Dinner for Schmucks finally hits theaters this week, and while Steve Carell’s Barry Speck looks plenty schmucky, he’s hardly the first -- or the worst. Truth is, his character hails from a long line of onscreen schmuckery, which inspired us to pick not just the most annoying characters, but the ones who would make for the absolute worst dinnermates. Who’s on your must-not-invite list?
Jar Jar Binks (voiced by Ahmed Best), first seen in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
George Lucas’ biggest career blemish is pretty much the consensus pick for biggest onscreen schmuck of all time. And if, in some galaxy far, far away, we were forced -- with lightsabers pointed at our heads -- to have din-din with Jar Jar, we’d probably experience the same feelings we had when we first saw the Gungan in Phantom: hatred, followed by a headache, followed by nausea, followed by … just … WHY?!
Leo Getz (Joe Pesci), first seen in Lethal Weapon 2
Uhkay? Uhkay? Uhkay? Uhkay? Joe Pesci’s go-to line was funny (for the first couple scenes) in Lethal Weapon 2, but, well, knowing Mel Gibson’s temper as we now do, it’s a minor miracle that he and Pesci survived the filming of LW2. Could you imagine dinner with a guy like Leo? We’d probably pull a Gibson (noun; An obscenity-laced tirade that usually takes place over the phone but occasionally in person.)!
Bruno (Sacha Baron Cohen), Bruno
Borat would be innocuous, Ali G would be a blast, and Sacha Baron Cohen himself would probably make for a rather enlightening dinner guest -- but Bruno (at least the big-screen iteration)? Notsa much. There’s little doubt that he would go long and hard (yeah, we went there) to gross us out at the dinner table. While Larry Charles films our reactions. Which we would later laugh at. But still!
Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson), Clerks
Enjoy nonsensical musings on scatological existentialism, apropos of nothing, with your meatloaf? Well then, a dinner date with Clerks and its sequel’s worst employee might be a dream come true. But we simply would not be able to digest our food AND discussions about, for example, the cleanup duties of a certain porn-shop employee.
McLovin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Superbad
Even when McLovin was an instant-classic doofus, he wasn’t a suitable dinner guest. But now that the novelty has subsided, the sheen of squeaky-voiced raunch worn off, he’d be beyond grating to break bread with. Most of us know a McLovin type in real life, and we limit our interactions with that person to time-killing phone conversations.
The Klump Family (played mostly by Eddie Murphy), first seen in The Nutty Professor
These Eddie Murphy-portrayed stereotypes would not shut their pieholes during dinner unless they were stuffed with pie. We’d have to bring earmuffs -- to block out what’s being said and the sheer volume of it all -- and we’d have to bring our own food. No, thanks. We’d rather eat with -- nay, watch Pluto Nash!
Nicky (Adam Sandler), Little Nicky
…Or any other Adam Sandler character from any traditional “Adam Sandler movie” (you know, the ones that are guaranteed to gross $100 million-plus). When we were younger, and his man-child/voice-altering shtick was to our generation what, say, George Carlin’s vulgar stand-up routine was to the previous generation, we would’ve killed for a sit-down-and-eat with Sandler. But now … we’re growing old and Sandler-weary; collectively, we’re like his character in Funny People.
Bob Wiley (Bill Murray), What About Bob?
In the 1991 comedy, we saw precisely what happens when you invite Bob Wiley over for dinner: He never stops moaning “Mmmmmm” -- and he NEVER leaves! And even if you don’t already loathe Bob the way Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) does, his (an)tics can quickly go from hilarious to … well, maybe not quite murder/suicide-worthy, but certainly appetite-ruining. It bears mentioning, though, that we’d do just about anything to eat dinner with the guy who played Bob.
Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey), Dumb and Dumber
A no-brainer -- as both an inclusion on this list and a character lacking a brain. Is there any doubt that Lloyd Christmas’ only objective at a dinner would be to try and irk diners to their deaths? Jim Carrey created arguably the most annoying character ever -- which isn’t to say we don’t subject ourselves to Lloyd every time (every night?) Dumb & Dumber is on TBS, but which is to say that we’d rather have dinner with just about anyone. Maybe even The Cable Guy.
Any character played by Dane Cook, ever
Perhaps because Dane Cook injects so much of his onstage persona -- the mile-a-minute, um, “comedian” -- into his onscreen characters, a dinner, or even the briefest of encounters, is a skin-crawling prospect to ponder. Maybe we’d invite his Mr. Brooks character, though, because he was actually kinda funny in that movie … because Cook was trying to be semiserious.
-Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), first seen in Forgetting Sarah Marshall
-Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker), The Fifth Element
-Stifler (Seann William Scott), first seen in American Pie
-Napoleon (Jon Heder), Napoleon Dynamite
-Robin (Chris O’Donnell), first seen in Batman Forever