The ‘90s were a decade that really defined the comedy movie genre. Iconic film franchises emerged, like Ace Ventura and Austin Powers. And, on the small screen, popular sketch comedy series like Saturday Night Live and In Living Color kept fans laughing hysterically as they watched hilarious sketches and recurring characters.
And while comedy films continue to bring the big bucks and audience laughs today, and we have a new slate of comedic actors showing their talents, such as Melissa McCarthy, Will Ferrell, and Amy Schumer, there are some classic comedic actors we really miss.
Some of these actors are still active today, appearing in TV series, voicing characters, or working behind the scenes. Some have sadly left this world. Nonetheless, here are 10 comedy actors from the ‘90s that we really wish would make a comeback in comedy film.
10 Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy was a staple on the comedy film scene back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, appearing in films in the latter decade like Beverly Hills Cop III, The Nutty Professor, and Doctor Doolittle. He continued through the early ‘00s, most notably voicing the character of Donkey in the Shrek movies.
But we miss his crass humor, stand-up comedy specials, and signature laugh and style. Luckily, we’ll see the comedian on the small screen again as he returns to host Saturday Night Live, on which he was a cast member from 1980 to 1984, for the first time in 35 years this December.
9 Robin Williams
Since this comedy icon passed away in 2014, there’s zero chance of him returning to movies. But when you think of comedy films from the ‘90s, Williams is one of the first names to come to mind. He appeared in memorable movies during that decade like Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Patch Adams, as well as the voice of the Genie in the animated film Aladdin.
The actor and stand-up comedian was one of the funniest of this generation, first rising to fame on the small screen in the sitcom Mork & Mindy. While we might never see him again in film, his movies, performances, and characters will go down in history as some of the best.
8 Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey proved he has serious acting chops after appearing in films like I Love You Phillip Morris and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And he’s still active on the scene today, most recently in the TV series Kidding. But we miss the signature comedic styling, facial warps, and spastic moves that helped define comedy films in the ‘90s with movies like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, Dumb & Dumber, and The Cable Guy; not to mention his many memorable characters from the sketch comedy series In Living Color.
Carrey did reprise his goofy role of Lloyd for the 20-years-later-sequel to Dumb & Dumber, Dumb and Dumber To. But we want more!
7 Steve Martin
One of this generation’s comedy greats, Martin appeared in a long string of comedy films in the ‘90s, including Father of the Bride, Mixed Nuts, and Bowfinger. He has continued to act since then, including as himself in the 2016 series Maya & Marty and makes appearances on Saturday Night Live.
His comedic run ran through the early ‘00s in films like Cheaper By the Dozen 2, The Pink Panther, Baby Mama, and It’s Complicated. While he also does writing work, and plays music, we miss seeing this funny man showcase his talents on film.
6 Damon Wayans
All of the Wayans brothers ruled the television scene in the ‘90s on the sketch comedy series In Living Color. But Damon broke out as a bona fide superstar, appearing in films like Mo’ Money, Major Payne, Bulletproof, and his own TV series called Damon, followed by the sitcom My Wife and Kids that aired from 2001-2005.
He was most recently starring in the series Lethal Weapon, a buddy copy comedy-drama based on the film franchise of the same name. But he hasn’t appeared on the big screen in some time, and it’s due time we get some Wayans humor once again.
5 Billy Crystal
Becoming known as much for hosting the Oscars as for appearing in movies, Crystal has film credits to his name from the ‘90s that include City Slickers, Fathers’ Day, and Analyze This, and appeared In iconic films in the late ‘80s like When Harry Met Sally…, The Princess Bride, and Throw Momma from the Train.
He became known to a new generation as the voice of Mike Wazowski in the animated Monsters, Inc. films starting in 2001. But it has been a while since we’ve seen this Emmy and Tony award winning, and nine-time Academy Awards hosting, actor grace the big screen in a comedy film. We will get to see it, thankfully, as he’s set to appear in an upcoming comedy called Here Today opposite Tiffany Haddish.
4 Whoopi Goldberg
Appearing in comedy films in the ‘90s like Ghost, House Party 2, Sister Act, Made in America, and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, as well as playing Guinan in Star Trek: The Next Generation, the ‘90s was Goldberg’s era.
And while we continue to get to see her talents every day on daytime talk show The View, she discusses serious, real-world topics there. We’d love to see her head back to film to reprise some of her best roles (a reimagined version of Ghost, maybe?!) or create some new ones.
3 Charlie Sheen
A once comedy movie star, appearing in films in the ‘90s like The Rookie, Hot Shots!, Loaded Weapon 1, The Three Musketeers, and Major League II, Sheen shifted to the small screen and became the highest paid television actor when playing Charlie Harper on the sitcom Two And A Half Men.
He went on to star in another sitcom, Anger Management, from 2012-2014, but he has been completely absent from film for far too long. We’d love to see him bring back some of those famous movie roles, and show these new comedy actors how it’s really done.
2 Michael Keaton
With a long and successful career in acting, Keaton appeared in tons of comedy movies in the ‘90s, including Much Ado About Nothing, Multiplicity, and Jack Frost, as well as dramas, crime, and fantasy flicks including his notable role as Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman and Batman Returns. But we haven’t seen his comedic talents in a while.
Most recently appearing as Julian Assange in a sketch on Saturday Night Live and voicing the character of V.A. Vandevere in Dumbo, we need more of the comedy Keaton to satisfy our ‘10s comedy film appetite.
1 Mike Myers
Let’s face it: Wayne’s World is the ‘90s. Mike Myers helped define comedy films of that decade with hilarious and highly quotable ones like Wayne’s World, So I Married an Axe Murderer, and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. But since the early ‘00s, he’s only appeared sparingly on the big screen, but for his starring role as the voice of the title character in the Shrek movies.
He hosted a revival of the game show The Gong Show in 2017 and had a cameo in the Academy Award-winning film Bohemian Rhapsody, fitting since it was Wayne’s World that helped popularize the band’s song of the same name for a new generation. Myers reportedly has an untitled project for Netflix in the works, He’s also rumored to be working on the fourth Austin Powers movie, but it seems unlikely to come to fruition after the unfortunate death of Verne Troyer, who played the key character Mini-Me, unless they can find a way to appropriately honor the late actor. Fingers crossed.