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Large Ham: Real Life

"Not only are we going to New Hampshire ... we're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we're going to California and Texas and New York! And we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan. And then we're going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House, yeeeeeaaaaaargh!"
- Howard Dean

Feel free to sort this by politics, sports and others.

  • Quoted above: Presidential candidate Howard Dean, whose enthusiastic, red-faced shouting led to public embarrassment.
  • Gene Wilder
  • Zero Mostel was made of ham and he certainly knew how to use his reputation for being difficult to his advantage.
  • The late Billy Mays, known for his energetic, loud performance in his commercials, provides the page image.
  • Steve Irwin, who was hammy even to the faces of snakes and crocodiles. May he rest in peace.
  • Fitness guru Richard Simmons plays this to the hilt on numerous talk shows, and gives every appearance of behaving like that all the time. Among fans of the comedy/improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, his guest appearance is particularly... infamous.
  • Hamminess in fitness gurus is contagious. Take Tony Little, for example.
  • Before Tony Little, there was Susan "Stop The Insanity!" Powter.
  • Adolf Hitler, a master of Milking the Giant Cow and loud speeches set to Music to Invade Poland to, and who was particularly inspired by the Germanic, theatrical, bombastic, extra ham-laden Romantic operas of Richard Wagner.
  • George Patton
    • (From the Film section): "Interestingly enough, George Patton's daughters said that Scott nailed Patton's personality so perfectly, they felt like they were actually watching their father on the movie screen. The movie actually DOWNPLAYS some of the more crude and vulgar catchphrases that he was famous for."
  • General Douglas MacArthur of World War II. "PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, I HAVE RETURNED!"note 
    • Dwight D. Eisenhower served as MacArthur's aide de camp during Mac's term as Army Chief of Staff, and then followed MacArthur to the Philippines in their next assignment. Later in his career, when asked if he knew MacArthur, Eisenhower replied, "I ought to. I studied dramatics under him for seven years!"
    • Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe at the Battle of the Bulge famously responded to a request to surrender from the Germans by saying "NUTS!" Large ham indeed.
  • Benito Mussolini was also fond of his own bombastic voice and gestures. "The bullets pass - Mussolini remains!"
    • Allegedly, he was hammy even when facing certain death. "SHOOT ME IN THE CHEST!"
  • Fidel Castro, notorious for his bombastic, hours-long (!) speeches.
    • "Judge me if you will, I don't care. HISTORY WILL ABSOLVE ME! "
      • Since he said that at his trial by the Batista Regime, which he beat, he might have a point.
  • The late Hugo Chávez, who absolutely had to be the centre of attention at all times. At least until he got shut down by the King of Spain in a manner most awesome.
  • Don King. Even his hair overacts.
    • The English language is unable to sustain his ham on its own, which is why he is constantly freestyling new vocabulary.
  • Janice Dickinson, the self-proclaimed "world's first supermodel."
  • Any Dungeon Master/Game Master worth their salt is this.
  • Chilean ex-President Ricardo Lagos. Specially if he whips out his index finger.
  • Another REALLY Large Ham coming from Chile: sport reporter and narrator Fernando Solabarrieta, who is known to cry and scream when he's hyperventilated. You want to see it? Check this.
  • Pedro Carcuro is another Chilean ham; he may be a bit low-key when compared to Solabarrieta, but still hammy for at least 30 years. Hilariously spoofed in an old TV ad that features his screams as background noise for several planes and car crashes.
  • Since football in Latin-America and some European countries is very Serious Business, every single football commentator (whether on the TV or on radio) is required to be VERY hammy. Otherwise they'd never be able to reach the levels of flailing and screaming they get when a specially important and/or well-done goal is scored.
    • The press boxes of the stadiums in the 2006 World Cup were open onto the field, which occasionally meant that the sound from one set of broadcasters was audible in the next box over. The ESPN box was right next to that of a Spanish network during one of Spain's matches. When Spain scored a goal, viewers in the US watching ESPN could hear the Spanish announcers in the next box going absolutely bananas...for the next five minutes!
      • Just so you guys know, this is the standard.
    • Sportscaster Galvăo Bueno is the unquestioned Ham Emperor of Brazilian TV. The Ham is cranked up to eleven when a Brazilian wins a Formula One Race. Or when Brazil wins a World Cup.
    • Dutch commentator Jack van Gelder has earned a bit of a reputation for his uncontrolled emotions when Oranje scores. Most notable example is this. Of course the Dutch have also subverted this wonderfully in this commercial.
  • Finnish commentator Antero Mertaranta when Finland beat Russia in the ice hockey world championship semifinals.
  • Bosnian commentator Marijan Miajlovic.
  • Korean Shoutcasters take sports very seriously. Described to perfection by Abstruse Goose.
  • Arabic commentators have a similar reputation, take a look at this one.
  • Diego Maradona seems to be Ham King among the players, and now, also coaches.
  • Not that American sports commentators are any more subdued. John Madden, anyone?
    • Especially if Madden is talking about 'his Favrerite' player, Bret Favre. You know Madden has one of those creepy shrines in his basement.
  • Pittsburgh Sportscaster Myron Cope was made of ham. Even though he kept kosher.
  • Another American sports commentator example is Paul Allen, radio play-by-play announcer for the Minnesota Vikings. His bellowing of "TOUCHDOWN!" at least once a game rivals many soccer commentators, and this applies whether the touchdown is by the Vikings or against them.
  • The UK also have their own hammy sports commentator with Jonathan Pearce.
  • For baseball, you have Hawk Harrelson of the White Sox, Mike Shannon of the Cardinals, and Harry Caray of the Cubs.
  • Youtube Partner Hellsing920 is like this on occasions. THIS IS CALLED A LONGBOX!
  • Youtuber No More Marbles, who is borderline infamous amongst Twilight fans (and a few anti-fans) for having developed a bizarrely, gleefully goofy, over-the-top (and admittedly borderline creepy) on-camera persona. Samples: A parody in response to fans' badmouthing the casting of Robert Pattinson in the movie version of ''Twilight'', Getting threatened by Eminem, "NO! Anything but the Volvo!!!".
  • Some Russian leaders from the 20th Century on have quite a lot to say in regards to hamminess:
    • Nikita "WE WILL BURY YOU!" Khrushchev. Extra points for walloping the table with his shoe.
    • Vladimir Ilich Ulianov aka Lenin was like this in most of his speeches: "COMRADES! The REVOLUTION, the importance of which was spoken about for such a long time by BOLSHEVIKS... HAS HAPPENED"
    • Leon Trotsky was somewhat of a ham too.
    • In one of history's greatest missed opportunities, the combined 70-year leadership of the USSR doesn't reach the level of ham supplied by Boris Yeltsin by himself. If ordering the army to fire live ammunition at your country's parliament because you're facing impeachment, dancing like you're inebriated in front of millions of your countrymen, or generally being inebriated aren't hammy, nothing is.
  • Perhaps underestimated for his hamminess is Soviet astronaut Alexei Leonov. During a press conference in the US while training for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, he stated his wish to become a movie star in Hollywood. During the mission, he said, in addition to English and Russian, a third language was spoken on the mission: "Oklahomski", referring to his American counterpart, Tom Stafford.
  • Meat Loaf. Look at any of his music videos, or anything of him on Youtube... he really should be named for THIS meat.
  • Tony Robbins.
  • Don Cherry, of Coach's Corner infamy in Canada. Also, his suits. And intro music. And his hats. Oh dear sweet lord, his hats
  • Michael Buffer was famous for this. But his ham is nothing compared to Lenne Hardt.
    • Impressive, but in his favour, Buffer had his ham trademarked. "LLLLLLLLLLLLLLet's get ready to RRRRRRRRUUUUMMMMMMMMBBBBBLLLLLLLLEEEEEE!"
  • Boris "Bojo" Johnson
  • Speaking of British politicians, actor and MP Andrew Faulds certainly had a reputation as a ham. He broke the tradition in his maiden speech of honoring his predecessor (instead chastising him, because the man had run what could be considered a racist campaign today). Faulds also used grandstanding and heckling, which probably helped to prevent him from rising very far in the Labour Party.
  • Many real-life pirates were known for this, in particular Blackbeard (who was genuinely attempting to scare people so he could rule by fear) and Bartholomew Roberts, who wore a giant diamond-encrusted cross on a necklace. Yes, Black Bart Roberts had bling.
  • There are a couple of professional poker players who deserve mention here, including but not limited to...
  • For better or for worse, President Barack Obama. YES WE CAN!
  • John Barrowman.
  • Cleveland sports tv and radio personality Bruce Drennan, with his trademark "IIIIIIII lovvvve ya Cleveland!"
  • From the world of bodybuilding, Ronnie Coleman, the most pumped-up ham since Ahnuld, as well as the closest thing to a Real Life Smug Super. Watching him lift insane amounts of weight on youtube straddles the line between HSQ and Narm, but it is always undeniably ham.
  • Some Brazilian preachers are prone to this (borderline/hilarious example).
  • The deceased Pope John Paul II had also his share of hamminess as well, specially in his first decade of pontificate (when his health still was more or less good). I.e., his visit to the still-under-dictatorship Chile had him reuniting a crowd of 90.000 in the Estadio Nacional for a speech, and the most recalled phrase he said there was a simply bombastic "No tengáis miedo... DE MIRARLO A ÉL!" (roughly translated as "Do not be afraid... OF STARING AAAAAT HIIIIIIIIIM!") (Him being God, obviously).
    • He did some acting before entering the priesthood, sometimes it showed.
  • Judge Ana Mari­a Polo from "Caso Cerrado":
    CASO CERRADO! [whack!]
  • The Lakota (Sioux) language has special constructions for rhetoric (in other words, it marks hamminess in its grammar the way Japanese marks politeness) — and men's speech is marked by using them. Apparently, the Sioux believed Real Men Chew Scenery.
  • This anti-gay marriage ad is made of GOD'S HAM. Even if you don't agree with the ad, it's entertaining to watch.
  • Film and Theatre version: Ken Page. He took over the role of Old Deuteronomy from BRIAN BLESSED, and voiced the villainous ham Oogie Boogie. Even when put on the spot, he doesn't fail to shine ham it up.
  • Jean-Bedel Bokassa, who crowned himself as Emperor of Central Africa, and spent 20 million just for his coronation.
  • Roberto Benigni, who ran down the chairs - not the aisle between the chairs, but the actual armrests of the chairs - when he won his two Oscars (Best Foreign Language Film and later Best Actor). He then proceeded to announce he wanted to make love to everyone in the room. And then there was his appearance on Conan O Brien's talk show in which the most calm thing he said was "THANK YOU, CONAN O'BRIEN!"
  • Richard Quest. He has quite possibly the most outrageously British voice of all time.
  • The German commentator during the final game of the soccer world cup 1954. Even more than fifty years later, this is the stuff of legends!
  • Linus Torvalds, introducing himself at the 1998 Linux Expo, Durham, NC: "My name is Linus Torvalds, and I am your God."
    • Also infamous for aiming a Precision F-Strike at nVidia during a conference for their uneven software support.
  • Gene Shalit. Just watch his review of The Mummy 3.
  • State-run TV news anchors can be very hammy in their support for their autocrats. Take this AK-47 toting Libyan news anchor for example.
  • Peter Travers for the Rolling Stone makes hammy video reviews. See for yourself...
  • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
  • Some people with Asperger's are this. Those who are like that tend exaggerate nearly all of their emotions and reactions. Some others with Asperger's are the opposite, and never have very strong reactions to 95% of things.
    • And some have a love affair with sarcasm.
  • Sarmatism was a cultural movement popular in XVII-XVIII Century Poland and Lithuania. In theory, it was meant to emulate the customs of ancient Sarmatians, but in practice, it was like an exercise in creating a World of Ham. Heavy cavalry? Have them wear leopard skins and giant metal wings. A speech? Infuse it with so much Gratuitous Latin there's hardly any Polish left, and don't forget to cry. Political protest? Fall to the ground, block the door with your body, rip your shirt and shout you'll let no one pass. Funeral? Doesn't count if there's no fully-armed Hussar riding into the church in full gallop and breaking his lance against the coffin stand, and ritual demolition of the dead man's insignia of office.
  • A fairly mild case, but John Kricfalusi's speech mannerisms tend to be very uneven. He's mumbling one word and he's literally shouting the next one. Especially obvious on the commentaries on Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon episodes.
  • Toronto Maple Leafs play-by-play commentator Joe Bowen qualifies ("Ho-ly Mackinaw!"), as does Buffalo Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret are both known for their complete absence of subtlety.
    • Hockey announcers approach Latin American football announcers in hamminess, especially when the play gets close to or results in a goal. Vancouver Canucks play-by-play man John Shorthouse is well-known for his trademark "GREAT SAVE, LUONGO!!!"
  • Former New Zealand cricket player Danny Morrison, bar none. His commentary work for the IPL is so eccentric, he's practically synonymous with this trope for cricket fans. Here are some highlights.
  • Internet sensation Phil Davison falls somewhere between this and Sanity Slippage.
  • Toddlers. Ever told your kid he couldn't have a cookie because it's too close to supper? Theatrical meltdowns may ensue.
  • William Shatner
  • Christopher Walken
  • Justin Roiland. He supplied the voice and scream for neuroatypical characters such as Lemongrab, Oscar, and Blendin Blandin. He's also the main brain of "The Grandma's Virginity Podcast," the creator of "House of Cosbys" and "Doc and Mharti," and one of the main writers/directors/producers of Channel 101's "Acceptable TV." Justin Roiland is most famous for his distinctive character voice- a high-pitched, grating, cracking voice that sounds a neurotic teenager going through puberty, and (for obvious reasons), his hilarious singing voice. He can make the sentences "WELCOME TO TALES FROM RAAAILROOOAD TIIIMES!!!" and "Aaaaie am next in llline to thee throwne!" sound funny.
  • Longtime ABC White House correspondent Sam Donaldson is a self-admitted example, stating at one point, "A lot of people say there's a lot of ham in me."
  • Scientist Richard Feynman has been described as "All ham, no baloney".
  • David Copperfield. His shows are about 10% magic and 90% ham, as he often hilariously lampshades, deconstructs and spoofs his own tricks.
  • Try a predominantly black Baptist Church. The preacher, the choir, the congregation take God to a new level of Ham.
    • Or any Pentecostal/Charismatic church, regardless of race.
    • It's safe to say that pretty much EVERY religion will have at least one faction of Large Hams within its congregation. Even religions whose lifestyle centers around being the total opposite of one.
  • The voiceovers in between songs on the Grupera music radio stations, as the La Mejor chain of stations can attest.
  • Colonel Mu'ammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al Gaddafi, Brother Leader and Guide to the Revolution.
  • Gilbert Gottfried to the point that a recording of his normal voice when calling to schedule for Howard Stern is the stuff of legend.
  • Vic Mignogna. Plenty of his voice-acting roles are non-hammy, but his real-life persona is pretty much all ham, all the time. The fact that he's playing Captain Kirk is evident enough.
  • Conductor Arturo Toscanini would often throw highly theatrical tantrums during rehearsals. He would shout. He would rage. He would snap his baton in half (they're cheap). He would tear off his wristwatch and stamp on it (it was always a two dollar watch, never one of his expensive ones). He would snatch the score from his music stand and tear it up (again, not hard to replace). One time, having snatched up his score, he remembered just in time that it was a new piece, that the publisher was in Europe, and that he was holding the only copy of the score in North America. Not wanting to wait for days or weeks while a new copy was brought in (or resort to sticky tape) he hurled it to the floor, stormed off, and got a flunky to pick it up and straighten all the pages.
  • Many conductors do this with their face - a calm-looking conductor will walk out, but once his/her back is to the orchestra, ridiculous facial expressions ensue.
  • The reason that people who act as if they are on a theatre stage come off as, well, overly theatrical, is due to the limits of acting at a distance from the audience far greater than most camera angles. You can't have a close up of a facial expression or fingers tapping to portray tension, only grand motions of the hand, body, and voice will convey the plot to the audience on the theatre stage. Thus, while clamping a hand over your heart and raising your fist to the heavens while booming out the plans for your revenge may come off as a bit much in a television or film production, its what is needed to convey the emotions of the scene on a live stage. Actors mention the difficulty of transitioning from the stage to the screen in this manner, so dropping a renowned theatre actor in as guest star on your television sitcom will have hilariously over the top results. Its not always ego.
    • The fact that so many of the actors from the silent movie era had a background in theatre (and the popularity of melodrama), along with the incredible amounts of makeup they had to wear to look properly on film at the time, led to the way early films looked and were made.
  • Mirriam Defensor Santiago of the Republic of the Philippines performed so hammily in the Impeachment of Chief Justice Corona. Not only did she give the prosecution team a painful scolding but also chewed the scenery to dust. Check these out
  • Sharon Stone. Modesty was never her strong suit.
  • French Canadian cable sports network RDS had its mini-putt tournament hosted by Richard Vleminx whose spectacular French hamminess turned an otherwise filler show into a gripping life-or-death struggle of titans. His calling out of a birdie rivaled that of the Latin soccer commentators mentioned above.
  • This guy is made of the PEOPLE'S HAM. Even if you don't agree with him, he's still fun to watch.
  • T. E. Lawrence. The portrayal of him in the movie wasn't too far off the mark.
  • Theodore Roosevelt. Bully!
  • Julie D'Aubigny: Duelist, opera singer, and all-around ham.
  • Donald Wolfit is an Ur-Example. He was roundly ridiculed in his time for his overblown Shakespearean acting, but he didn't leave this onstage. His angry rants and huge ego (deliberately hiring second-rate co-stars to focus attention on himself) made him the laughingstock of peers like Olivier and Gielgud. The play and movie The Dresser provide a fictionalized version of Wolfit.
  • Nancy Grace, a former trial lawyer who currently hosts a show on HLN. She takes each and every story very personal, which often results in emotionally-charged and heated debates with her guests. She also has a serious case of Missing White Woman Syndrome. As a result, she has developed a Love Itor Hate It fan following. Some of her haters have even accused her of being an example of Trial by Media.
  • Tiger Woods, despite always being nearly monotonal during interviews, has been known to completely lose his shit over making a putt. The best example is probably the double fist pump flex and yell from when he made a putt on the 72nd hole of the 2008 US Open to force a playoff. He looked like a DBZ character powering up.
  • Many coaches in sports can be this. Though 'most' are contained in post game interviews, during live competitions, emotions can get a little out of control. Notable examples include:
    • Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher. He was called the Bulldog partly because of a noticeable underbite, and partly because whenever anything bad happened during a game, he could be seen jumping up and down, flailing, yelling, spitting, snarling, and probably swearing on the sidelines. And when something good happened, he'd often be jumping up and down, flailing, yelling, spitting, snarling, and probably swearing with a psychotic smile on his face.
    • Current New York Jets coach, Rex Ryan. He's one of the rare ones that is a ham in interviews. His staggering, loud confidence in his team provides interesting contrast to how embarrassingly bad they are.
    • Former Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox holds the record for most ejections from MLB games, due to his frequent, over the top arguments with umpires whenever he didn't like a call.
    • Argentine soccer coach Marcelo Bielsa.
  • Anonymous 13 B is quite the ham. Listen to virtually any of his recordings, and you'll see.
  • Siamese cats, with their insistent, loud meowing.
  • Italy is a Country of Ham: Italians tend to speak out loud and passionate and make relatively wild gestures, and speak a particularly flowery language, resulting in them appearing hammy to most non-Italians and often not realizing that non-Italians are being hammy. Case in point: to Italians, Benito Mussolini (mentioned above) is not hammy, Roberto Benigni is somewhat hammy, and Roberto Da Crema (a notorious telemarketer) is not Chewing the Scenery in this video (but only in this video, as he had little time. If he has enough time, he gets a lot hammier).
  • Henrik Wergeland. He was possibly the largest ham Norway has ever known. Riding his horse up a stairway to greet his hosts during a formal party may have been an exaggeration, and it may not be. Cracking a bottle over his head to get attention when everybody else wanted to shut him up also counts. Wergeland was also taller than the regular guy, so his sole appearance was hammy.
  • Wergeland`s father, Nicolai Wergeland had it coming during the 1814 constituent assembly, but he was arguably only one of a longer list of hams attending it. The Norwegian constituency that year assembled more hams than ever before, or possibly since.
  • Richard Sherman, cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks, got a lot of heat for his loud comments after making the game saving play to send his team into the Super Bowl for the 2013-2014 season which the team won. However, days after the backlash, the heat against Sherman was subverted and focused on the many people on social media that made rude and racist comments against Sherman, blowing the thing way out of proportion.
  • This man who, being interviewed by a street reporter, gave a two and a half minute long speech until finally ripping his shirt open.
  • The famous NYC/California weathercaster Lloyd Lindsay Young, often beginning his forecasts with his trademark saying, Hellooooooooooo, (PLACE)!

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