Entertainment behind the scenes
Comedian Jack Black, 38, has emerged as a major comedy star with the success of movies such as “Kung Fu Panda” and “Nacho Libre.” Along with Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller, he is a virtual card-carrying member of the so-called Frat Pack of Hollywood funny men.
In upcoming movie “Tropic Thunder,” which opens on Aug. 13, the portly Black plays a comic actor named Jeff ‘Fats’ Portnoy, who is known for playing several parts in films that revolve around flatulence.
Hollywood has throughout its history had a rotund star ruling the comedy roost. The tradition goes back at least to Fatty Arbuckle at the turn of the century, and later Jackie Gleason. More recent comedians who have filled those shoes include John Belushi in the 1970s and Chris Farley in the 1990s. Some could say Black is the latest in that illustrious line of broad comedians.
So at a recent gathering of reporters to promote “Tropic Thunder,” we asked him how it feels to be in the club. “What’s it like to be the fat guy? The official fat guy?” Black answered.
“It’s not easy,” he joked. “I’ve got a lot of fat guys trying to knock me off fat mountain. They’re all coming. They’re like, ‘I want to be the fat guy.’ I’m like, ‘No I’m the fattest fat guy. I’ll beat you fat guys.”’
Given Black’s kung fu prowess (http://www.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=82400), it might be best to walk away from that battle.