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Ham and Cheese

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Raúl Juliá's ham and Street Fighter's cheese makes for one delicious combination.

"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."
Michael Ironside on his role of General Katana in Highlander II: The Quickening

Say you're an actor and a damn good one at that. You're hot stuff in Hollywood, with directors throwing money at your feet to be in their film. So you pick the one that gets you the most cash or sounds the most promising in general. It'll all be fine, right? Wrong. You arrive on set to find what seems to be a film Gone Horribly Wrong, complete with Special Effects Failure, horrible actors, and a script with so much cheese and so many holes it might as well be printed on deli Swiss. What's a star to do?

Well, you have options. You could just say "Screw This, I'm Outta Here", storm off and refuse to associate with the film ever again, you could take the project seriously, and try with all your might to make it work... Or you could unleash The Hog, milk that great big heifer dry, and chew the scenery into a fine pulp. If it's going to be a well-remunerated bad movie, you might as well enjoy yourself, eh? And who knows? You might even end up saving the film.

After all... What could go better with all that cheese than a big slab of HAM?

You may notice that these performances tend to appear in tandem with ones that Took the Bad Film Seriously if only because they are such obvious Foils for each other. Also, compare One-Scene Wonder; both roles/actors in these films play memorable, often over-the-top enjoyable performances and can make them one of the best parts of a film. Compare the Rule of Sean Connery; the rule often applies to actors who know exactly when to serve up the Ham and Cheese.

Can overlap with Questionable Casting and Awesome, Dear Boy. Compare Chewing the Scenery, Wag the Director. Contrast Took the Bad Film Seriously.

NOTE: This is not for listing hammy roles in good or even decent works. For the ham without the cheese, see tropes such as Large Ham and Incoming Ham for good alternates.


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  • Diabolik Lovers, in terms of its sadomasochism and the misogynist nature of the series, many are left disgusted at the fetishized abuse. That being said, it is generally agreed that the anime would have been less enjoyable if it wasn't for the overly dramatic voice acting in the English dub, particularly Chris Patton's Ayato and Maggie Flecknoe's Yui. Given that Sentai Filmworks seems to have licensed it for contractual reasons, and the general reputation of the series, they seemed to have put as much intentional ham as they could, knowing it's not exactly an arthouse masterpiece.
  • The English dub of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is a glorious slab of glazed ham exactly for this reason. Not because it's a bad series, far from it, but given its reveling in some of the most suggestive dialogue and gross-out humour this side of South Park, they're all clearly having a blast, especially the two leads who take all the double-entendres and filthy lines of dialogue coming from the angelic divas as passionately as they can.
  • This seems to be the Funimation staff's method for dubbing fanservice-heavy anime. Knowing the audience isn't exactly watching for high drama, the actresses tend to indulge in the over the top sleaze and have fun with it. Jamie Marchi is the most obvious example.
    • New Generation Pictures were the first to try this with Ikki Tousen. The cast and crew working on the dub knew how trashy the show was... and had a glorious time with it. The writing was very self-aware, and the performances were exaggerated to hell and back. Headline's very straight dub for Season 2 was really underwhelming in comparison. New Generation returned for Seasons 3-4 and the movie and went right back to their original hammy style.
  • 4Kids Entertainment English dubs are this. While their localization and licensing have been heavily criticized for their heavy censorship, it is generally agreed that the voice acting within 4Kids is seen as relatively high quality. In particular, Dan Green's name has become an internet meme thanks to his grandiose voice acting of Yami Yugi in the Yu-Gi-Oh! series (itself an example because 4Kids knew full well how ridiculous the premise was and frequently dipped into Gag Dub territory with the voice direction and one-liners). It should also be noted that many of the voice actors were paid higher than the typical union rates for anime voice work, hence why the voice actors were able to pull off such good performances despite the company's reputation of censorship.
  • Persona 5: The Animation suffers from a lot of the problems an adaptation of its source material's scope would come under (noticeable animation errors, rushed storylines, awkward pacing etc.). And yet one of the most widely praised aspects was the dub, as the dub actors (who for the most part reprise their roles from the game), inject the same charm into their characters that made them so beloved in-game while giving plenty of funny moments almost to Gag Dub levels. This is especially true for Xander Mobus, who free to voice Joker with more than just short lines, goes all-out in playing Ren as both a suave and calculating Phantom Thief and dorky/snarky teenager, and it's a treat to hear.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Raúl Juliá just seemed to love this trope. If he had a reason to invoke this trope - any reason - he would. Hence why he is this page's image!
  • 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.
  • The Core:
    • 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, or he really believes he was "staying true to his vision" and that the movie is untrammeled, if under-appreciated, genius. Either would explain a great deal.
  • Uwe Boll is notorious for crapass movies, but the first Bloodrayne movie is actually somewhat bearable because of distinguished actor Udo Kier (who has a history with vampires himself).
    • Ben Kingsley was asked in a Time interview:
      Time: What were you thinking when you accepted a role in Bloodrayne? It's hard to imagine someone so gifted not realizing what a terrible film that would be!
      Kingsley: I don't know whether to be upset or flattered by that question. To be honest, I have always wanted to play a vampire, with the teeth and the long black cape. Let's say that my motives were somewhat immature for doing it.
  • Dungeons & Dragons (2000):
  • Eragon:
    • The guy who plays Murtaugh is clearly having the time of his life.
    • He's only in a few scenes, the title for the largest ham in Eragon has to go to John Malkovich, who, along with his silly over the top costume, emphasizes every single syllable and sound. The RiffTrax for Eragon refers to John Malkovich as "the ham's ham. He makes Al Pacino look subtle."
      I suffer without my stone. DO...NOT...PROLONG...MY...SUFFERING!
    • Chris Egan had only a bit part as Roran, but managed to spin it into a starring role on the vastly superior but tragically short-lived Kings alongside the legendary Ian McShane.
  • Irons and Malkovich also co-hammed in The Man in the Iron Mask, along with Gérard Depardieu, playing aging Musketeers. All three must have been paid per cubic meter of scenery devoured, although Jeremy Irons takes the cake for delivering lines like "It's Judgement Day" and making them So Bad, It's Good.
  • 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. 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 (2005). 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 (1970) 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 Cactus Jack Slade 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!
    • Director Gary Goddard actually chose Langella for the role as he wanted a strong actor who could set the emotional tone for the movie, since Dolph Lundgren, who was attached before Goddard came on board, had a nearly undecipherable accent at the start of the shooting. Langella's make-up was also designed to allow more of his emotions to come through, which is why they opted not to use a more realistic skull mask. So Langella's over the top mannerisms were a deliberate directorial choice.
  • The Brazilian film Zoando na TV is stupid, cheap and would be unwatchable if not for the hammy and hilarious Miguel Fallabella
  • Alan Rickman's completely over-the-top, campy performance in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He must have realized the film was going to be critically killed because he signed onto the film on the condition that he get to play the part however he wanted. Similar to Raul Julia above, he also got to be a Trope Namer due to this film.
  • Tilda Swinton in the not-really-critically-acclaimed Hellblazer adaptation Constantine (2005). She seems to be having a fair bit of fun with the overacting opportunities of her role, and is damn sexy while at it, too (which is sort of inevitable if you have Swinton playing an insane, androgynous angel with well-pedicured feet and impressive martial arts skills...).
  • 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.
  • Flash Gordon:
    • Max von Sydow as Ming is a touch more restrained than many on this list, but definitely having fun with the part.
    • Chaim 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.
  • The Batman movies have a history of this.
    • 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 - mostly trying to surpass Carrey when they share the screen. 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 she 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.
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was widely criticized for being overly dark and dreary. However, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor is the sole exception, portraying the character as completely insane and more akin to The Riddler. Needless to say, he's one of the few sources of humor in an otherwise extremely bleak and depressing movie, which is part of the reason his performance was criticized for being jarring and ill-fitting.
  • In King Arthur, Stellan Skarsgård as Saxon king Cerdic. Skarsgård also said in a later interview that he deliberately inflected his character's voice with a slight Texan accent as a Take That! to George W. Bush.
  • Laurence Olivier in Pride and Prejudice (1940), 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.
  • Christopher Plummer in the horror of hysterical proportions that was Starcrash. "IMPERIAL BATTLESHIP! HALT... THE FLOW... OF TIME!!!"
  • James Marsters as Piccolo and Chow Yun-fat as Master Roshi in Dragonball Evolution.
  • Dennis Hopper in Super Mario Bros. (1993) seems to not want to waste any good acting on the movie.
  • Michael Clarke Duncan as Balrog in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. He seems to be the only one in the movie aware of how bad the entire thing is, but is also the only named character who isn't treating the whole thing as Serious Business. Accordingly, he's the only character that looks like he's actually enjoying himself and shamelessly hams up his Scary Black Man role.
  • Duncan pulls a similar performance as Kingpin in Daredevil (2003).
    • 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 terrible Made For TV horror movie based on a Dean Koontz novel called Intensity. It is a movie littered with awful actors and a ridiculous 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 Pollak 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.
  • Star Wars gives us Ian McDiarmid's performance as Emperor Palpatine, even in the Return of the Jedi, which earned a much better critical reception than the prequels later did. McDiarmid pulled off the impressive feat of securing three more blockbuster film roles with a Large Ham performance in that film. In the prequels, he was clearly having a grand old time playing a scenery-chewing, Evil Overlord with UNLIMITED POWAAAAAAH. He not only gained critical acclaim for his performance as Palpatine, but he is remembered as having perhaps the best performance in the entire prequel trilogy. He was also by a long shot the most consistently emotionally expressive actor in the prequels. It helps that, although the prequels as a whole have a mixed reception, Ian is genuinely fond of his character and thus plays him the best way possible.
    "Palpatine is the only good thing about the movie that's actually in the movie."
    • This also applies to Palpatine’s reappearance in The Rise of Skywalker, where, despite the film having a few glaring writing mistakes here and there (including not bothering to explain how he survived his supposed death in Return of the Jedi), Ian still hams up his role, even stating he had to "contain himself" when he was approached with the offer to return to the role since he loves playing it that much.
  • The Transformers Film Series is rather full of actors letting it loose, such as John Turturro in the first three movies, Malkovich hamming it up in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Stanley Tucci in Transformers: Age of Extinction and Anthony Hopkins in Transformers: The Last Knight.
  • Kenneth Branagh was clearly having a good deal of fun in the terrible 1999 rendition of Wild Wild West. His hamtastic performance is the only really redeeming thing about that movie (besides Salma Hayek, and the great Elmer Bernstein scoring his final Western).
  • 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, that is a ludicrous script starring some kid and a bunch of Undercranked kangaroos poorly ripping off the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, he must've just decided to pop some E and go Looney Tunes.
  • Sean Connery as Sir August de Wynter in The Avengers (1998).
  • The Highlander series has this trope in spades...
    • Sean Connery realized how much Highlander II: The Quickening was sinking into Sequelitis, and made his performance one big raised middle finger to the producers who brought his character Back from the Dead so he could appear in the sequel.
    • 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 (2000)) 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 Highlander: The Source. As Spoony pointed out, every word out of his mouth is a wisecrack.
  • While Christopher Lambert wasn't this in Highlander, he certainly made up for it when he got cast as Raiden for Mortal Kombat: The Movie. He and Linden Ashby (Johnny Cage) were pretty much tossing the comedy ball back and forth for the whole film.
    • The same goes for the sequel, despite recasting nearly everyone, just about all the non-hero roles are played with zero regard for subtlety.
  • Musetta Vander is notorious for this trope all over her filmography, and not just Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. If it's sci-fi/fantasy, there's roughly a 95% chance she'll exhibit any number of overacting tropes. If she's playing a villain, it's guaranteed.
  • 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.
  • Terry Crews was the best thing in Gamer, a 2009 C-movie that never answered any of the interesting questions it didn't even realize it was asking.
    • Michael C. Hall also had his moments of delicious hammy goodness, including an unexpected musical number.
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is a cheesy, stupid movie. Nobody took that film seriously, but Christopher Eccleston and Joseph Gordon-Levitt realize exactly what kind of movie they're in and have fun with it. The problem is that there's not much Hammy latitude for the good guys. Marlon—"Whoo!", Storm Shadow and Baroness actually seem to be enjoying themselves immensely, though. It's part of the reason why it's so fun.
  • 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.
  • EVERYONE in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension but especially John Lithgow. It's just one reason why it's such an awesome movie instead of forgettable.
  • 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 (2006). 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.
    Cage (as Edward Malus): Ah, no! Not the bees!! NOT THE BEES!!!! AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!
    • Really pick almost any Nic Cage movie at random, he's made a career of overacting in implausible action movies that would be utterly forgettable if he wasn't Chewing the Scenery. A particularly infamous example is Deadfall, a very dull and mediocre heist thriller where everyone else, including Michael Biehn and James Coburn, obviously couldn't be arsed to care and completely phones it in with a flat, lifeless performance. The acting ability the rest of the cast should have brought to the table, however, is still in the movie; it just all wound up crammed into Nic Cage's performance instead. Seeing is believing.
  • Completely by accident, John Travolta does this a few times in Battlefield Earth. It's accidental because he thought the film was going to be great, otherwise, he might have been doing that in every scene. Forest Whitaker, on the other hand...
  • How about John Travolta and Nicolas Cage? The premise of Face/Off is that Travolta plays the hard-nosed cop and Cage plays the Laughing Mad terrorist, and through slightly contrived circumstances they get their faces switched onto each other's bodies. This leads to Travolta being the maniac pretending to be a cop, and Cage being the cop pretending to be a maniac. The film is just a little bit ludicrous, but Cage and Travolta take turns hamming it up mercilessly, making what could have been a silly John Woo work into a successful action flick (the film was an commercial success and scored an impressive 92% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes).
  • Michael Sheen, who joined the cast of The Twilight Saga 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.
    • He pretty much did it again for TRON: Legacy — his maniacal, campy David Bowie impersonation made him one of the great highlights and sources of comedy in an otherwise dreary, over-serious film.
  • 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.
  • Gary Oldman in the film version of Lost in Space.
    • 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 A-Team: 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, an 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 oeuvre of Christopher Walken is this, especially since The '90s. 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. Hard.
  • Congo was a book by Michael Crichton without much comic relief to speak of. Then, in The Film of the Book, someone got Bruce Campbell to show up for five minutes just so killer gorillas could throw human eyeballs at him and then slaughter him off-camera as he screams. Then they brought Tim Curry in as a "Romanian Philanthropist" who is "Travelink de vorld und doink goot!" - and the gorillas kill him too! Delroy Lindo shows up too, asking for "More" money, calling Tim Curry a "Big Bag of Shit" and telling him to STOP EATING MY SESAME CAKE! He stays home, so he doesn't get killed by gorillas.
  • 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 Dune (1984). 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!"
  • Paul Giamatti is clearly having fun in Shoot 'Em Up. Also in the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes (2001) film.
  • Hook: Dustin Hoffman was clearly having a ball playing the titular character. To this day, he actually likes having "Hook" as a nickname for himself.
  • Did you think Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor in (the largely perceived disappointment) Superman Returns would phone in a subdued performance? WRONG!
  • 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 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 villain in The Muppets (2011) is written with over the top ham, and you can tell that he's having a ball with it.
  • Michael Caine in Oliver Stone's The Hand. This is one of the many reasons why this movie is considered So Bad, It's Good.
  • 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 '90s. 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.
  • Although most of the cast of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters seems to be invoking this trope, Famke Janssen is playing it to the hilt as the head witch.
  • Alien: Resurrection is often considered one of the sillier entries in the Alien franchise, and has Ron Perlman, J. E. Freeman and Brad Dourif invoking this trope.
  • 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 (2003) 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...
  • Gordon Currie portrayed The Antichrist like this in the original Left Behind movies.
    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 fundamentalist mother 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.
  • Dane DeHaan hams it up as Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, even before he becomes the Green Goblin.
  • 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 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.
  • In Jupiter Ascending, Eddie Redmayne clearly enjoys himself as Balem, with his borderline Camp Gay demeanor and his Suddenly Shouting moments. All three of the Abrasax siblings are hammy in their own way - Balem's rage is certainly matched by Kalique's seductive pout and Titus' earnest deceit.
  • No Holds Barred is a Narm-heavy star vehicle for Hulk Hogan, released in 1989. It's basically Hulk being an Ink-Suit Actor and playing the same All-American Face he already was, with a plot about a Corrupt Corporate Executive trying to sign him to his fledgling network. It failed to make Hogan into a prominent leading man in Hollywood, since Hogan's acting skills were... let's say, limited. But the villain of the movie, Zeus, was played by Tom "Tiny" Lister, who establishes himself as a Wrestling Monster with huge, incoherent screams, chest-beating, lazy, googly eyes and absolutely No Indoor Voice. He's easily the most entertaining performance in the film, simply for how insane he acts nearly every time he's on screen.
  • Little more needs to be said about Troll 2 - it's infamous for its insanely poor quality. Amongst the cast, which was made up of no-name actors thinking they were going to be extras, only Deborah Reed stood out as the villain, Creedence Leonore Gielgud. Given little proper direction by the Italian directors, she simply opted to bite huge chunks out of the scenery through her entire performance.
  • Vincent Price just loved this. He was a terrific actor with quality material, but never took himself too seriously. He livened up a number of B-grade films, not all of them horror movies. 1955's Son of Sinbad, in which he plays Omar Khayyam, is a case in point.
  • Pan is widely criticized for being a boring, Cliché Storm-riddled Origins Episode that completely misses the point of the original source material. However, even the negative reviews give credit to Hugh Jackman's portrayal of Blackbeard, whose Large Ham tendencies is both entertaining and menacing at the same time.
  • James Doohan is overplaying things just a tad in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, best exemplified in the scene where - in the midst of talking about how he knows the ship like the back of his hand - he hits his head on a doorframe and does a hugely over-sold collapse to the ground.
  • One of the few enjoyable parts of Max Keeble's Big Move is Larry Miller's relentless scenery chewing.
    Principal: CEASE!
  • The 1964 adaptation of Lord Jim is pretty boring... until you meet Eli Wallach's Calvera-like Arab overlord "The General", a lisping, mincing man with an awful buzzcut, who struts around in a black vest, pretty much having the time of his life.
  • The execrable Sylvester Stallone erotic thriller The Specialist has only one saving grace, James Woods as one hell of a Smug Snake villain.
  • Rampage, for a video game movie that's also a giant monster one, takes itself too seriously, and the cast follows suit (including Dwayne Johnson, but he is playing by his strengths). There are three exceptions: Jeffrey Dean Morgan as a smug man in black with a cowboy drawl, hamming up every single time he appears on-screen (and Morgan added that once the director gave him free reins, he had to “embrace the ridiculousness of it all.”); Jake Lacy as a fraidy Harmless Villain who's constantly mugging and panicking (the scene where he and Morgan are together is a sight to behold); and Malin Akerman as Lacy's sister, a smarmy Corrupt Corporate Executive who knows whatever she's doing is evil and is not afraid to act sultry and mean.
  • If Venom has any entertainment value, it owes to Tom Hardy as the title character. As soon as Eddie Brock is infected, Hardy gets unhinged, even if silent (all his movements are intense!) or off-screen (Venom's inner voice, which is deep, over-the-top and loves to throw insults). It says a lot that despite the films' reception, Spider-Man fans were still excited to find he'd be crossing over into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Someone informed Travis Fimmel and Ben Foster in Warcraft that this was the best option to take if you found yourself in a video game adaptation. Fimmel as Anduin Lothar brought a very Large Ham, while Ben Foster as the villain Medivh paired it with perfectly aged Cheese. Paula Patton as Garona Took the Bad Film Seriously which makes the Unfortunate Implications sex scene with Lothar go down reasonably well despite the Fridge Logic. This is a film best enjoyed with a bottle of your favorite Gargle Blaster and good friends, whether you've played Warcraft or not.
  • Most of the actors involved in Battle Beyond the Stars knew precisely the level of quality they were dealing with and decided to have as much fun with it as they possibly could. Exceptions were Robert Vaughn, who was only there for the paycheck, and Sybil Danning, who — as always — Took the Bad Film Seriously.
  • Though now a beloved Cult Classic, Hocus Pocus isn't exactly high-quality cinema. In fact, it was a dud in its initial release—some estimates say that it lost Disney upwards of sixteen million dollars—and critics savaged it. However, the leads Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker, and especially Bette Midler are obviously having the absolute time of their lives in their hammy roles as three wicked witches out to suck the souls from the children of Salem. Between constant Suddenly Shouting moments, endlessly quotable and cheesy lines ("Pull over! Lemme see your driver's license!"—said by Midler as she rides a broomstick alongside a car), and a full-scale musical number that comes out of nowhere, barely has any relevance to the plot, and is clearly only there to give Midler a chance to show off her amazing pipes, it's not hard to see why the movie is so fun. Over the past twenty-five years, the leads' performances have elevated the film to a cherished place in the Disney Canon, with ABC Family running it in October and a special new show—the "Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular"—being created for Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom during the Halloween season.
  • Kevin McCarthy in Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College! is obviously aware of exactly what kind of film he's stuck in and that he's about the only spot of dignity in it, so he has tremendous fun with his part.
  • Even people who love the Police Academy series will admit they're not exactly commedia dell'arte, but if there's one genuinely enjoyable aspect to them, it's Lieutenant (later Captain) Thaddeus Harris. His hammy, Jerkass Drill Sergeant Nasty persona and desperate attempts to maintain dignity in spite of the protagonists' antics make him a perfect Love to Hate comic foil in the better movies and pretty much the sole bright spot in the bad ones.
  • Anne Hathaway’s performance of The Grand High Witch from The Witches (2020) is very hammy and over the top, especially in scenes where she is supposed to be scary and threatening, with her moments of Suddenly Shouting and Trilling Rs.
  • Under normal circumstances, Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 would be seen as B-movie schlock that wouldn't warrant any mainstream attention, but throw in one Eric Freeman who treats the role of Ricky as seriously as a pest controller would treat a ladybug, and the film is a cheesy experience worth remembering.
  • Halloween: Resurrection is widely considered the worst in the series. Yet some entertainment can be found in Busta Rhymes clearly having the time of his life (a highlight is him talking down Michael Myers, while wearing The Shape's mask, no less, mistaking him for an imitator - and Michael accepts his request to leave instead of knifing him on the spot!).
  • Almost none of the actors from The Room (2003) knew how to handle their roles, aside from Greg Sestero and Kyle Vogt Taking the Bad Film Seriously with their roles as Mark and Peter respectively, which already made the film memorably bad on its own. That said, there's one actor who adds the extra ham to the cheese sandwich, being Dan Janjigian playing the role of drug dealer Chris-R. In the short minute and a half that he's on-screen, he absolutely Chews the Scenery by threatening to blow Denny's brains out with a pistol for not having his drug money, and his role was so passionate, that the other actors were outright scared of Janjigian, thinking he was actually that violent.
    • Janjigian pulled off the rare feat of combining this trope with Took the Bad Film Seriously since despite being the only person in the cast who wasn't a professional actor (he was a motivational speaker who did the role as a favor to his roommate) went as far as to read up on Uta Hagen and Stanislavsky (the latter one of the codifiers of Method Acting) and kept character even off camera.
  • The only (unironically) praised aspect of Morbius is Matt Smith, who once turned into a villain throws any restraints out the window and hams up gloriously, including a sudden dance sequence.
  • The Karate Kid Part III is generally considered the weakest part of the franchise, and to only have one redeeming feature; Thomas Ian Griffith as Terry Silver. Silver is the closest thing to a Captain Planet villain we'll ever see in a live-action work, and seeing him switch from maniacal giggling to Suddenly Shouting at the drop of a hat, milk the giant cow and go through props like a fat kid in cake is a thing to behold. When he returned in the Sequel Series Cobra Kai, the writers had him explain that he was out of his mind on cocaine the whole time to retroactively justify his cartoonish, cackling villainy.
  • 1995's Judge Dredd was ravaged by critics and largely ignored by audiences, but it has its fans partly due to the sheer insanity of its main villain, portrayed in such an over-the-top style by Armand Assante that the viewer is left to wonder if the actor really is crazy. The scenery's also chewed by Rob Schneider, who provides a nicely frantic comic foil to the deadpan Sylvester Stallone, Jürgen Prochnow for the unsubtle role of Judge Griffin, James Remar as the raging Block Warlord, and Christopher Adamson as the memorably grotesque Machine Angel (of course, when you're playing a cannibalistic cyborg, you don't exactly want to play him as "reserved").
  • Big Trouble in Little China is a not-very-stealthy Stealth Parody of action movies, but everything clicks once you realize that it's all played for laughs. Like The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, everyone just rolls with the zaniness, but the big draw of this film is watching Kurt Russell and James Hong engage in glorious ham-to-ham combat.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 24 had its very lackluster seventh season that was part of a multiple-season Audience-Alienating Era 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.
  • In Batman (1966), Victor Buono loved appearing on the show as King Tut since cutting loose and being a Large Ham with the overacting was practically a job requirement.
  • 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!!!!!
  • 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.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "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 the 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 realized they were mocking him).
    • Elisabeth Sandifer thought that Patrick Troughton, as the Doctor, was hamming it up out of boredom in "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  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 
    • Patrick Troughton spends a lot of "The Space Pirates", a rather convoluted story in which he has virtually nothing to do, hamming it up as much as he can get away with. This involves a lot of Took the Bad Film Seriously, as he plays his scene where he nearly kills everyone perfectly and terrifyingly straight but also involves him extending his vowels as far as he can while trying to look clever in front of Zoe.
    • 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?!" expression, as if asking the audience to laugh at the show itself. This draws a lot of attention to the clunkers, unfortunately, but pushes at least a few of them into So Unfunny, It's Funny.
    • Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen hated everything they had to say in "The Android Invasion", and so rewrote all of their dialogue together. Both of them are clearly having a lot of fun.
    • Both Sladen and Baker (especially) have an absolutely wonderful time overacting their way through the incredibly out-of-character and cynically recycled 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 Invasion of Time" had No Budget, catastrophic Special Effects Failure, enforced Lighter and Softer tone, truly awful BBC Quarry sets, a mediocre script hinging on an "event" most people wouldn't care about and a very angry Tom Baker who felt that his show was imploding and was struggling with his personal life. The kicker is that the script required him to act like an insane megalomaniac, which he pretty much was even out-of-character at that point. The result is the biggest, loudest, most swivel-eyed and self-indulgent overacting a Doctor has ever been responsible for, with much of his dialogue openly addressed to the camera. Depending on how funny you find him, it's either making a washout story hilariously watchable or the worst thing in his whole tenure.
    • "The Creature from the Pit" features Special Effect Failure, No Budget, a kindly monster that happens to look like a giant cock and balls, and Tom Baker cracking himself up by cramming as many knob jokes and fellatio innuendos into his performance as possible.
    • The 1979 story "The Horns of Nimon". Despite Graham Crowden's legendary chewing of scenery, there was plenty of the 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 marvelous 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, Campy Mad Scientist villainess the Rani in all three of the godawful TV 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.
    • Richard Briers openly admitted that he took his role in "Paradise Towers" to have the opportunity to act badly.
    • Eric Roberts seemed to be doing this as the Master in the TV Movie.
    The Master: (in full Gallifreyan robes) I always drezz for the occasion!
    • The Sycorax Leader and David 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!!
      Tenth Doctor: [bellowing outrageously] RIIIII DOOON'T KNOOOOOOOWWW!!!
  • 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.
  • Bronson Pinchot in The Langoliers. Yes, believe it or not, Bronson Pinchot can actually turn the ham up even more.
    • Not to mention Dean Stockwell, who appears to be channeling Shatner.
  • In the later seasons of Law & Order: SVU, B.D. Wong can occasionally be seen doing this with some of Dr. Huang's increasingly silly Mister Exposition/Captain Obvious dialogue.
  • Barbara Kellerman is clearly doing this in The BBC TV version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, playing the White Witch as an over-the-top villainess in a performance similar to Faye Dunaway's in Mommie Dearest and Uma Thurman's in Batman & Robin. Her overacting is hysterical, such as her Big "NO!" to Edmund.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Robert Carlyle manages the rare feat of being both this and Took the Bad Film Seriously due to the dual nature of his character Rumplestiltskin. One moment he's giving a heart-wrenching performance as a tragic villain, only for him to chew the scenery for all it's worth as the Dark One in the very next scene.
    • In a series which has been suffering from Seasonal Rot, many found the over-the-top performances of Rebecca Mader as Zelena and Greg Germann as Hades to be the only saving graces of the fifth season.
  • 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 Power Rangers Turbo and Power Rangers in Space. In Turbo: A Power Rangers 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.
  • The BBC documentary series Simon Schama's Power of Art focuses less on documentation and more on ridiculously dramatized re-enactments of famous artists throughout history. Particularly notable is Andy Serkis as Vincent van Gogh.
  • In Smallville, Callum Blue's Axe-Crazy portrayal of Zod is pretty much the only redeeming thing in the atrocious season nine.
  • Star Trek has lots of this, being such a Long Runner.
    • Star Trek: The Original Series has "The Omega Glory," which has a climactic scene where Captain Kirk reads the Constitution to Human Aliens, who just happened to independently develop one just like Earth's United States. William Shatner didn't care for this particular episode, so he just hammed it up mercilessly, resulting in one of the most uniquely Shatner moments ever put on tape. Just the way he says "WE... the PEE-ple..."
    • "The Doomsday Machine" is an interesting case. Guest star William Windom thought the episode "seemed kind of silly, with the planet eater and the spaceships", and acted as though he was playing in a cartoon. He wound up giving the episode the energy and emotional depth it needed, and it's now one of the more popular episodes of the original series.
    • On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "Our Man Bashir" 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.
    • As does Nana Visitor, who in this interview, said she was in heaven because her Bond girl role called for a comically terrible Russian accent and coming out of a wall on a round bed.
    • 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, emphasize the words that make the best euphemisms in that scene, and make Jonathan Frakes crack up ?
    • Speaking of Next Generation: an early episode, "Code Of Honor," gained infamy in the fanbase for its use of Darkest Africa stereotypes to represent the Ligonians as an alien race. None of the regular cast members have anything good to say about this one, especially Jonathan Frakes who wanted it pulled from syndication. At the very least, Jessie Lawrence Ferguson, playing the Ligonian leader, Lutan, has tons of gusto as the villain, one of the episode's few redeeming features.
      Lutan: Then you shall have NO treaty, NO vaccine, and NO Lieutenant Yar!!
    • Season 7 has "Sub Rosa," a ghost story where Beverly Crusher falls in love with a "ghost" hidden inside her deceased grandmother's lamp. The episode is infamous among fans for its sheer strangeness, even ridiculousness, by Star Trek standards. Gates McFadden is a little more unhinged and less reserved than her performances usually are, likely as a result of having to spend several long shots all by herself reacting to a disembodied voice. McFadden still openly mocks this episode to this day.
    • Star Trek: Voyager provides an In-Universe example with the Show Within a Show holoprogram The Adventures of Captain Proton, specifically designed by Tom Paris to be as over-the-top as possible.
    • Speaking of Voyager, there's the infamous "Threshold" where Tom Paris breaks the warp 10 barrier, and is somehow everywhere in the universe at once. He winds up right back at the ship, somehow, and the aftereffect of this experience causes Tom to become allergic to water. Then, in Sick Bay, he pulls out his own tongue and slowly turns into what can only be described as a salamander-like creature, which the Doctor says (with a straight face) is the future of human evolution(?). Absolutely none of the science in this episode makes a lick of sense, and even big fans of the show still treat this episode as one of the worst episodes in the whole franchise. Tom Paris' actor, Robert Duncan McNeill, didn't get too many focus episodes, so he still made the most of it and spent his transformation sequence acting his heart out, going stir-crazy and shouting as loud as he ever has in the series.
  • Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills is best known as a cheap Power Rangers knockoff, and has lots of flaws, as detailed here. However, the late Ed Gilbert, playing the Big Bad, Emperor Gorganus, goes all out with his crappy role, to the point that his scenes are probably the best things in the show.
  • 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.
  • The Strictly Formula nature of the Lifetime Movie of the Week dictates that most of the cast has to treat the trashy, outlandish scripts with the utmost seriousness, but they also believe that Evil Is Hammy, so the performers playing the villains seem to get free reign. A lot of the Camp appeal of the genre is seeing gorgeous actresses hamming up a storm, and clearly having a ball doing it.
  • Brenda Dickson was clearly hamming it up as the original Jill Foster Abbott in The Young and the Restless, almost resembling an over-the-top parody of a bitchy soap opera villainess, especially during her clashes with Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper). It must be seen to be believed.



    Professional Wrestling 
  • 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.
  • After Hulk Hogan's star vehicle, No Holds Barred, was released in 1989, Vince McMahon was eager to promote the film on television, so he brought in Tiny Lister, who played the Wrestling Monster Zeus in the film, to continue playing Zeus on WWF TV. If you're thinking that sounds nonsensical, it was. For his part, Lister's appearances as Zeus were filled with the same incoherent screams, chest-beating and googly eyes that he did in the film.
  • In the early 90s, after Demolition split up, they needed something new for Smash, aka Barry Darsow, to do. He wound up becoming the Repo Man, a guy in a Lone Ranger mask and a crusty old trench coat who would "repossess" the belongings of ordinary schmucks and wrestlers alike. Silly as the gimmick was, Darsow, for his part, completely sunk his teeth into this gimmick, cackling like a Batman (1966) villain, snooping around with exaggerated double-takes, and just playing everything as over the top as possible. The Repo Man gimmick only lasted from late 1991 to early 1993, but it's a longtime favorite of the gang at WrestleCrap.
  • In a similar vein, Lanny Poffo as The Genius. A talented, dexterous wrestler who was doing flips and high-flying stuff before it was truly appreciated, he was saddled with a cheesy heel gimmick in the late 80s where he would read condescending poetry before each match, while wearing an academic dress and mortarboard hat. To say Poffo made the most of it would be putting it mildly: he wound up playing the gimmick as campy and flamboyant as he possibly could.
    • And then years later they pretty much gave the same gimmick to Damien Sandow and he managed to make it even campier.
  • Shawn Michaels used this to do a Take That! to Hulk Hogan when backstage politics led 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 whenever 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.
  • Bad News Barrett. While it isn't enough to redeem the gimmick in some fans eyes, he clearly enjoys it.
  • "Broken" Matt Hardy. Think eccentric millionaire mixed with Professor Moriarty and a fair bit of Complexity Addiction. He clearly enjoys the gimmick because it's almost entirely of his own design.
  • Bray Wyatt post-WrestleMania 35 came back as...a Mr. Rogers-like children's show host. The concept may have been strange at first, but it's clear that Bray absolutely revels in his role, being so over the top in his portrayal that it's hilarious...until he reveals his Dark Secret to the world.
  • When The Sheepherders left the territories for the WWF, they were repackaged as the Bushwhackers. Much to the despair of those who followed them around the territories, they went from hardcore icons with several brutal matches to their name, to bumbling idiots who licked fans and bit opponents. And yet Luke and Butch got really into their roles, making them Household Names in the Golden Age of the Federation. Part of why they got into it is attributed to a) similar to Dusty Rhodes, wanting a break from all the blood they spilled in the territories and b) being very popular with the kids, which at that time meant plenty of merch sales.

    Video Games 
  • Metal Wolf Chaos is, arguably, an enforced version of this. The plot and writing are so completely ridiculous that anything less than extreme doses of B-movie overdramatics and yelling would've ruined the charm. This is a Japanese game with No Export for You - yet it is entirely in over-the-top English and recorded by people who speak English natively for a game released only in Japan.
    • Until it got rereleased on PC, Playstation 4, and X-Box One as Metal Wolf Chaos XD.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Out of the train wreck that is Sonic '06, Dan Green's gloriously over-the-top performance as Mephiles the Dark is easily the most enjoyable part of the game.
    • 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.
    • The Deadly Six from Sonic Lost World were not the best villains, ranging from boring to flat to even offensive - so voicing Zavok, basically Bowser-Lite, probably wasn't easy for Travis Willingham. Still, he gave it his all, and Zavok is one of the more memorable members of the Deadly Six because of it.
  • Sir Michael Gambon (Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies) plays the ghost of 16th-century knight Sir William Hawksmoor in Ghost Hunter. Whether he's threatening the heroine, "I want FLESH", 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.
  • In Resident Evil 5, it is quite clear that D.C. Douglas was having a good time as Albert Wesker.
    Wesker: Complete. Global. SATURATION.
  • Grandia Xtreme isn't particularly well-remembered or well-liked, but it's worth it alone just to hear Mark Hamill ham it up so hard that it makes his work as The Joker seem subdued.
  • Christopher Walken again as Detective Magnotta in the early-nineties Interactive Movie adventure game Ripper. His performance could best be described as Walken doing a bad impression of himself. It's un-fucking believable!.
  • The entire point of Red Alert 3 was to get as many good actors as possible in on the project (none of them are A-listers, but Kelly Hu, George Takei, Jonathan Pryce, Tim Curry, Peter Stormare, and J. K. Simmons are all respected character actors with decent, if perhaps not glowing, resumés), and have them competitively chew scenery. The end result is comparable to pizza in it's cheesy, ham-laden glory.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy Dirge of Cerberus:
      • Dirge of Cerberus is a bad game with a bad story and an Audience-Coloring Adaptation of Final Fantasy VII, but it also cast Paul Eiding as a giggling, howling gothic-horror themed mad scientist who has survived after his death by downloading his body into the internet, something that it's hard to argue wouldn't improve basically any work of media.
      • Cast as a ripoff of Sniper Wolf and given nonsensical dialogue to read, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn takes it through the ceiling with sinister cooing, yelling and Orgasmic Combat moans in one of the most deliciously silly Russian accents burned to a disc.
    • Due to the magic of Product Placement, Final Fantasy XV was forced to include a sidequest where the characters must go on a journey to find quality ingredients to top a delicious, great-tasting Nissin Cup Noodle®. The English voice actors recorded two readthroughs - one sincere, one ultra-sarcastic and bored, as if the characters can't understand why they're saying these stupid things. The sarcastic take is used in the eventual game.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior is regarded as a so-so First-Person Shooter following the lead of what else was popular at the time. But it featured Tom Baker narrating the intro:
    "In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only... war."
  • Only the Brave Can Rescue the Kidnapped Princess is a generally forgettable children's adventure game, but Sir John Standing provides a memorable performance as the King, a hammy Fat Bastard who he clearly had a blast playing. His performance was a major part of why the character's musical number, "I Love My Food," briefly became a popular YouTube Poop source in 2010.
  • Unlike the other games done by Animation Magic, I. M. Meen has one extremely enjoyable actor, who has the fortune of appearing more than anybody else. That being Peter Berkrot, voicing the titular character himself, I. M. Meen. There's never a moment where Meen isn't Chewing the Scenery, and sweet Jesus, that LAUGH.
  • While Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is remembered as a beloved PS1 classic, its voice acting... isn't. However, out of the cheesy mess that is the directionless voice acting, one shines above the rest, being Michael Guinn as the role of Dracula. His insanely hammy performance opposed to the flat deliveries of every other actor has gone down in infamy as complete Narm Charm, with his three opening quotes alone reaching meme levels.
    "It was not by my hand that I am once again given flesh. I was called here by... HUUUMANS, who wish to pay ME tribute."
    "Perhaps the same could be said of ALL religions."
    "What is a MAN?! A miserable little pile of secrets! But enough talk! HAVE AT YOU!"
  • Mega Man X4 is one of the most infamous examples of directionless voice acting, with flat and misspoken deliveries all around. The only one who seems to know what he's doing is Jeremy Felton as Double, who captures both of his personalities of a meek and mild-mannered sidekick, as well as a psychotic, megalomaniacal assassin with tact and grace. Of course, his performance has just enough ham to it that it doesn't quite fall under Took the Bad Film Seriously.
  • Baten Kaitos is yet another outstanding example of a cult game with really spotty voice acting, made worse by the main characters, especially Xelha and Lyuude, being the worst of the lot. The one exception is Walter Roberts as Emperor Geldoblame, whose scenery-chewing, larger-than-life performance perfectly encapsulates the raging, insane megalomania of the maniacal ruler of Alfard.
  • Klonoa: While most people find the English dub of the Wii game Narmy, you have to admit that JB Blanc and Dave Mallow are having a lot of fun as Ghadius and Joka respectively. Ghadius does some dramatic speeches about how he sees the world as worthless, and tops them off with some truly magnificent Evil Laughs. Joka fully embraces his role as a Villainous Harlequin, keeping a silly and clownish, yet still menacing, tone of voice throughout the game.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


Maradonia: The Shadow Empire

Amidst poor camera work, simplistic costumes, and laughable special effects, the fairies of King Apollyon declare their intentions to the heroes and audience with exaggerated hand gestures and emphasis on every syllable.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / HamAndCheese

Media sources: