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Perhaps inspired by his older doppelganger and pal Seth Rogen, comedic actor Jonah Hill has shed at least 30 lbs. A recent red-carpet picture shows the Superbad star, 27, looking significantly slimmer than before. And according to E! Online, Hill's healthy new body could totally kill his career.
Confused? The E! article argues that America loves to laugh at chubby guys, and just doesn't find skinny comedians as funny. As proof, the website cites newly slimmed-down John Goodman, Drew Carey and Rogen -- none of whom has had much success since their diets started paying off.
"If he gets too slim, he'll stop being the 'fat, funny guy' and he'll need to do something else to set himself apart from the rest," a fellow comedian told the website.
The idea that losing weight could hurt a comedian's career seems absurd. E! does name Ricky Gervais as a counter-example, pointing out that he was hilariously mean at the Golden Globes -- and yet, it's been speculated that Gervais wouldn't have come off as quite so harsh if he'd still been the "fat, funny guy."
The truth of the matter is that comedians (male ones, anyway) are lucky, since their job doesn't depend on their having a certain "look." But when it comes to film, comedians are frequently reduced to a type. The funny, overweight teddy-bear type that Jonah Hill plays so well is a standard role in the American comedy. Jack Black has based his whole film career on this idea: He may not look like a leading man, but we never have any problem believing that he gets the girl, because he's just so darn cute. If he was just another skinny Hollywood hipster, would we like him less? Black is probably too smart to ever let us find out.
As for Hill, he's still relatively new to Hollywood stardom, so we haven't seen much of a range beyond the expected "fat, funny guy" schtick. But Get Him to the Greek showed that Hill could handle the leading man role in a grown-up comedy -- and that movie didn't mention his weight, not even to use it for a visual gag. The weight loss is really an opportunity to reinvent himself, and we suspect he's up to the challenge.
We only wish we lived in a world where women had this problem. Can you imagine any woman in Hollywood being told that it would ruin her career to be skinny?