The word "awesome" is thrown around a lot these days, especially to give the hyperbolic term of "Most Awesome Person Ever."
My co-worker Tim and I have had a discussion of what actor holds the position of "The Most Awesome Man in Showbiz."
He says it's Patrick Warburton
I say it's Bruce Campbell.
Note: Both Tim and I believe that they're both awesome, the argument is over which one is more awesome than the other.
As you can see, at face value, they both look really awesome. But how awesome? Let's compare some stats.
Bruce's first notable acting gig was in 1981 as Ash from the original "The Evil Dead" movie directed by Sam Raimi. Since then he's been known as one of the best recent B-Actors in the business. He went on to star in Evil Dead's sequels, Evil Dead II & Army of Darkness, Bubba Ho-Tep (where a still-alive Elvis fights mummies), and the tv shows "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.," "Jack of All Trades," and most recently, USA's "Burn Notice." I confess, he's a supporting player, but he's an important one. He even wrote his memoirs "If Chins Could Kill," and filmed a self-parody movie entitled "My Name is Bruce." (coming to theaters soon!)
Warburton, on the other hand, is probably most known as David Puddy from Seinfeld. Other well-known Live-action show roles include The Tick in the live-action series (which was nowhere near as good as the cartoon), and starring roles in "Less Than Perfect" and "The Rules of Engagement." It's voice acting from where he has gotten the most exposure. He has an incredibly distinctive voice which can be heard in Family Guy as Joe Swanson, Kronk in The Emperor's New Groove and its sequel TV show, as well as in The Venture Bros. as Brock Sampson. He's also in a slew of other shows and movies, too, but they're not that important in this paragraph.
Tim had this to say about Warburton's awesomeness:
"Because he has this monotone voice and kinda limited acting talent, but it seems to always work for the parts he gets lol. And plus he's everywhere, in the way Bruce Campbell was."
This just happens to be my problem about him, italicised quote. Patrick has such a distinctive voice that he doesn't bother to modify it for any role. It's the exact same "Patrick Warburton: Tough Guy" voice on every character he's ever voiced. Joe, The Tick, Kronk, Mr. Barkin from Kim Possible, Brock, even Buzz Lightyear all sound exactly alike. There's also the fact that he's "everywhere." It's good that he actually is awesome, as it sort of puts him a single step above being a "Hey, It's That Guy!" in entertainment. He actually is everywhere, and with a few exceptions (Joe, Brock Sampson), it's easy to tell that some projects couldn't afford to cast anyone good, or probably be a good movie at all.
A quick IMDB search has these entries for him: Bee Movie, Underdog, Tak & The Power of Juju, Hoodwinked, Hoodwinked 2 (sigh), Happily N'Ever After, Open Season, The Wild, The X's, Chicken Little, Sky High, Home on The Range, Scream 3, and Space Chimps. Yes, Space Chimps. He actually stars in that movie, finally. It opens July 18th, surely it will have no competition whatsoever now that everyone saw Wall-E & Kung-Fu Panda.
Speaking of Wall-E, during the previews they showed a trailer for what I thought was going to be Space Chimps. I was saying "Oh, it's for Space Chimps, it's going to suck but I've seen the trailer for this already." Turns out I was dead wrong. It was a cartoon that looked exactly the same, but change the three monkeys for three flies that seemed to be the ripoff of Space Chimps if they ripped off Alvin & The Chipmunks at the same time. It's title? "Fly Me To The Moon." The sad part? There were people actually laughing at this. I'm scared, people.
Where was I? Oh yes, Warburton and Campbell.
Like I mentioned earlier, Patrick starred in the cartoon adaptation of Buzz Lightyear, which was actually pretty decent. In several cases, if they can't get the original voice, they call Patrick instead of just waiting for the Home Improvement checks to stop arriving and having Tim Allen realize that another "Santa Clause" movie is a bad idea. As for his live-action roles, I'm always reminded that it's Putty, but he moved to another town. "Puddy in a suit!" "Puddy in a lab coat!" "Puddy is engaged!" "Puddy as a monkey!" "Puddy in a Tick Costume!" As much as he made a good Tick, he wasn't Townsend Coleman to say the least. Essentially, if they could not somehow get Bruce, they'd hire Patrick.
Now, Bruce isn't left out of the "takes roles to cash a check" game either. He just seems to pick his battles more wisely. On one side of the coin, he's famous for having cameos in the three Spider-Man movies, mostly as a favor to his partner in crime Sam Raimi. I wonder how many of you will agree that his cameo was the only intentionally humorous moment in "Spider-Man 3." He also portrayed the 4th Aqua Teen, a chicken-shaped chicken nugget named Chicken Bittle in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Movie. Aside from various other projects that he cameoed in so he could add some "Hey, I'm Awesome" to a drab flick, the only terrible ones I could find were Sky High, The Ladykillers remake, Escape From LA, and The Ant Bully. That movie simply failed on so many levels. They were a bit late to cash in on the "A Bug's Life/Antz" craze of 10 years ago. Most of his roles seemed to stay with his B-Actor genre, having reoccurring roles in both the "Xena" and "Hercules" series in the 90s, "Lois & Clark," "The Legends of Tarzan," "Knot's Landing" and "The Man With The Screaming Brain." Needless to say, along with "Brisco County Jr." and "Jack of All Trades," WPIX11 had a fair amount of Campbell goodness.
And if you honestly need to ask why they are awesome, I present you with these videos of the men in action:
Did I mention that Bruce is single-handedly responsible for making Old Spice cool? At my CVS, Old Spice just happens to be one of the most popular brands of deoderant, and I'm betting that Bruce is the reason why people under 54 have been snatching it up.
"Old Spice: Not Just For Grampa Anymore!"
This clip was mostly chosen because the infamous "Boomstick" scene from Army of Darkness was taken down from youtube for some ungodly reason.
A now-classic moment of Warburton as Joe from Family Guy. It's a sad state for youtube as there's no better clip of Patrick Warburton in anything, even the Venture Bros. Hell, this is the first video that shows up in a search for "Family Guy Joe." It was added on June 15th, and I don't know how long it will last. So if you see a black screen, I'll be too lazy to find a better video and edit this text accordingly.
Obviously, what gives these two men much of their essence is their ability to give it their all in any acting environment. Any lesser actors may phone it in, fax it in, or simply spit the script back to the writers' face and recommend their justly execution. Not these guys. The dumbest and quirkiest of roles are performed the same as if attempting to achieve Oscar Gold (rated PG-13), and simply enjoying what they do in life and have fun while everyone else ponders why they have to use a fax machine to indignantly read their lines.
So, who comes out on top? Well, I must admit, I'm going to have to call it a draw. I still think it's Bruce, while Tim says it's Patrick. What I want to know is who do YOU think is The Most Awesome Man in Showbiz out of the two?
(The sad part is whenever I've asked readers for their opinions like for this question, I received no comments. I'm sorry, I'm not Matt. I won't even put on the Matt Mask for you people, so stop fantasizing about it.)