television series Silicon Valley, but if you’re expecting him to show up in anything overly dramatic anytime soon, you may not want to hold your breath. This is because he has basically sworn off any kind of dramatic stuff, saying that the idea of comedians experimenting with a different tone is "totally stupid."

Helping to promote the recently released red band trailer for the stop-motion animated Hell and Back, Miller recently chatted with Yahoo! and explained his philosophy where comedians doing drama is concerned. It seems the concept as a whole completely mystifies him, as he explained,

I think that’s totally weird when someone becomes a great comedian — which I still have yet to do — and then they’re like, OK, I’ve spent my whole life trying to make you guys laugh and now you have to watch me cry. It’s crazy. It’s totally stupid.

Taking his comments a step further, T.J. Miller compared the idea of a comedian switching over to drama as being similar to Michael Jordan playing minor league baseball. Instead, he offers that funny stars looking to make a change turn to other outlets:

Go do something on your own. Go make a little short film where it’s a drama and you’re crying and put that on the Internet. I’m not knocking on the door to see if there’s any room on House of Cards. There’s plenty of people that can do that stuff very well.

On a certain level, I understand the idea of staying in your league and continuing to do what you think you’re best at, but I also think it’s a bit weird that T.J. Miller would make a blanket statement like this. After all, there are people like Robin Williams and Jim Carrey who started their careers making people laugh, and wound up discovering that they also have the skills to hit people emotionally. Surely those two guys eventually found a point in their careers where they felt the need to try and mix things up, and they wound up being very successful at it. So what’s the problem?

This is an interesting debate to have, and while T.J. Miller firmly sits on one side of the fence on the issue, I wonder if there are other people out there who actually feel the same way. Do you think that comedians should just stick to comedy, or do you think they should feel free to branch out into drama? Hit the comments section with your thoughts, feelings, and opinions!

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.