These stand-up and improv vets are poised to make the leap to screen
By James Rocchi
Special to MSN Movies
In "Identity Thief," Jason Bateman gets his life, credit rating and
sanity taken away by a con artist extraordinaire whose appearance belies her
cunning and gall. The fact that the con artist is played by Melissa McCarthy ("Bridesmaids," "Mike & Molly") is only part of
the joke. (At one point, Bateman explains that his plan to catch McCarthy can't
possibly be dangerous: "She's like a Hobbit. I'm going after Bilbo.") Once upon
a time, McCarthy was a starring standout player in the Groundlings, the famous
L.A. comedy troupe that also gave us Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig, and followed
the same stage-and-improv to script-and-camera success path that all comedians
hope to have happen and so few actually make happen. McCarthy's transition
happened both fast and well, and she's made good use of her improvisational
skills in both her films and TV appearances. In fact, two separate sketches the
night she hosted "Saturday Night Live" were simply taken whole and complete from
her Groundlings work. In honor of McCarthy's big-screen lead role, here's a list
of similar comics and improv stars who have made -- or are about to make -- the
always-tricky shift from tours and live shows to cameras on the set and their
name on the poster.
Bing: More about Melissa McCarthy | More about 'Identity Thief'
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