A ridiculously larger-than-life character, public speaker, or orator full of charisma, energy, joie de vivre
, blood as hot as the surface of the Sun
and poetically powerful speeches with dramatic gestures
that can devastate a scene to a billion pieces
and transform the most soul-crushingly boring into the most GRANDIOSE
. Often played by a guest star with an Internet Movie Database listing longer than the rest of the cast put together.
They usually lack an indoor voice
, and greatly relish badass boastings
where they will punctuate
and emphasize EVERYTHING
. The first line
from the Large Ham will be dramatic, portentous, often just before the act break and can almost always be replaced with: "Did somebody order A LARGE HAM?!" Try it at home; it's great fun.
Popular implementations include: BRIAN BLESSED
in Britain, William Shatner
in North America, and Norio Wakamoto
in Japan. Many large hams in the past have some experience in stage acting and theater: when you have to poetically act for the back rows (especially when coupled with music
) it makes sense. Having an outrageous appearance is helpful but not a requirement. While often male, female actors can pull it off, but it's rarer for them. Often cast as a one scene wonder
, or a key redeeming element
in shows that are So Bad, It's Good
The origin of the term is unclear: is either from the use of hamfat as a cheap make-up remover in the old days of theatre, or because "ham" serves as short for "amateur" (as in ham radio
); Leslie Charteris stated it derived from "Hamlet
" in a The Saint
short story. Another possibility is the phrase of a 'hamfisted' way of handling a situation.
One of the United Kingdom's most active export industries. If a character is depicted as an American in a BBC series, he's likely to be one of these. If in a few scenes many Large Hams come together, the likely result is Ham-to-Ham Combat
Large Hams are a very rich source
of Vitamin Meme
and very often feature in YouTube Poops
is their primary flaw, the large hams are likely to have come from Hillshire Narm
!) But more often these actors are Narm Charm
. A few moments of over-acting do not make a Large Ham. The actor must, to all intents and purposes, be deliberately playing the character that way.
A Large Ham may occasionally be Crazy Awesome
. Often a character trait of the Boisterous Bruiser
. Villainous Hams
also enjoy getting Drunk on the Dark Side
. A Smug Super
relishes showing off their power this way.
Note that although it is rare, one can be very hammy without raising one's voice at all. Being hammy is about the emphasis
in what you say (and Milking the Giant Cow
to no small degree), and while emphasis can be easily shown by having No Indoor Voice
, it is not the only way.
If it is the setting itself
that seems to demand
that ham is served in profusion
, dipped in abundant Hot Blood
, because it's just
how the setting works
, you may be in front of a World of Ham
: those can provide for marvelous
your Willing Suspenders Of Disbelief
are elastic enough.
, Ham and Cheese
, Milking the Giant Cow
, Evil Is Hammy
, Incoming Ham
, Ham-to-Ham Combat
, Drama Queen
, Comical Overreacting
Contrast Danger Deadpan
, The Stoic
, Soft Spoken Sadist
, The Quiet One
Just so it's noted, just because a character/actor is hammy does not mean they are bad or ridiculous - far from it!