1994: The Year of Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey as Dr Robotnik

1994 was a great year. Seal released “Kiss From A Rose“. The original Playstation made it’s way to homes everywhere as well as Friends airing its first season. Alongside this, we had some classic films released. The Shawshank Redemption, The Lion King, Pulp Fiction. It was an especially great year for Jim Carrey.

Carrey had his breakout year in ’94, with arguably his best-known work all being released during the year: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber, and The Mask. These films propelled him into a household name and some of his best performances. 1994 was the year of Carrey.

“Pleasure To Meet You, Mr. Camp, And Congratulations On All Your Success. You Smell Terrific.”

Carrey's breakout role as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
Carrey’s breakout role as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

After a few years in stand-up, and a failed audition for Saturday Night Live, Carrey got a start on In Living Colour. In the February of 94, Ace Ventura Pet Detective was released. Although the film wasn’t a hit with critics, it was with audiences, grossing over $107 million on a very modest budget, and gaining a cult following. Carrey’s over the top performance helped make it very quotable, including the iconic “Alrighty then!

Originally, Rick Moranis was approached for the role, but after he and several others turned it down (including Alan Rickman), Carrey was cast for his sketch comedy work. He was allowed to rewrite the script and improvise a lot. The inspiration came from several places, like a desire to be “unstoppably ridiculous” and a bird.

“I’m Smoking!”

The Mask - Jim Carrey
The Mask, is the perfect role for Jim Carrey (1994)

Before Ace Ventura became such a big hit, Carrey had signed on for an adaptation of The Mask. A much lighter version of the comic book. Carrey was attracted by the cartoon-esque nature of the project, and was so animated himself he saved on some VFX budget. Being released after Ace Ventura, gave it some added, and unexpected, star power. It also launched the career of Cameron Diaz.

Jim Carrey is the closest thing the world has to a living cartoon, and The Mask is a perfect example of that. The premise allows him to be as wacky as he can be in a way no other film has allowed. The Mask is also the most successful film, critically and commercially, of Carrey’s 94 films. Until recently, it was also the most profitable comic book film ever, before being overtaken by Joker. Carrey was nominated for a golden globe for his performance.

“The most annoying sound in the world”

Carrey as one half of the iconic Dumb and Dumber leads (1994)
Carrey as one half of the iconic Dumb and Dumber leads (1994)

After two successful films in the year, Jim Carrey was certainly a star to watch. However, he wasn’t quite done yet, as December would see the release of Dumb and Dumber. This time Carrey was sharing the spotlight with Jeff Daniels, who was more known for his dramatic roles. Despite some mixed reviews overall, Carrey and Daniel’s performances won lots of praise.

The film owes a lot of it’s success to it’s two main characters, and has become a cult favourite. Like Carrey’s other 94 ventures, it spawned a sequel and an animated series, although this sequel took much longer, arriving in 2014, a whole 20 years later.

“Good Morning! And in case I don’t see ya, Good Afternoon, Good Evening and Good Night!”

arrey's most recent big-screen role, Dr Ivo Robotnik or "Eggman" in Sonic the Hedgehog   (Sega 2020)
Carrey’s most recent big-screen role, Dr Ivo Robotnik or “Eggman” in Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega 2020)

Of course, Carrey’s career didn’t stop there, he would go on to fight Batman as the Riddler, explore dramatic roles in The Truman Show, and most recently, chase a blue blur in the Sonic the Hedgehog film. He is currently back in TV, working on the sitcom “Kidding”. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before he graces our screens with his unique brand of quirky comedy.

Also Read: The Unique Style of Wes Anderson

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