Not really. The Letterman-esque archness of today's comedy left an opening for Carrey's physical humor. And audiences identify with his characters: angry guys fighting the system. His work, Carrey suggests, draws on his own childhood frustrations. His father, Percy, who had given up a career playing jazz sax for a safe job as an accountant, was laid off after 30 years. The suddenly poor family lived in a camper in Toronto. Carrey quit high school and, with his parents and two of his three siblings, did janitorial work to survive.
Bills are no longer a worry. The actor, who got $350,000 for Ace, received $5 million to play the Riddler in the forthcoming Batman Forever. His price was $7 million for the new Dumb and Dumber.
Carrey's success had its costs, though, starting with his seven-year marriage to Melissa Womer, 34, with whom he has a daughter, Jane, 7. He was, he admits, a less than sterling spouse. "It's like, 'I just came back from the moon, so don't ask me to take the garbage out,' " he said. Carrey recently split with his D&Der costar Lauren Holly, of CBS's Picket Fences—but claims to be less obnoxious, thanks to what he calls the Eugene syndrome, a reference to his middle name. "I figured my parents called me that to keep me humble," he explained. "You can never get too cool with a name like Eugene."