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The Chandler Bing Effect: 10 One-Trick Ponies Whose One Trick Never Gets Old

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | July 9, 2013 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | July 9, 2013 |

Everyone loved Chandler Bing. Even if you didn’t love “Friends,” you loved Matthew Perry’s character, but the thing about that character is that, if you’ve seen anything else that Matthew Perry is in, Perry is Chandler Bing. He can turn it up (The Whole Nine Yards) or he can tone it down (The West Wing, The Good Wife), but essentially, he plays on the same trick: Charmingly, smarmy and sarcastic. But you know what? It works. Many of us have invested too much time in Perry’s follow-up sitcoms to “Friends” because of him, and even when those sitcoms fail all around him, Perry’s Bingness still shines through.


Of course, Matthew Perry is not the only comedic actor with limited range with whom we have an adoring affection. Here are 9 other actors who do the same thing in practically everything they’re in, and you know what? We like it that way. As far as I’m concerned, they can never get old.

Jake Johnson: Modus Operandi: Cranky, sarcastic, belligerent teddy bear. Seen in “New Girl,” Safety Not Guaranteed and the forthcoming Drinking Buddies.


Charlie Day: Modus Operandi: Loud, brash, overenthusiastic, and charmingly offensive. Seen in: “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” Going the Distance, Horrible Bosses and the this week’s Pacific Rim.


Jason Bateman: Modus Operandi: Mild-mannered, dry, sarcastic straight man who gives great reaction shots. Seen in: “Arrested Development,” Hancock, dozens of romantic comedies, both good (Horrible Bosses) and terrible (Identity Thief).


Danny McBride: Modus Operandi: Cocky, overconfident, loud, grating, egotistical, and delusional. Seen in: “Eastbound & Down,” This is the End, 30 Minutes or Less, Pineapple Express.


Ryan Hansen: Goofy, laid back, good-looking likable jerk. Seen in: “Veronica Mars,” “Party Down,” countless television guest appearances.


John C. McGinley: Angry, sarcastic, ranting, pseudo-psychotic teddy bear. Seen in: “Scrubs,” lots of otherwise terrible, terrible movies.


Will Arnett: Arrogant, dim, and unsure of himself. Seen in: “Arrested Development,” “Up All Night” (toned down), “30 Rock,” and “Running Wilde.”

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J.B. Smoove: Modus Operandi: Fast-talking, smart-alec with a unique cadence. Seen in: “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” We Bought a Zoo, and small roles in a series of terrible movies and television sitcoms.


Aubrey Plaza: Sour, dour, sarcastic, and moony. Seen in: “Parks and Recreation,” Safety Not Guaranteed, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and the upcoming To Do List