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Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Kings of Lowbrow Comedy

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The Kings of Lowbrow Comedy 

 USA Today dubbed the group, which includes Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson and Steve Carell, the “Frat Pack" because of the fraternity-like group. Previously Entertainment Weekly magazine called the group the “Slacker Pack."

The name comes from a variation on the 1950s and 1960s nickname the “Rat Pack," which referred to the fraternity-like group of actors Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin. In the 1980s, the media dubbed another group of young actors who frequently starred in coming-of-age movies together, the “Brat Pack," another play on the “Rat Pack." The Brat Pack included Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson, Andrew McCarthy, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy and Anthony Michael Hall. For more on the Rat Pack and Brat Pack read Entertainment Weekly magazine.


Ben Stiller is the linchpin of the Frat Pack. He is an Emmy Award-winning comedic actor, film producer and director and is the son of actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. Stiller has written, directed and acted in more than 50 movies and television shows that have grossed more than $1 billion.

Frat Pack movies are most often spoofs on sports like wrestling, ice skating, dodgeball and racecar driving, in which the main characters are lovable losers and prone to lives full of ridiculous situations. Movies often include excess of pop culture slang, sex jokes and cuss words and are most often rated R. The comedy connects most frequently with male audience movie-goers though many female movie-goers appreciate the movies.

There are approximately 34 movies that are considered “Frat Pack" movies; these movies include one or more starring roles filled by the actors and often include cameo roles for other members of the group. Frat Pack movies include “Anchorman," “Night at the Museum" and “Dodgeball." The Frat Pack works with the same directors, supporting actors and producers repeatedly to give the movies cohesiveness. The actors also star in separate projects and many, including Will Ferrell, Jack Black and Vince Vaughn have starred in dramas showing their versatility. For more on the Frat Pack movies read Entertainment Weekly magazine.

Frequent Frat Pack collaborators are director Wes Anderson, actors Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Christine Taylor, Justin Long, Jason Bateman, John C. Reilly and Amy Poehler. In 2006Details magazine named writer, director and produces Judd Apatow, Adam McKay and Todd Phillips in their annual list of most successful men, “The Power 50." Details magazine credits the team with providing cash-cow vehicles for the elite clique of comic actors including “Talladega Nights," which became the second-biggest comedy opening in movie history, earning $47 million. Read more about Frat Pack collaborators in men's magazines like GQ, Esquire and Men's Health.

Read Also:  Blades of Glory

Also making big headlines and money and on the comedic front with the same kind of comedy and considered the second string of the Frat Pack are Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen et al—With the movie “The 40-Year-Old Virgin" starring comedian Steve Carell, Apatow and Rogen found huge success. The movie grossed more than $100 million worldwide. The duo followed up the success of that movie with “Knocked Up" and “Superbad." Most recently Apatow produced the movie “Step Brothers" starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.

Most of the members of the Frat Pack are high-profile movie stars and like most other celebrities are often found on the pages of celebrity magazines like People, Us Weekly and In Touch Weekly magazine.





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