Beavis and Butt-Head
In the mid-’90s, Mike Judge’s socially awkward, metal-worshipping, nose-picking, sex-obsessed cartoon duo were the voice of a generation. Beavis and Butt-Head returned to MTV this week, nearly 15 years after its last episode aired. But still the two barely do anything but sit home, watch “cool” music videos, make that’s-what-she-said-type jokes, and laugh—a lot. Brunette Butt-Head’s “huh-huh” laugh ends nearly every statement he makes, while blond-haired Beavis is known for his “heh-heh” chortle. In one episode, their signature chuckles—which landed on TV Land’s 100 Best Quotes and Catchphrases—led to a no-laughing prohibition.
If there is one thing that could make tall, blonde, surfer-chick Cameron Diaz less attractive, it’s her laugh. The actress may have a 100-watt smile, but her laugh sounds more like a dying animal gasping for air. Back in 2007, a bubbly Diaz showed Jay Leno her burping skills on late-night TV and then went into hysterics. The talk-show host simply said, “Any fantasy I had going ended there pretty much.” It’s unclear whether he’s talking about her laugh or her gaseousness.
“I went to a taping of a friend’s sitcom once, and they had to edit my laughter out of it,” comedian Seth Rogen once admitted to Metacafe. The actor may realize his expression of amusement is on the loud side, but it’s also quite frequent. “His sentence-to-laugh ratio is about 2:1 … Every other sentence, there’s that rumbling laugh,” Cineplex recently noted. There are even two Facebook groups devoted to Rogen’s trademark chuckle, but it doesn’t have too many “Likes.”
Black Swan actress Natalie Portman has long been known for her talent and beauty. But when she stepped on the stage to accept her Best Actress Golden Globe in 2011 for her disturbing performance, she told a joke about her choreographer turned costar turned fiancé wanting to sleep with her that had her guffawing in quite the geeky fashion. The video has 1.5 million views on YouTube and became an Internet sensation that had many simultaneously laughing and cringing.
When Tom Cruise started jumping on couches, marrying former Dawson’s Creek stars, calling Matt Lauer “glib,” and worshipping L. Ron Hubbard, it seemed to many that he had lost it—and gained a maniacal laugh in the process. In a leaked Scientology interview that hit the web in 2008, a turtleneck-clad Cruise goes from being incredibly serious about changing people’s lives to going into hysterics about “meeting an SP,” i.e., a suppressive person. Not long after the video went viral, a strain of marijuana called Tom Cruise Purple hit the California market, packaged with a picture of the actor laughing.
Queens-native Fran Drescher is known for her nasal voice, but when the actress laughs, ear drums truly feel the effects. Her high-pitched snort became iconic on her sitcom The Nanny and was even featured in an Old Navy holiday commercial, though it’s hard to imagine it helped sales. Someone once posted a question to a message board, asking, “Would you listen to Fran Drescher laugh for an hour for 10 thousand dollars?” Tough call.
Curmudgeonly comedian Gilbert Gottfried has a voice and laugh as damaging as fingernails on a blackboard. But his vocal qualities did help him earn the role of the infamous Aflac duck. Gottfried’s laugh also got him into trouble, however, when he made a joke about the Japanese tsunami that had no one chuckling and even led him to lose his job.
Former Girls Next Door star and Hugh Hefner girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson has looks and a laugh that could kill. Her piercing giggle became a running joke on E!’s The Soup, but Wilkinson said she didn’t realize it was something people would talk about. “TV likes to pump my laugh up a lot. I never noticed it,” the former Playboy Bunny told Entertainment Weekly. “I know people might get annoyed with my laugh, but I don’t care. It’s not going to stop me from laughing.”