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"Yeah, listen, I hated that script. We all did. Me, Sean, Chris, we all were in it for the money on this one. I mean, it read as if it had been written by a thirteen-year old boy. But I'd never played a barbarian swordsman before, and this was my first big evil mastermind type. I figured if I was going to do this stupid movie, I might as well have fun and go as far over the top as I possibly could. All that eye-rolling and foaming at the mouth was me deciding that if I was going to be in a piece of shit like that movie, I was going to be the most memorable fucking thing in it. And I think I succeeded."
Eric Idle as "Evil Martin" in The Secret of NIMH 2. Probably the best part about that movie.
Malcolm McDowelll as Lord Maliss in the "Snow White" animated knock-off Happily Ever After. Also Ed Asner as his henchman, the owl Scowl.
Kenneth Mars as Voltor in The Adventures of the American Rabbit. The script is garbage, but Mars is shamelessly over the top in every one of his lines, automatically making his role the most enjoyable.
Films — Live-Action
Raul Julia just seemed to love this trope. If he had a reason to invoke this trope - any reason - he would.
The Addams Family too, but then, the whole cast was hamming it up except for Angelica Huston, and that's probably because her character just didn't work that way - Morticia, just by virtue of sitting back and letting Gomez chew scenery, ends up being the funniest one by treating the silliness around her as perfectly normal.
His performance in a production of Kiss Me, Kate (a take on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew) is a wonderful example of it; he takes the over-the-top Petruchio and manages to turn the hamminess Up to Eleven.
Looney Tunes: Back in Action gave us Steve Martin as the ACME Chairman (no name given), who was undoubtedly a Dr. Evil-esque parody of James Bond villains, combined with corporation owner (arguably based on the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies''). While the film wasn't exactly the greatest Looney Tunes piece ever made (quite the opposite, according to critics), Martin just went all-out with his character. In some of the developer reels, they talked about how Martin genuinely liked being silly with his character so much he would even stay in character during breaks for no other reason than because he could. Half the stuff they threw in because he ad-libbed it on the set.
Martin (voice steadily rising further into the speech): Here is your father, tied to these railroad tracks, and here is the ACME Train of Death, right on schedule! You see, Mr. Drake, if the train of death doesn't kill him, then maybe those cr-r-rates of T.N.T. will, not to mention the two-ton anvil hanging over his head, and— oh look! That's the Pendulum of Doom! What is the Pendulum of Doom doing there!? I did not order the Pendulum of Doom! THAT'S OVERKILL!GET RID OF IT!
In Godzilla (1998), Jean Reno's Gallic disdain for American coffee, cigarettes, and doughnuts, along with his extreme competence, make him far and away the best thing in the movie. He's cheesier than a croque-monsieur, and yet his diet consists solely of scenery.
Had a cast of veteran actors, including big profile stars Aaron Eckhart and Oscar winner Hilary Swank. Yet Stanley Tucci seems to have been the only person in it that was aware of the utter ridiculousness of the plot and thus provided a really campy performance. He is arguably the most entertaining thing in the movie. You can't necessarily tell from his performance, but Aaron Eckhart later admitted in an interview that he could barely keep a straight face through most of his lines.
"None of us could believe our eyes when we finally saw who else had been cast. These guys are all great actors; Stanley Tucci, Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo, Bruce Greenwood. We kind of all looked at each and said 'you too?' ... Stanley Tucci and I got to manhandle some nuclear bombs, and there were times we were laughing so hard that he almost literally went to the bathroom in his space suit."
The director himself gives as good as his cast in the DVD commentary. It's either exquisite self-parody turned up to eleven, or he really believes he was "staying true to his vision" and that the movie is untrammelled, if under-appreciated, genius. Either would explain a great deal.
Malkovich is pretty notorious for this on his own as well:
Malkovich got into the whole silly, OTT atmosphere in Con Air as well. To the point where he's standing on the ramp of a plane in flight, holding a pistol to the head of a soft toy and yelling at an assault chopper.
Aasif Mandvi plays Admiral Zhao in The Last Airbender the same way he usually portrays himself on The Daily Show or other comedy-based productions. Thus, lines that were supposedly serious come across as hilarious when he reads them ("This is a SCROLL FROM THE GREAT LIBRARY!")
Richard E. Grant as the flamboyant, over-the-top villain in Bruce Willis' musical heist movie Hudson Hawk. From his very first scene, it is wonderfully obvious that Grant is hamming it Up to Eleven. Richard E. Grant also has very interesting views in hindsight of the film, if you can find interviews on the web somewhere. It's probably easier to find his published diaries (With Nails - geddit?) which include Hudson Hawk among many film set recollections. They're a good chuckle.
Ewan McGregor in The Island. He also shows a bit of it in the Star Wars prequels, although generally he's just reading his lines, rather like Sir Alec Guinness did in the same role for the original film. He enjoys himself much better when fighting than when talking, really.
Alec Guinness in Scrooge (the Albert Finney version) gives the most upbeat, sarcastic Jacob Marley performance in history. Even during the scene in HELL of all places, he's skipping around and milking every bit of ham he can out of his lines.
Kirk Douglas as the title character in The Villain. There is simply no way that he read that script (it's essentially a live-action Roadrunner cartoon) and expected it to be anything but a big, luscious, gooey block of Velveeta.
Frank Langella as Skeletor in Masters of the Universe. He's always enjoyable, especially with his Evil Gloating. Especially near the end. Langella loved hamming it up so much that he doesn't even consider his role an Old Shame; he actually says it's one of his most favorite roles he's ever played!
Brazilian movie Zoando na TV is stupid, cheap and would be unwatchable if not for the hammy and hilarious Miguel Fallabella
Some of Peter Sellers' films from the early 1970s, when he desperately needed the work, most notably the unreleased-until-the-VHS era comedy-adventure Ghost in the Noonday Sun (1974). David Lodge, a friend, commented to Sellers biographer Alexander Walker "It was a case of the wrong people in charge of the right people." Luckily, Peter was playing a bedraggled pirate baddie, so he was free to be hammy and took the opportunity.
Max von Sydow as Ming in the Flash Gordon movie. A touch more restrained than many on this list, but definitely having fun with the part, and Topol as Zarkov is, ironically, a Jewish ham.
Both of them must have realized that you have to work hard to be remembered in a movie with BRIAN BLESSED.
In Demolition Man, Wesley Snipes is having the time of his life as over-the-top bad guy Simon Phoenix.
Batman Forever has Jim Carrey babbling about "brainwave manipulation", stating that his neon wardrobe keeps him "safe while he's jogging at night." Ham and cheese on rye. One gets the impression that Tommy Lee Jones was using the film as an excuse to enjoy himself as well. Case in point, the entire sequence involving the attack on Wayne Manor.
Uma Thurman's performance in Batman & Robin. She clearly thought she was signing up for something good (Batman? And George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger are gonna be in it? Sounds awesome!) and then...got the script. And saw the sickeningly neon costumes. She plays Poison Ivy as a completely over-the-top villainess, and she's clearly having a fabulous time doing it. One of the very few saving graces of that movie. The same goes for Schwarzenegger, who admitted to hating the Mr. Freeze armor he had to keep wearing. He sure looks like he's having fun though.
Laurence Olivier in the 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice, complete with period-wrong costumes, casting that had the lead actors twenty years older than their characters, and inexplicable plot alterations that turned it into a farcical shadow of the book. Olivier's Darcy was a smarmy, smirking, effeminately fluttering dandy whose only function was to be shot down repeatedly by Elizabeth. From Olivier, a performance that bad had to be an intentional piss-take.
There was Chris Klein, who was channeling two parts Christian Slater and one part David Caruso in his portrayal of Charlie Nash.
Duncan pulls a similar performance as Kingpin in Daredevil.
This movie also gave us Colin Farrell in a Hamfully stunning performance as Bullseye, a giggling, frothing, leather-clad Irishman. You just know he's taking the piss the whole time.
There is a terribleMade For TV horror movie based on a Dean Koontz novel called Intensity. It is a movie littered with awful actors and an Idiot Plot for the ages, containing so many nonsense plot points and moron characters that it is virtually unwatchable... until you see that the killer is played by none other than John C. McGinley, who makes it his business to play the Ax-Crazy villain so over-the-top entertaining that you giggle with delight virtually every moment he's on screen.
Michael York's performance in Megiddo: The Omega Code 2: what is otherwise a terribly acted, terrible special effect filled Christian B-Movie becomes a So Bad, It's Good laugh riot solely due to York playing his role as the Antichrist with record breaking amounts of ham. You can tell he's enjoying himself immensely.
The Arnold Schwarzenegger apocalypse flick End of Days. Despite the presence of Kevin Pollack and Rod Steiger, the best thing in the film just may be Gabriel Byrne's Satan. He is all too aware that he is in a bad film, and swaggers through it like a drunken rock star. His character's introductory scene (after being possessed by Satan) involves him walking out of a restaurant's bathroom, making out with his possessee's date while copping a feel, then blowing up the restaurant for no reason and doing an Unflinching Walk out of the flames. The director reported near-fights among the female extras over who would get to kiss Mr. Byrne.
Komodo, the Big Bad of Warriors of Virtue is... astonishing. Angus Macfadyen seems to spend the entire film on the verge of bursting into laughter, and frequently gives in. Wow. What was he on? Given that the same actor played the stoic DuPont in Equilibrium and Robert the Bruce in Braveheart (both under a lot less makeup), he is clearly capable of turning in a subtle performance. Given what he had to work with, he must've just decided to pop some E and go Looney Tunes.
Michael Ironside's portrayal of Big Bad General Katana. The statement from him at the top of the page is quite possibly the most explicit admission of engaging in this trope in cinema history.
Highlander II also features John C. McGinley (who, by his own admittance, was channeling Orson Welles) as The Dragon. Spoony, in his commentary for his review of the film, stated that although he hated the film overall, he gave credit to McGinley's performance.
Highlander: Endgame features Bruce Payne (who also hammed it up as Jeremy Irons' lackey in Dungeons & Dragons) as the main villain, Jacob Kell, who gives one of the most questionable performances of the entire series.
Kell: What's wrong? Don't you want to be inside me?
The Guardian acts ludicrously over the top in every scene he's in in Highlander: The Source. As Spoony pointed out, every word out of his mouth is a wisecrack.
Brian Cox seems to be the only cast member from Troy who thinks "Ah, It Will Never Catch On.", judging by his performance. "This is a man drunk with power," he told an interviewer, "It's the best part in the film!"
He is outdone by a fan of Troy in this scene commentary: "The greatest battle of all time! MWHAHAHAHAHA!"
Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom had moments of this in Troy. Brad Pitt, fully capable of all ranges in performance, looks halfway comatose unless he's got a shirtless scene, in which case he turns into a Large Ham. Bloom is clearly out to lunch for half the movie and has fun with it when his character gets lines.
In his long career, Sir Christopher Lee played this trope many times. An awesome actor, he nevertheless played (mostly villains) in many, many awful B flicks, and then deliberately set his acting to over-the-top mode. As a result, these movies often ended up into the So Bad, It's Good zone, almost only because of him. It probably helps that he'll rarely flinch at any project offered him. He once did the narration for a Rhapsody of Fire album, back when they were still called Rhapsody, and stated in the interview that he was told when he was young that a person should try everything in life, except murder and incest.
Al Pacino, from iconic performances in classic films like The Godfather and Dog Day Afternoon, was widely believed to be one of the greatest actors in the history of film. Al "HOO-AH!!" Pacino, from oversized performances in films like S1m0ne, Gigli and 88 Minutes, is widely believed to enjoy money. Ironically, it's the latter who won the Oscar.
Uma Thurman and Steve Coogan seem to be the only actors having a blast in the otherwise bad and forgettable film adaptation of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. And it shows in their over-the-top but awesome performances.
Nicolas Cage's overacting is part of the reason for the humor in many scenes of the So Bad, It's Good remake of The Wicker Man. He admitted in an interview that after finding out he was going to punch a woman while wearing a bear suit in it, it became impossible to take it seriously, and it shows in the film's much plentiful narm.
Michael Sheen, who joined the cast of Twilight to make his daughter happy. You can tell he's aware that he's in a film that caters almost exclusively to screaming tweens, none of whom will give him a second glance, and he hams it up magnificently.
Ralph Fiennes again in the Clash of the Titans remake, playing Hades in that film. In the midst of a mostly negative review in the Washington Post, the review comments that "Fiennes' appearance provides a jolt. Arriving always with his head curiously fixed within a cloud of swirling black smog, he knows how to make an entrance. His part is surely the best in the movie, and he's clearly having fun."
Liam Neeson comes seriously close to out-hamming him, if not succeeding. Either way, the real clash in this movie is the Ham-to-Ham Combat both actors are clearly enjoying. RELEASE THE KRAKEN LARGE HAM!!!
Many critics have said that Nicole Parker is the only part of a Seltzer and Friedberg "film" that's even remotely enjoyable to watch. Critics said that while her roles in Epic Movie and Disaster Movie consist of just dressing up like celebrities and other movie characters and delivering some very low-grade "jokes", she actually puts some effort in it, and overacts with a style to the point where she can almost get a laugh.
Christopher Walken in The Country Bears. It's one of Disney's mostly forgettable 'family films'. However, Walken's completely over-the-top performance as the evil banker makes it a lot more tolerable.
"THIS IS NOT OVAH! .....BEARS!!!
Just watch this. Congratulations, you've seen everything worth seeing in that movie.
Consider this - he had Jonathan Harris' incredibly over the top portrayal of Dr. Smith from the TV series to try living up to.
In Les Misérables (1998), Geoffrey Rush as Inspector Javert steals the show, and manages to be awesome despite his character being forced to play the villain instead of the original noble antagonist. But man, does he enjoy! And then he suddenly gives us that Tear Jerker ending.
ALL of the killers from low-budget satire/horror $la$her$ hammed it up like pro-wrestlers (quite beautifully considering they were all non-actors). Justified, since they're entertainers as well as psychopaths, and play it to the hilt for their studio audience.
The new A-Team movie: The main cast looks like they're having an absolute blast, especially Liam Neeson and Sharlto Copley.
As well they should. If you watch an episode of the old show, the original cast was having a blast, too (especially Dwight Schultz as the original Murdock).
George Peppard hams it up like crazy in this show, but his interviews after the show ended made it clear it was a perfectly miserable experience for him (especially his relationship with Mr. T which was fractured until just before his death).
SLC Punk! is a basic stoner movie, but Til Schweiger shows up as Mark, a unhinged wealthy European, and steals his scenes with this weird wild-eyed enthusiasm (as seen here), even though he's not super-loud, like some examples on this list.
Mark (brandishing a laser disc): Dere's a movie in dere! * smiles gleefully*
Michael Gambon's performance as Lt. General Leland Zevo in Toys. And getting hammier and hammier as the movie approaches its climax.
About 50% of the ouevre of Christopher Walken is this, especially since The Nineties. It is an article of faith in Hollywood that, if you have a real stinker of a movie, just give a supporting role to Walken, and that'll be good for an extra two or three stars on IMDb. And you know what? It's true.
Alec Baldwin tries his hand at this as the slimy bad guy in The Cat in the Hat. Mike Myers tries as well, but . . . fails.
And finally, Ernie Hudson as the "Great White Hunter" of the group though he "happens to be black!"
Most of the halfway decent actors in films by Bruno Mattei, Joe D'Amato, or any of their contemporaries do this. A great example being Gabriel Carrera's performance in SS Girls.
Kenneth McMillan in David Lynch's adaptation of Dune. It's quite impressive to be wearing a ridiculous fatsuit and covered in disgusting oozing boils, and still have your actual performance turn out to be the most memorable thing about your character. Is it any wonder the man drank himself to death a few years later?
"I want you to squeeeeze this part in the film! Squeeeeze and squeeeze until the role is sucked dry! Give me SPICE!"
Much of the severely reduced budget for Superman IV: The Quest for Peace apparently went to the actors' salaries to get them to return to the series after the Troubled Production of Superman II, and Gene Hackman was one of the actors in question. But he still has a ball as Lex Luthor, with lots of fun villainous one-liners. He pulls double duty as the voice of all-brawn, no-brains baddie Nuclear Man and his grunts and roars have this trope written all over it. As the Nostalgia Critic/Linkara joint review points out, it's funny to imagine what must have gone on in the recording studio.
Kate Nauta in The Transporter 2. It's pretty clear from her line delivery and facial expressions that once she read the script (which calls for her character, Lola, to spend half her screentime wearing a soaking-wet negligee, disheveled hair and runny eye makeup while dual-wielding pistols and gunning down all manner of individuals), she decided to take it as far as she could, and she looks to be the only person not to deliver the cornball material in a serious manner.
Aaliyah, Stuart Townsend and Vincent Perez all seem fully aware of how silly Queen of the Damned is, and they all look like they're having a great time chewing on the scenery. Townsend and Aaliyah in particular really go to town with it, making ridiculous overblown gestures and milking relatively mundane lines to the point where it's damn near hilarious.
Rob Arbogast in The Mailman, a lame thriller that borders on being softcore porn. As one review put it - "Rob Arbogast plays the role of the mailman with a maximum degree of cocky taunting sleaziness that goes way beyond professionalism into a clear relish for the part."
A rare intentional case, Chris Cooper's villian in The Muppets is written with over the top ham, and you can tell that he's having a ball with it.
The film adaption of Spawn is considered lackluster at best, with a weak story and special effects that looked old when it was released in the 90's. Among all this however is John Leguizamo, who seemed to realize what he was acting in, and hammed up his scene stealing role as The Clown/The Violator.
Most of the cast of R.I.P.D. seem to get into hamming it up or playing their roles in a tongue-in-cheek manner.
Bill Nighy loves to do this. While he's capable of turning in a positively sublime and restrained performance, watch out when he gets a role in something like Underworld or I, Frankenstein, because the ham will be flying before you can say "What the hell is that accent?" Critics who otherwise dislike such films often point out that Nighy's scenery-chewing is invariably the most entertaining thing about them, even as everyone else involved takes them far too seriously for their own good.
Blade: Trinity was unquestionably the low point in the series. It did, however, give us this exchange:
Drake: Blade...are you ready to die? Blade: I was born ready, muthafucka! Drake: ..."Motherfucker". I like that...
Fred "Slacktivist" Clark: Gordon Currie, who plays Nicolae Carpathia like he's auditioning for the role of Tim Curry.
Piper Laurie in the 1976 version of Carrie. Upon reading the script, she believed that the film was a Black Comedy due to how over-the-top her character, Carrie's fundamentalistmother Margaret, was, to the point where director Brian De Palma at one point had to pull her aside to remind her that they were, in fact, making a serious horror film. It still didn't stop her from hamming it up and laughing hysterically between takes. It ultimately turned out well for everybody involved, as her performance was the reason why Margaret White became one of the most terrifying villains in horror movie history. The kicker? She still thinks the film is a Black Comedy.
In The Name Of The King has Ray Liotta as the villainous Gallian, gloating about declaring himself king of the orcs - er, Krug, and Matthew "Shaggy Rogers" Lillard as the slightly less villainous Duke Fallow, whose drunkenness is overplayed to ridiculous extents. This served as a contrast to Jason Statham, who plays the hero as though his most emotionally affecting experiences cause mild flatulence or a faint headache, and Ron Perlman, who mostly limits his acting to pretending he gives a damn.
"The Celestial Toymaker" was a script heavily hampered by No Budget conditions and the fact that the plot's central point had been made impossible by copyright disputes, leading to much of the story being basically Padding. On the other hand, Michael Gough chews on scenery hand over fist and is obviously loving the opportunity to be an over-the-top, hammy villain. He even takes the script seriously in some places to deliver some surprisingly intense interactions with the Doctor.
Professor Zaroff in "The Underwater Menace" is likely this. Most fans (and the cast and crew) find "The Underwater Menace" hokey, nonsensical and generally stupid, but Joseph Fürst played Zaroff so outrageously over-the-top and with so much Chewing the Scenery that he becomes an entertaining and memorable villain (although the interview with Anneke Wills on the reconstruction audio suggests that she thought he Took the Bad Film Seriously, and that she and Troughton would constantly make him repeat his line "NOTHINK IN ZE VORLD CAN SHTOP ME NOW!!" to laugh at him and he never realised they were mocking him).
Philip Sandifer thought that Patrick Troughton, as the Doctor, was hamming it up out of boredom in the serial The Dominators, a story that most people find excruciatingly boring:
Forced to do a scene in which the central joke is the use of the "number nine pill"note a 1960s military prescription laxative to create a bomb, he gives up all pretense of playing the Doctor and simply begins trying to clown the script into submission in a desperate attempt to make it even remotely watchable. You can frankly see the will to live just drain out of his eyes.note This is slightly inaccurate - the 'number nine pill' line wasn't scripted and was an adlib from Troughton, although the reported desperation is there.
Tom Baker was, according to the special features on "Robot", specifically cast for this - as the future of the show at that point was uncertain due to the lead actor and entire production team changing (and there had been several attempts to kill the show off), the casting director's brief was to find someone who was a very good actor and 'so charismatic that he is fun to watch even when nothing else is'.
Before Tom Baker got to the point where he could change lines in the script, he tended to really overact stupid lines of dialogue or unfunny jokes he would have to say - usually delivering them by fixing the camera with his eyes and overacting the line with a contemptuous "can you believe I am saying this shit?!" grin, as if asking the audience to laugh at the show itself. (For some examples, watch his face during his 'naturally, the others were all foreigners' and his 'ask the Titanic - glug, glug, glug!!' lines in "Robot", or his face when getting through the racist jokes in "The Talons of Weng-Chiang". This draws a lot of attention to the clunkers, unfortunately, but pushes at least a few of them into So Unfunny It's Funny.
Both Elisabeth Sladen and Tom Baker (especially) have an absolutely wonderful time overacting their way through the incredibly out-of-characterand cynicallyrecycled audio drama Dr Who and the Pescatons. Tom Baker delivers his bad lines with an audible smirk, comes up with all sorts of fun ways of interpreting a 'generic Doctor'-type script to fit the Fourth Doctor's character and even bursts out into song at one point.
The 1979 story The Horns of Nimon. Despite Graham Crowden's legendary chewing of scenery there was plenty of set left for other actors to dine on. One of the other characters - the co-pilot, played by Malcolm Terris - has the catchphrase "WEAKLING SCUM!" that he delivers in increasingly over-the-top pantomimic ways. Even more delicious is that during his death scene he overacts so spectacularly that his trousers visibly split. According to Doctor Who Magazine, "WEAKLING SCUM!!!" wasn't even in the script, Terris came up with it all by himself. Pop him between two slices of bread and you'd have a ham and cheese sandwich you could use to beat a bear to death.
Colin Baker: no matter how awful the Sixth Doctor's attitude (and Baker's personal life at the time) got, his truly marvellous overacting always made up for a lot.
Timelash. Paul Darrow gives a performance that has to be seen to be disbelieved. He later said that this was revenge for Colin Baker's Large Ham tendencies when he appeared on Blake's 7 as Bayban the Butcher.
Kate O'Mara is clearly having a wonderful time playing the vampy, CampyMad Scientist villainess the Rani in all three of the godawful stories the character was in. In fact, many people think that easily the worst story out of them - "Dimensions in Time" - had the best Rani.
Eric Roberts seemed to be doing this as the Master in the TV movie.
The Sycorax Leader andDavid Tennant in his debut role as the Tenth Doctor during The Christmas Invasion. Killer Santas and killer Christmas Trees meet a bellicose alien who wants to sell humanity into slavery. When he meets Ten, it results in Ham-to-Ham Combat. And when the Sycorax Leader is practically frothing at the mouth, Ten decides to mock him and takes the ham through the ceiling.
Sycorax Leader:(growling) I DEMAND TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!
On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, one episode's plot forced the main cast to act out the roles in Dr. Bashir's James Bond holosuite program. Avery Brooks, in the role of an intentionally campy Omnicidal Maniac Bond villain, wolfed down the scenery and went back for seconds.
Over in Star Trek: The Next Generation: You are Patrick Stewart. You have a dodgy script that isn't likely to be filmed very well for an episode called "Masks". You also have a prop with a distinctly phallic shape. What do you do? a) Try manfully to turn in a good performance; b) Sleepwalk through the episode, or c) Hold the prop with its base right in front of your crotch, emphasise the words that make the best euphemisms in that scene, and make Jonathan Frakes crack up ?
The BBC documentary series Simon Schama's Power of Art focuses less on documentation and more on ridiculously dramatized reenactments of famous artists throughout history. Particularly notable is Andy "Gollum" Serkis as Vincent van Gogh.
The cast of Canadian Musketeer series Young Blades used to veer madly between narm-tastic attempts to take the bad show seriously, and bouts of outrageous tongue-in-cheek ham. The latter approach was a lot more successful, as it was often damn hilarious to watch and caused the series to tip over into So Bad, It's Good territory. Robert Sheehan (King Louis XIV) was probably the only cast member with Ham and Cheese as his default setting - his camp and outlandish performance was easily the most entertaining part of the show.
Peter Dickson, the famous Voiceover Man of shows such as The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, is well known and loved for his overdramatic voiceovers, most brilliantly amplified in a BBC comedy bit where he does the voice at home to a long-suffering wife.
While David Caruso is known for being a somewhat pretentious asshole, he is really over the top as CSI: Miami's Horatio Caine. He said that the script forced him to do it initially, as in early episodes of the first season he appears to be more humane. Later on, he's made of ham and cheese, and his performance... *shades on* is damn tasty. YEEEAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!
The entire cast of Gilligan's Island was painfully aware of the show's caliber, and often turned to this trope for solace. Jim Backus still managed to stand out.
Barbara Goodson (Rita's English voice), Jason Narvy (Skull), Paul Schrier (Bulk), and Robert Axelrod (various monsters, Lord Zedd) clearly get a kick out of their roles in Power Rangers.
One interesting example from the series is the character of Divatox from the Turbo movie and season and the Space season. In the movie, the latter part of the Turbo season, and all of In Space, she was played by Hilary Shepard Turner in this manner. For many fans, she was all that made any of Turbo watchable. But for the first 60% or so of that season, she was away on maternity leave and replaced by Carol Hoyt. Carol took the role much more seriously, which came across as rather boring and generic. Most fans still prefer Hilary's version and were happy to have her back.
Not to mention Dean Stockwell, who appears to be channeling Shatner.
24 had its very lackluster seventh season that was part of a multiple-season Dork Age where one of the primary memorable scene stealers was Jon Voight as Jonas Hodges, an over-the-top Corrupt Corporate Executive that had little to no trouble chewing the scenery whenever he showed his face in a scene. Not too shockingly, after Hodges was taken out of the picture the majority of the fans felt that the rest of Season 7 completely nosedived.
While being a Large Ham is in the job description, special mention should go to Dusty Rhodes. Many wrestling observers saw his time in WWE in the 1980s as shameful, as it involved him dancing around the ring in a polka-dot suit and getting his head stuck in toilets. Rhodes, however, has since said that was the most fun he had as a wrestler, since he didn't have to worry about booking duties and backstage politics like he did in WCW.
For that matter, his sons. Goldust has won numerous "worst character of the year" awards, but he goes so over the top in his portrayal and voice that it's such a joy to watch. And for "Dashing" Cody Rhodes...well...just hit him in the face. You can clearly see how much fun he has in his responses.
The Rock seemed to be trying to top him during his later appearances.
Chris Jericho has made a career out of trying to out-do them both.
Shawn Michaels used this to do a Take That to Wrestling/Hulk Hogan, when backstage politics lead to him getting buried in a match. Michaels, rather than try to turn in the normal top-tier performance you're supposed to try for a PPV, spent the whole match flying around the ring◊ in ways that would make a Ragdoll Physics programmer think he was overdoing it.
You can also count on this whenver Michaels teams up with Triple H (rarely these days, unfortunately) in D-Generation X. WWE is so intrinsically absurd anyway that you tend to get used to all the folderol and usually manage only a mild chuckle - but DX will make you laugh right out loud. Uncontrollably.
A lot of the humor CM Punk provides will come from his intentional overacting or telling an intentionally bad joke.
Bad News Barrett. While it isn't enough to redeem the gimmick in most fans eyes, he clearly enjoys the gimmick
The series in general has Doctor Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik. While the Adventure-to-Heroes-era and 4Kids voice actors were much criticized, Deem Bristow and Mike Pollock respectively stood out in doses of awesomely cheesy ham and memorable catchphrases. In fact, when Sega finally gave in to fan complaints and replaced the 4Kids actors in 2010, Pollock – by far the most popular and least criticized of the cast – was the only one of the bunch to keep his job.
Indeed, it has often been said about the series that Robotnik has never had a bad voice actor.note With the possible exception of Gary Chalk, who played Dr. R in Underground (itself not a popular series), due to his trying too hard to sound like Jim Cummings. In the cartoon adaptations, Long John Baldry (Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog) and Jim Cummings (Sonic Sat AM) both play him ridiculously over-the-top (though in very different ways) and both give the most memorable performances in their respective shows.
Even with the otherwise terrible voice acting of Sonic The Movie, Edwin Neal was actually pretty good as Robotnik.
Sir Michael Gambon (Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies) plays the ghost of 16th century knight Sir William Hawksmoor in Ghost Hunter, his only videogame appearance to date. Whether he's threatening the heroine, "I wantFLESH", performing William Shakespeare on a high-school stage (yes, seriously), giving orders to the ghost of a killer who died in the electric chair, pleading for his unlife with an unseen Parliament, or negotiating with modern day military, it's pure Ham and Cheese.
He's not the only one. Rob Paulsen, Joe Morton, Andre Sogliuzzo, Michael Cochrane, and Veronica Hart are all chewing the scenery at one time or another, including a ghostly high school librarian breaking into the school song.
Leonard Nimoy as Master Xehanort in Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep hams it up SPECTACULARLY. Just so we're clear, he's playing the original incarnation of the first game's villain - y'know, the guy played by Billy Zane who outhammed half the Disney rogues gallery? That's a lot of scenery to chew, but Nimoy manages it.
"I SWORE I would surVIIIIIIIIIVE, and be there to see what awaited beYOOOOOND the Keyblade WAAAAARRR! And it is YOOOUUURR DARKNESS that will be the ARK that susTAAAAAIIINS MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"
His Seiyuu in Japan did just as well, too. Master Xehanort was intended to be a ham of biblical proportions, as evidenced by the wild gesticulations, the god complex, and the fact that just about every Xehanort character takes massive bites out of the scenery in any game they're in.