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A little-known Hollywood antitrust ruling from the early 1900s—passed to prevent Fatty Arbuckle from an abuse of monopoly power—proclaims that every 15 months, a Next Big Funny Thing must be announced. That coronation is immediately followed by the casting of the new cat's whiskers in every humorous screenplay in existence, where he'll be called upon to play a variety of subtly tweaked takes on the same buffoonish character. Previous beneficiaries of the Doughy-White-Comedian Competition Law include Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, and Will Ferrell, and now, the star of Sundance breakout hit The Foot Fist Way, of whom an LAT headline demands to know, "Is Danny McBride the next comedy superstar?"

In three of the summer's funniest comedies, "The Foot Fist Way,""Pineapple Express" and "Tropic Thunder," the Virginia native is pummeled and tortured, blown up and gunned down, bloodied and humiliated — an oeuvre of movie pain (and moreover, squirmy humiliation in the vein of Ricky Gervais) that has fast-tracked McBride from working the night desk at a Burbank Holiday Inn to co-billing alongside Hollywood heavyweights such as Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen and Ben Stiller, all inside of three years. [...]

The comedian's college buddy David Gordon Green directed McBride in "Pineapple Express" after giving the comedian his sole movie acting credit (prior to "Foot Fist"), a character part in the writer-director's 2003 indie romance, "All the Real Girls." [...]

"The interesting thing about Danny," Green pointed out, "he's never auditioned or gotten a head shot."

We recommend that you take the time to savor these superstar-breakout moments, for they are precious and fleeting—soon to be replaced by an endless parade of foreign-accented, sexually-overactive screen-cretins stringing five-minutes'-worth of choice comic material over 90 minutes of Rob Schneider-boosted filler.