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The Controversial Comedy Role Fans Would Have Refused To Take

Satire, as the old adage goes, is the art of punching down, not up. In the case of dadaist humorists like Andy Kaufman, Tom Green, or Sacha Baron Cohen, the punches can be thrown all around, at anything and at anyone, from the inside of a cow to a record of the theme song of Mighty Mouse and its vocal track.

To be a humorist is to court controversy, and everyone from Lenny Bruce to George Carlin and Dave Chappelle has done it over time. Forbidden concepts, profane language, and sexually explicit or drug-based content have caused doors to swing open since the '60s as morals and societal expectations have changed. However, some controversial comedies — and the roles within them — go a little too far for viewer's tastes, regardless of cultural standards. We polled 630 of our American readers and asked them which comedy role they wouldn't take, should they be given the opportunity to play any of the ones we suggested.

This interview was over before it started

It's probably not surprising that the role our readers say they wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole is the one that resulted in a real-life controversy: A fictionalized version of Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, in the 2014 Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy "The Interview." 24.92% of respondents declared that they wouldn't take on the part that actor Randall Park accepted.

In second place is Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat, who came in a close second with 23.49% of the poll. In spite of the success of both movies featuring the titular character, the danger Baron Cohen puts himself in wasn't worth it to our readers.

In third place is another Baron Cohen role, Brüno Gehard, in his 2009 comedy "Brüno," receiving 18.57% of the vote. Cohen has nothing to do with the fourth highest vote getter, but it's unsurprising to learn that the minds behind "South Park" are: Trey Parker and Matt Stone's "Team America World Police." 17.30% of our readers said they would not take any role in the production, including that of a fictionalized version of Kim Jong-il. 

Rounding out the top five is the role of Lincoln Osiris from "Tropic Thunder," which was portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. while he wore blackface.