Jim Carrey certainly knows the media’s g-spot. His new Funny or Die video “Cold Dead Hands” can only be properly construed as a blistering yet brilliant attack on the gun lobby. If one doubts that simplefact– why would Carrey alienate a percentage of his audience? — one need only to venture into the Twittersphere. There, in under 140 characters apiece, Carrey quickly clarified his opinion on the gun lobby at the social network on the same day that the video dropped. “G’morning! Hope you’re enjoying Cold Dead Hand.FYI, my bodyguard doesn’t have a hundred rounds in his clip.I wish u all a bullet free day! ;^},” @JimCarrey tweeted, drawing immediate ire from the right-Twittersphere.
It is a risky move, clearly — one that could alienate him from a pro-gun audience, the NRA members around the country who potentially might go see the next Jim Carrey comedy. It is a particularly risky move considering that: a) Jim Carrey isn’t at a particularly high point in his comedic career at the moment, and b) Carrey is looking forward to a sequel to “Dumb and Dumber,” which could use some repeat business from most of the film’s original fans.
Already in the Twittersphere, Carrey is taking a bit of a beating (no surprise). Most of the political sites – including CNN’s Political Ticker – picked up the story. Comedian @greggutfeld, host of Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld on Fox — over 194,000 Twitter followers — immediately took to the Twittersphere, blasting Carrey. “Comparing @jimcarrey to Charlton Heston is like comparing a wart to the Sistine Chapel,” Gutfield tweeted, adding a YouTube video of Charlton Heston defending civil rights in the 60s. He added, “Would @jimcarrey ever do a video mocking gangs for all the gun-related homicides? No. his cowardly desire for acceptance prevents it.” Gutfield then spent the rest of Monday afternoon attacking Carrey. FoxNews contributor — do you see athe recurring theme? — and Townhall.com founder @KatiePavlich also voiced her displeasure on the microblogging site. @KatiePavlich tweeted, “You know what I love about Twitter? Elitist snobs like @jimcarrey get to be held accountable by the people they don’t think matter #2A.”
It didn’t stop there; it never does. Michelle Malkin — over 496,000 followers — who has an opinion on everything, chimed in. “#NewJimCarreyMovie: ‘Bruce Al-Gun-Grabby’ and other suggested hypocrite Jim Carrey films,” @michellemalkin tweeted. In this viral era, there are already video lambasting Carrey’s “hypocricy” from the right side of the American political spectrum. Human Events, an old school right site, also attacked Carrey.
“Cold Dead Hands” is a brilliant send-up of 70s Western tough guy macho. The take on Sam Elliott at about 4:20 in is genius, with a smidgeon of gun control messaging. Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, John Lennon and Sam Elliott all appear in cameo in the video. But it is the macho, pro-guns, God-and-country type that takes the brunt of Carrey’s comedic venom (the video was written and directed by Charles Ingram and Nick Corirossi).
What is “Cold Dead Hands”? It is, in a sense, one of Carrey’s most ambitious, risky moves, one that could alienate him from the pro-gun constituency, but a move, in turn, that could take himtowards the edginess that his career has perhaps needed since its highlight in the 1990s. The video also smacks of the sort of comedic stunts that Andy Kaufman used to do, mocking his audience – confrontational. Carrey was – and is — a big fan of the highly experimental comedian Kauffman, who himself was a big fan of “professional wresting” as an entertainment form. Kauffman was intrigued by translating the wrestling formula of getting people to pay money to see the wrestlers they hate get beaten upinto the realm of comedy.
Is this a new Jim Carrey, propelled by the thus-far lackluster performance of “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone”? Am I being too cynical? That is the $64,000 question. But if it is, and we are witnessing a newer, edgier and more confrontational Jim Carrey, one that is not afraid to show a little bloodlust in his comedy, then I, for one, am all in. Go, Jim, go.