Comedians and musicians, when making the transition to acting, often play thinly veiled or exaggerated versions of themselves. In the music world, we have Will Smith, Frank Sinatra and Meat Loaf. I was told that a similar thing occurs in the Beatles’ movies, and this sounds eminently reasonable, despite having only seen the first five minutes of Yellow Submarine. In the realm of comedians, we have a large number of examples. Woody Allen is nebbish and neurotic, as are his characters. Seth Rogen is a laid-back, goofy guy, and so are his characters. Cliff Huxtable is nothing but a sweater-festooned Bill Cosby. Jerry Seinfeld is Jerry Seinfeld, and Larry David is Larry David.
Of course, it’s not there’s anything wrong with that. Frankly, as long as the people are interesting, who cares if they can’t act and are just being themselves? I do not. My new favorite show, Flight of the Conchords, stars a New Zealand folk-parody duo playing thinly veiled versions of themselves, living in New York City and trying to make it big. These guys are both musicians and comedians, adhere to the above rule of playing themselves and are amazingly hilarious. Therefore, being yourself, if you are good at it, is a great thing. Go watch Flight of the Conchords. Q.E.D.
[img_assist|nid=24253|title=Flight of the Conchords|desc=A scene from the second episode of Flight of the Conchords.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]