The Five Best David Spade Film Roles

The Five Best David Spade Film Roles

For many years, David Spade was killing it on Saturday Night Live. He had his Hollywood Minute on Weekend Update and quickly solidified himself as the king of snarkiness and sarcasm. Throughout his career, he has had a few successful television shows, namely Just Shoot Me and Rules of Engagement. However, in recent years, he seems to be relegated to lesser Happy Madison projects and voice-over work. Although, David Spade has had a handful of absolutely hilarious, dare-say iconic roles in his career. The man is funny, but he does have to play to his strengths. His most successful film roles have come courtesy of just that. Here are the five most hilarious David Spade film roles.

Eli Turnbull in Coneheads (1993)

This is a bit of an esoteric pick, but David Spade’s turn as Eli Turnbull in Coneheads was a scene-stealer. Eli is the sycophantic sidekick of Michael McKean’s INS Deputy Commissioner who brown-noses harder than you have ever seen anyone brown-nose before.  Coneheads is one of those SNL skits that didn’t QUITE work on the big screen.  However, David Spade is one of the people who kill it in every one of their scenes (Chris Farley, ironically, is another).

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Emperor Kuzco in The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)

David Spade voiced Kuzco, the titular Emperor in the 2000 Disney animated film, and he was outstanding. Spade was perfectly cast as Kuzco because the Incan Emperor was selfish, sarcastic, and had the biggest of egos. When an egomaniac like that gets betrayed and turned into a llama, it is hilarious. The film has a lot of the chemistry between Spade and John Goodman’s Pacha and Patrick Warburton’s Kronk that Spade had with Farley.  It makes The Emperor’s New Groove a wonderfully good, uniquely irreverent time.

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Rand McPherson in PCU (1994)

Way back in 1994, PCU was ahead of its time. It imagined college campus that took political correctness and social justice to a ridiculous extreme and played it for comedy. David Spade played Rand McPherson, the head of the Shaft and Balls club who wants Fraternities to return to PCU’s campus. He is the worst kind of cliche and he just oozes hysterical villainy. One of his best scenes is when his idiotic club makes him go through the password motions to enter his own house.

Joe Dirt in Joe Dirt (2001)

It may seem odd to say, but the absurdly ridiculous role of Joe Dirt may become David Spade’s legacy. Released in 2001, it tells the story of a perpetually mulleted homeless guy who treks across the country in search of his long lost parents. Along the way, he befriends a gorgeous country girl, sleeps with a girl he thinks is his sister, manages to get captured by Buffalo Bob, become a media sensation, and get covered with feces due to a malfunctioning septic tank strapped to his back.  It is all so gloriously stupid. Joe Dirt, like Dumb & Dumber, is one of those films that you can’t help but laugh at. 

Richard in Tommy Boy (1995)

When Chris Farley and David Spade teamed-up in the road trip comedy Tommy Boy in 1995, lightning was caught in a bottle. Tommy Boy is a lazy doofus. Richard is a straight-laced workaholic. When they are paired together to hit the road selling brake pads, one of the funniest comedies of the 1990s was the result. The quips, the sarcasm, and the frustration that Spade delivers in the face of Farley’s antics was one of the greatest comedy-duo creations since Abbott & Costello. They were fun again years later in Black Sheep, but Tommy Boy was perfect.

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Weekend: Oct. 17, 2019, Oct. 20, 2019

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