6 Actors Who Took The Self-Parody Route

Showtime’s new comedy “Episodes” sounds pretty high-larious. In it, Matt LeBlanc will play the star of a dumbed-down sitcom based on of a much better British show. The British couple who created the original sitcom comes to Hollywood to produce the American version and is totally bummed when executives replace the classy, intelligent lead with Matt LeBlanc. Cold diss or compliment? [Just Jared]

Lately, it seems like there have been quite a few shows of a similar meta nature. And since there’s something fantastic about the upswing of self-parody, we’ve rounded up a few other actors who’ve parodied themselves in TV shows.

  • Another “Friends” alum, Lisa Kudrow, co-created and starred in “The Comeback,” which was about an actress who tries to return to her former television glory in a “Friends”-like show about horny 20-somethings, only to find out that she was cast as the landlady and her “comeback” is also the topic of a reality TV show. The show within a show within a show only lasted one season. But Lisa Kudrow is still way awesome. [Washington Post]
  • Jennifer Grey starred in the ABC show, “It’s Like, You Know…” where she played an exaggerated version of herself. The show dealt with a Los Angeles life through the eyes of a New Yorker and Grey said of her character, “They’re using my name and certain facts from my life, but they’re magnifying things to make it more dramatic and fun. I am playing myself, but not myself. A lot of the appeal of the role is in blurring the lines of reality and fiction.” One of the show’s running jokes was related to Grey’s rhinoplasty, which many fans believed made her unrecognizable. The series ran for less than a season. Which probably had something to do with the fact that no one recognized Jennifer Grey and her new nose. [WCHS TV]
  • “Seinfeld” writer, co-creator, and executive producer Larry David played an extreme version of himself in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and invited exaggerated versions of his real friends, usually played by his real friends, to be on the show as well. Larry is a candid, self-absorbed, neurotic, and stubborn man who got himself into plenty of provocative situations in the show, which was very popular and ran for seven seasons. [NY Times]
  • Kirstie Alley is already back to publicly dealing with her struggles in weight loss, but back in 2005, she starred in “Fat Actress,” playing a self-deprecating fat actress trying to get back into acting. She spends the rest of the season making fun of herself and finding that there are no roles for overweight women. Unless they want to play someone who can’t get a role apparently? [CBS News]
  • On NBC’s “30 Rock” Tina Fey plays head writer of “The Girlie Show,” Liz Lemon, who is ostensibly a much more pathetic (and funnier) version of Tina. Fey created and writes “30 Rock,” which is kind of a next-level parody, parodying herself, the network, TV sketch shows, Tracy Morgan, and just about every other topic that comes up, because it’s the best show ever. [EW]