Large Ham/Live-Action TV

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.




More Must Ham TV

  • George Takei of Star Trek fame never quite left the ham behind, as evidenced here. And a recent ad for new TV technology features Takei who is necessary in this ad for basically nothing but the ham and the Stealth Pun (see page for details).
  • "The heavens cry out! The earth cries out! The people cry out! They cry out for me to destroy evil! Listen up, evildoers...I am the warrior of justice, Kamen Rider Stronger!"
  • Kamen Rider Kabuto: "Grandmother said this: Walking the path of Heaven, the man who will rule everything. TENDOU! SOUJI!!"
  • Other Kamen Riders ham with their voices. Shoutaro Hidari hams with his facial expressions.
  • Kosei Kougami from Kamen Rider OOO would like to wish you "HAPPY BIRTHDAAAAAAAAAAY!"
    • He's such a ham that you hardly notice lesser hams who would definitely make the list in any other series, like Ankh.
    • The OOO Driver doesn't just announce the form, but shouts each animal medal's name, and for full combos, sings the first part of the form's theme song. Pu! To! Tyr-an-no-SAAAAAUR-us!
  • Gentaro Kisaragi from Kamen Rider Fourze arguably out-hams everyone else in the entire franchise thanks to his Hot-Blooded nature. "IT'S SPACE TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME!!!!!!!"
  • Scott Thompson in The Kids in The Hall.
  • In Wizards of Waverly Place, Justin Russo actually uses a spell entitled "Ham it Up", which produces a literal large ham. When he, and later Alex, take a bite of the ham it immediately ascends them to large ham status.
  • The 1960s Batman. There was no point in even auditioning for a role, no matter how small, if you weren't ham through and through. Even the nameless mooks were Large Hams.
    • Cesar Romero's Joker was way over the top, rivaling Nicholson's.
    • Then there was Frank Gorshin who was rivaling Jim Carrey for his part as The Riddler.
    • Burgess Meredith may have been playing a bird, but he was all porker.
  • The Fonz, after the second season of Happy Days.
  • Several examples from Babylon 5:
    • Draal, played by John Schuck. Apparently that Epsilon III machine had a large database on overacting.
    • Jason Ironheart from the 1st season episode "Mind War" proved for some that this trope is not always a good thing.
    • Gregory Martin as Colonel Ben-Zayne in "Eyes" could give Ironheart a run for his money in hamminess and overacting.
    • Knight #2 from the first season episode "And the Sky Full of Stars". Perhaps he was planning to make Sinclair talk through exposing him to his purposeful overacting.

Knight #2: "Maybe you're asleep! Maybe you're insane! Maybe you're dead! Maybe you're in hell! Not that it matters much, Commander Sinclair, because wherever you are - wherever you go - you're mine!"

      • This role was written for Walter Koenig, but Straczynski was so impressed that he decided to give him a recurring role instead.
    • Wayne Alexander as Sebastian.

Sebastian: "Your only destiny is to be the nail that gets hammered down. Bang, bang, bang!"

    • Centauri seem generally prone to overacting, but there's a reason Londo Mollari became Emperor, and it's not the Shadow/Rifa conspiracy.
    • Dr. Franklin, the head of medicine on Babylon 5, was played by Richard Biggs, who had an earlier career on television soap operas. In one "memorable" episode ("Walkabout"), Franklin is stabbed in the stomach and winds up having an imaginary conversation with himself, where the fake Dr. Franklin mocks and yells at the real Dr. Franklin. Meaning the scene essentially becomes a competition between two Richard Biggs, each trying harder than the other to overact as much as humanly possible.
    • Bruce Boxleitner, aka John Sheridan, could drift into this, although he also demonstrated his subtlety on any number of occasions, notably in his scenes with Delenn. Choice ham quote:

"Get the hell out of our galaxy!"


  • News Radio has:
    • Jimmy James, who was actually part of the regular cast.
    • Bill McNeil is the bigger ham on the show. Nobody else in television has actual lines like "BEGONE!!!"
  • Virtually all of the Goa'uld System Lords were bonded to this trope at a subatomic level. Apophis, Anubis and Ba'al are probably the three standouts, though Chronos, Sokar and Yu are right up there. The real fun came from mixing character tropes: Anubis was a Large Ham and a Complete Monster, while Ba'al was an Affably Evil Large Hamming Magnificent Bastard, and ended up becoming one of the most popular characters in the series. Guest Star hams were probably led by Dom DeLuise, who starred in the episode "Urgo" where he was amazingly annoying to everyone, including hamming it up to the extreme. Their enemies The Jaffa are often hammy as well, particularly Bra'tac. It probably comes from hanging around System Lords. All this hamminess might be unbearable if it weren't for the fact that Jack O'Neill is constantly making fun of this tendency.
  • The Exclusively Evil Wraith from Stargate Atlantis are also like this, so much so that most of their dialogue in the first few seasons consisted mostly of variations of "I AM YOUR DEATH!" or "WE SHALL FEED!". This goes to such an extent that when, later in the series, a notably non-hammy Wraith (affectionately named Todd by Sheppard) becomes a recurring character, his straight, cynical delivery becomes hysterical.
    • Todd did have a few hammy moments, most notably in the episode Vegas:

"I know your destiny...JOOOOOOHN SHEPAAAAAARRD!!!"

  • Parodied by The Young Ones, in which a guest star Barry Stanton's particularly blustery appearance as the Postman in the Series 2 episode "Nasty" earns supposed "applause" from the Laugh Track while the real studio audience is still laughing. After exiting at the end of his scene, he can be heard recounting theatrical anecdotes in a loud voice from the wings until Vyvyan tells him to shut up.
  • Blackadder:
    • Rik Mayall as the various incarnations of "The" Lord Flashheart, again largely within the context of the series.
    • Also, Stephen Fry as "The Iron Duke" of Wellington in the final episode of Blackadder the Third and as Field Marshal Melchett in Blackadder Goes Forth
    • No one can forget Brian Blessed from the first season!

Messenger: "My Lord, news: the Swiss have invaded France. "
Messenger: "But the Swiss are our allies, My Lord."
Brian Blessed: "Oh yes... Well, er, get them to dress up as Germans, will you?"

    • Captain Rum from the second season. "YOU HAVE A WOMAN'S HAM, MY LORD!"
      • Well, what do you expect from Tom Baker in a beard?
    • The scenery-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells. "Have you ever considered a career in the CHURCH?!!"
    • Plus the two actors, Keanrick and Mossop, in the third season. "OOOOOOOOOOOOOH, TO HAM OR NOT TO HAM?!"
    • We're not done here without mentioning the unbelievable Frank Finlay as the Witchsmeller Pursuivant, who makes Brian Blessed sound like HAL 9000. Behold him in all his batshit glory.
  • Tobias from Arrested Development. And Barry Zuckercorn. And Lucille Austero. And Carl Weathers, and Wayne Jarvis, and Maggie Lizer... in fact, at least half the Recurrers. Still, only Barry (played by The Fonz himself) can out-ham Tobias.
  • Battlestar Galactica:
    • Richard Hatch as Tom Zarek. He is usually fairly quiet compared to some of the ham on offer on this page, but prone to dramatic statements and poetic descriptions that stand in stark contrast to every other character, giving the impression he feels momentous times require momentous performances.

"Zeus has returned to Olympus"

    • Then there is the hard-boiled and harder-assed leader of the fleet, Adama.
    • And his often times drunken XO, Colonel Saul Tigh. Especially when he started to lose it near the end of season three.

"Will someone turn off THAT FRAKKIN MUSIC!!

  • From Heroes, which considering the superhero movie examples, is not strange:
    • Malcolm McDowell as Mr. Linderman. Over time, McDowell's metabolism has changed to the point where he can now only subsist on a diet of chewed scenery.
    • Hiro Nakamura is a honey glazed Christmas ham that can feed a family of forty. In a subversion, the actor is anything but.
    • Sylar has always been deli cold cuts, if not a complete Christmas ham.
  • Shawn Spencer from Psych - who is without a doubt the biggest pseudo psychic ham in all of network television. The show plays with the trope, as Shawn mainly hams it up when doing the psychic schtick, and even then it's deliberate.
    • Oh, he can ham it up pretty good without having one of his "experiences", particularly when dealing with Gus or his father.

Dad, please tell me you are wearing that shirt so someone can see you from SPACE!

  • Lost in Space:
    • Jonathan Harris as Doctor Zachary Smith. "Never fear, Smith is here!" "Oh, the pain, the pain." In fact, one of the complaints about The Movie was that Gary Oldman's Dr. Smith wasn't hammy enough.
    • Doug Walker's portrayal of the same character (though it's inspired by Oldman's version) is not only goofy and over the top, but Nightmare Fuel.
  • David Oyelowo in The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, which features the guy playing a role with enough ham for several meals.
  • In Lois and Clark:
    • John Shea as Lex Luthor was all crazy-eyes, all the time. Not adverse to alternating slimy and seductive shtick with voluble intense outbursts of villainous venom.
    • Lane Davies playing Tempus, who is a time traveller from the future where Superman's secret identity is well known, indicating Superman revealed it at some point. Tempus is mocking Lois for being "galactically stupid" in not noticing that Clark Kent looks amazingly like Superman wearing glasses. (Tempus puts on a pair of glasses, "Look, I'm Clark Kent!". He then takes off the glasses, "Now I'm Superman!". Repeat several times in a sarcastic mocking tone.) Total ham.
  • The endlessly unexpected SPANISH INQUISITION!! from Monty Python's Flying Circus... but only when they can get their lines straight. This is parodied in episode 25, where excessively melodramatic actors are committed to the Royal Hospital for Over-acting.
  • Brian Blessed in pretty much everything he's ever been in. He's a trope unto himself.
    • As the friendly Greek handyman Spiro in My Family and other Animals (the 1987 original version, not the 2005 remake), from the books by British writer and naturalist Gerald Durrell about his memories of his childhood on Corfu during the 1930s.
    • The guy even managed to play Saint Peter like this. Seriously.
    • BRIAN BLESSED doing snooker commentary. What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome??
    • He was enjoyably hammy as the evil priest Vargas on Blake's 7, "Cygnus Alpha": "I will return to them a GO-O-O-O-ODDD!!!"
    • In a notable subversion for the actor, BLESSED was actually restrained and subtle as the Ghost in Hamlet. (Branagh was really intense all the time in the same movie.)
  • Mr. Belding on Saved by the Bell.
  • Mr. T, fool!
  • A staple of the So Bad It's Good series Garth Marenghi's Darkplace.
  • Everyone on Hannah Montana. The teacher being a very obvious example, as he is kind of a take-off of Jack Black's character from School of Rock.
  • The announcer for Ninja Warrior enthusiastically improvises Purple Prose for every contestant possible. The Japanese announcer uses even purpler prose that the English translation does.
  • Many of the recurring characters on Twin Peaks.
  • Saturday Night Live's appearance here should come as no surprise.
    • Jon Lovitz's Master Thespian character on Saturday Night Live was both a parody and epitome of the Large Ham.
    • Another character that deserves mention is Matt Foley.

"You're going to have a lot of time doing (insert action here) WHEN YOU'RE LIVING IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!"


  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent's Detective Goren, played by Vincent D'Onofrio, has been getting increasingly hammy over the years, though it is debatable whether this is a case of overacting or caused by the further development of the character's own psychological problems due to the stress of his work and family (and he was probably a few fries short of a Happy Meal to begin with).
  • Most of the muppets from The Muppet Show.
    • Miss Piggy is a Large Ham in more ways than one, and an excellent female example.
    • Link Hogthrob also deserves the epithet, although of course he was (as Captain of the Swine Trek) a pastiche of Shatner himself, so it's expected.
  • Drake and Josh:
    • Josh is like this for the 1st and 2nd seasons, including him repeating words for emphasis. "EMPHASIS!"
    • One episode with Josh's rival Mindy had her exit grandly shouting about her cockapoo and her exact clone of that cockapoo.
  • SCTV satirized this with such characters as Lola Heatherton and Count Floyd. Two very noticable examples being Johnny LaRue and Bobby Bitman. The latter being a parody of Vegas style comedians, every bit of him is hammy including his catchphrase "HOW ARE YA?".
  • Frasier Crane just about any time something riles him up. It began in Cheers with his classic "YOU WILL *RUE* THE DAY YOU DID THAT!", which became a semi-catchphrase.


    • And then in Frasier, his brother Niles is almost as large a ham as him, albeit with a somewhat different style. And the two see each other almost every day and have loads of Sibling Rivalry, meaning buckets and buckets of delicious Ham-to-Ham Combat.
  • John Larroquette tends to be all over this trope, as shown in any episode of Night Court, his guest spot in Chuck, and a memorable guest spot in The West Wing.

Lionel Tribbey: "I will KILL people today, Leo! I will KILL people with this cricket bat, which was given to me by Her Royal Majesty Elizabeth Windsor, and then I will kill them again WITH MY OWN HANDS!"

  • Speaking of The West Wing, Lord John Marbury is also incredibly hammy:


  • Jack Gallo in Just Shoot Me.
  • Lampshaded in Green Wing where Sue White wanders in dressed as a giant leg of ham.
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles has Doctor Silberman's return in "The Demon Hand" as a psychotic, deranged man living in the mountains, who starts off as a fairly calm and collected person who steadily begins chowing down on larger and larger servings of ham. By the end of the episode, he's thrashing about in an insane asylum, screaming "THEY'RE EVERYWHERE!"
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The Master, a powerful vampire who seems to live off scenery, not blood.

"Yes, shake, Earth! This is a sign! We are in the final days! My time is come! Glory! GLORY! *pause* What do you think? 5.1?"

    • Then there is Angelus. He relished in making everything he did—including his heinous acts of violence—as big and noticable as he possibly could.
    • Adam, the First, and Caleb also qualify. The First in particular is rather hammy. It's the source of all evil, and knows it.
    • Olaf the Troll from the episode "Triangle". All his lines were written in ALLCAPS, and it came across onscreen. The actor is clearly having a blast.
      • He literally attacks the scenery.


    • Warren Mears:

"You think you can just do that to me? You THINK I'd let you get AWAY WITH IT? HA HA! THINK AGAIN!"

      • For context: While saying this he is pointing a gun at Buffy. The line is designed to show that he's coming unhinged, and takes the whole "evil nemesis" thing vastly more seriously than the other two members of the trio.
    • And then we have Cordy and Wesley acting out the saga of Buffy and Angel:

Wesley: "Oh, Buffy..."
Cordy: "Yes, Angel?"
Wesley: "I love you so much I almost forgot to brood!"

    • In Buffy's Musical Episode, "Once More With Feeling", most of the cast release their inner hams during their musical numbers (except Alyson Hannigan, who spends most of the episode looking profoundly uncomfortable, as she was apparently less than enthused by the musical idea - which would explain why she's the only one who doesn't get a solo number or a duet). James Marsters (playing Spike) in particular appears to be having way too much fun.
    • Balthazar, a huge demon who yelled and splashed around in a little pool of water, was one of the hammiest characters in the entire series..
  • All Power Rangers. And every Power Rangers villain as well. It's a World of Ham.
    • One of the most memorable hammy villains was Devastation from SPD. This guy's entrance was literally punctuated by fireworks, and he said his own name upon appearing on the scene. After trouncing the Rangers, he actually told them to "marinate...IN FEAR!" As opposed to Devastation himself, who seemed to have been marinated in animal fat and then lightly basted before being served up as Christmas dinner. Did we mention he sounds just like "Macho Man" Randy Savage?
    • Radster from Lost Galaxy also counts.
    • While not necessarily the most iconic ham, a villain whose catchphrase is "Viva La Diva, baby!" has to be the Ur-example in this category. Some of Divatox's more memorable moments were "ARISE...AND MEET YOUR BRIDE!" and the somewhat famous "I LOVE it when a plan comes together!"
    • Lothor of Ninja Storm throws in a little Media Awareness as well. "What did you expect, he wasn't going to get smaller." (He looks directly into the camera as he says it, too.)
    • Tenaya 7 of Power Rangers RPM is frequently pausing in the middle of fights to make speeches, which she never gets to finish.
    • Of course, Rita's iconic screeching voice has yet to be topped. "I'VE GOT SUCH A HEADACHE!"
    • Anyone speaking while morphed is probably this, especially when calling attacks and summoning zords.

Jason: We need Dinozord power, now!

    • Zordon himself was a large ham in the tradition of Optimus Prime, with very little actual drama to it, but several metric tons of gravitas per syllable.
    • Antonio the Gold Samurai Ranger from Samurai impressively out-hams the entire franchise to date. Ironically enough, for all the ham he's got, his theme is seafood. Take his debut where he shows off his Ranger form for the first time:

Antonio: Now this... is a big moment. Man, this is gonna be so golden! Now let's do this! Samurai Morpher! Gold power! [[[Transformation Sequence]]] Gold is good to go! [Beat] That's it? No "Thanks for helping"? Or a little "What? What?" Alright, I get it. You need a minute. What can I say? When I make an entrance, it's go BIG, or go home! Am I right?

  • And when you say Power Rangers, realize that the Super Sentai counterpart can be hammy when it requires to do so. I mean, look at Samurai Sentai Shinkenger's Ikenami Ryuunosuke (A Kabuki actor known to yell "TONOOOOOOO!!!") and Umemori Genta (over the top sushi seller, the counterpart of Antonio above). Together they're known as the "Ham Sandwich" after all.
  • One word: Flabber (of Beetleborgs). He's one hammy flabberific phasm. It helps that his mannerisms are based on Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura and that he's also a cross between Robin William's Genie and Jim Carrey as The Mask.
    • Fangula from the same series. He was based on Dracula though, and that makes it pretty much a prerequisite.
  • Seinfeld:
    • George Constanza is an obvious choice.
    • His father Frank also counts, as nearly every single line of his is shouted at the top of his lungs.


    • But nobody, NOBODY, can trump Newman.
    • And when Michael Shanks makes guest spots as Carter Hall/Hawkman, scenery will shake and be chewed to pieces.
    • Large Ham seems to be a requirement to play a Smallville villain. From Season 1, John Glover is beautifully over the top as The Magnificent Bastard, Lionel Luthor and Michael Rosenbaum's Lex Luthor gets hammier with each season that passes. Cassidy Freeman is a female example as their successor, Dark Action Girl Tess Mercer. And then there's Callum Blue as Major Zod. "Unlike you I will lead from a throne, not from the shadows! Everyone on earth, including the woman you love, will Kneel Before Zod!" As of Season 10, Mackenzie Gray has been hammishly Axe Crazy as Lex's aging, dying clone, and Ted Whittal as Rick Flag? Whoo boy. He recites the Star Spangled Banner as he fires a missile at General Lane. He's not as loud as the other examples, but the sheer intensity Whittal brings to the character puts him here.
    • Booster Gold, period.

"I am Booster Gold, the greatest hero you've never heard of... 'TILL NOW!"

  • The 2008 BBC adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel Little Dorrit has Rignaud played by Andy "Gollum" Serkis. Serkis plays the role with a strong French accent for a start.
  • Firefly tends to avoid being overly melodramatic, except for some notable exceptions.
    • One of those being when someone threatens Mal's crew. Because when you turn on ANY OF HIS CREW, YOU TURN ON HIM!
    • Wash sometimes count, especially when playing with his dinosaurs.

"NOW DIE!!!!"

  • Alan Tudyk takes his hamminess to scary levels in Dollhouse.
  • And of course, who can forget Leo McKern, everyone's favorite second in command on The Prisoner? "DEGRRRREEEE ABSOOOOLUUUUTE!" McKern himself has had a hamtastic career-spanning performance as Deadpan Snarker Rumpole of the Bailey, especially when he's in the throes of his particularly sarcastic brand of advocacy.
  • Pick a comedic episode of Supernatural.
    • Watch as Jensen Ackles hams it up and nibbles on the scenery. He's a ham on the bonus features, too.
    • Jared, though, is the king of hammy-ness when it comes to comedic episodes, like his David Caruso parody. Jared owns the scene (in a good way)
    • Uh, Gabriel. "Can't we all just get along?"
  • Sebastian Stark of Shark, along with nearly every other character James Woods has played. Stark's hammy personality seems to be one of his preferred courtroom strategies.
  • Horatio... *shades* Caine.
  • In-character example: Sophie Deveraux from Leverage is an incredibly skilled and versatile con artist... when she's on a job. Unfortunately, all she really wants to do is act.
  • Keith Olbermann of Countdown with Keith Olbermann enjoys eating a large ham sandwich before delivering the news. He double doses before his Special Comments.
  • The IT Crowd has Matt Berry as Douglas Reynholm, not forgetting his ffffaaaather Denholm Reynholm played by Chris Morris, both of whom did some great Ham and Cheese.
  • Matt Berry's stint in The Mighty Boosh playing Dixon Bainbridge was a classic slice of Ham. His and Fossil's spontaneous rendition of "Total Eclipse of The Heart" was a high-point (and a Crowning Moment of Funny).
    • Look, let's just say "Every character ever played by Matt Berry" and leave it at that. The man manages to ham up adverts.
  • Basil Brush from The Basil Brush Show and also his cousin Mortimer to some extent. Who can forget that laugh?
  • Pretty much every actor in the 1970s sci-fi series Space: 1999 is either completely wooden, or producing metric tons of ham. Sometimes in going from one to the other in the space of a single line. The most notable is the episode "Death's Other Dominion", which featured Brian Blessed.
  • The laziest and hammiest person in the tv series LazyTown is without a doubt Robbie Rotten. Portrayed in an over-the-top style similar to Jim Carrey's portrayal of the title character in How The Grinch Stole Christmas. He'll keep on hamming........FOREVER!!'.
  • "And the secret ingredient is.... HHHHHAAAAAAAMMMMM!"
    • To put this into perspective, when the short-lived Iron Chef USA was put into production, they got the actor with the closest reputation to Takeshi Kaga they could find: William Shatner.
    • Amusing note: At least for Iron Chef America, early in March 2008 there was a ham battle. Literally.
      • With Alton Brown Lampshading it the whole way. "Battle HAM! is under way! Battle HAM! will be right back..." etc.
  • 24:
    • The ULTIMATE ham of 24 is Jack Bauer... the show wouldn't be a tenth as good if Kiefer Sutherland played the role low-key.

"Who is the ham man in Visalia!?!?"
"Where's the ham bomb?!?!".

    • In the 7th season John Voight played Jonas Hodges, an executive at the Private Military Corporation Starkwood, part of the Cabal that has been present since Season 5. He was also one of the hammiest villans with bizarre dialog like:

"Stress is the fertilizer of creativity. Now, let's play some darts."
"They're six year olds, Greg. And they need to eat their carrots."

    • Although Dennis Haysbert's performance was very subtle, President David Palmer was certainly not above snacking on scenery.

"That is an obscene suggestion!"

    • Ham must be a Palmer family treat. Sherry, Wayne, and Sandra Palmer all bust out several plates of ham when they deem it necessary.
    • Now compare the Palmers to total nut-case and Manipulative Bastard Charles Logan. Enough ham for days.
  • Jenna Maroney on 30 Rock.
  • In Farscape, out of all the hammy villains encountered, Maldis is by far the hammiest:


  • Queen Sophie-Anne Leclerq from True Blood (as played by Evan Rachel Wood), though she is rapidly being edged out by Russell Edgington.
  • Harland Williams. A good example of his hamming it up, interestingly, come from the commercial bumpers that they had him appear in for Kids WB (view some of them here; needless to say, someone at Warner Bros. soon realized we didn't need him to tell us that The Sylvester And Tweety Mysteries was back from the commercials in a Dracula voice.
  • I, Claudius. It stars Brian Blessed and John Hurt! Virtually everyone gets moments of large ham. Livia, Julia, Augustus, Caligula, the Sibyl prophetess from the beginning, etcetera.


Dr. Simon Finch-Royce: "Ok; Sam, Diane, you two are perfect together. I'm sorry I made a mistake before but you are the most perfectly matched couple ever. But, why am I telling this to you? Let's share it with the rest of the world. (yells out a window) Hear this, world. The rest of you can stop getting married. It's been done to perfection! Envy them, sofa, envy them, chair, for you shall never be as cozy as they for their union shall be an epoch-shattering success and I STAKE MY LIFE ON IT. Wait a moment! Let me get this on record (talks into his tape recorder) "I, Dr. Simon Finch-Royce, being of sound mind and body declare that Sam and Diane shall be happy together throughout all eternity and if I am wrong I promise I will take my own life in the most disgusting manner possible!" Here, take the tape, NO, take the whole machine! It's my wedding gift to you. The most perfect couple since the DAWN of TIME!"

  • All the Pythons seem to have had a go at hamming it up over the years. Most notably in a sketch set in the "Royal Hospital of Overacting." As you can guess, it's a hospital where large hams are cured of their SHOUTING TENDENCIES.
  • Dylan Moran in Black Books. Bill Bailey has his moments as well.
  • Dylan Moran's stand up (especially once you realize he's playing a character) is also full of these moments.

"I cannot convey to you in words exactly how much I DON'T CARE!!! I didn't even know we had windows until you pointed them out to me!"

    • An episode of Amazing Stories is about a pair of teenagers who decide to kill their English teacher, who is played by our dear Mr. Lloyd. If his over-the-top performance as Mr. Beanes (no relation) wasn't enough for you, the kids realize their mistake and try to resurrect him but accidentally tear the needed photo of him in half at the neck. So yes, he spends half the episode carrying his head as he chases them around, all the while threatening them with school work and flinging family-friendly head-related puns as fast as he can. Which, this being Christopher Lloyd, means he's chewing the scenery like it was made of Laffy Taffy. The episode ends with a fantastically narmy reveal where zom-Beanes responds to the question "are you okay" with "Well... actually... I have a bit of a... SORE THROAT! AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!" while he takes off his scarf to show the line of stitches around his throat. It's epic. [dead link]
  • As befitting a town where pigs play a vital role in the local ecosystem, Deadwood is absolutely packed to the gills with Large Hams:
    • Calamity Jane: "Cocksuckers!"
    • E.B. Farnum: "No deceit. Too prolonged. No errand too demeaning. Get outta here! No rebuke too vile. Al Swearengen's a cue and Farnum merely his billiard ball. Shit! Quagmire of piss and bullshit!"
    • Cy Tolliver: "Don't fuck with the fuckin' deity, Leon! You've got to come to him wholehearted, even when you're asking for partial relief. Oh, Lord! Let Leon cut down, Lord, on the motherfuckin' dujie."
    • Jack Langrishe (both in and out of character): "I am BAREly speakin' to YOU!"
    • Mr. Wu: "WU! AMERICA!"
  • Days of Our Lives - Soap operas in general have their share, but one Days cast member stands out above all others - Louise Sorel, whose portrayal of the scheming, stark-raving-mad Vivian is so far over the top it's halfway down the other side. And studded with cloves. And pineapple.
  • Erica Kane is a good example of a soap character that can be quite hammy. Reva from Guiding Light is another one.
  • From F Troop, Larry Storch as Corporal Agarn.
  • Stuck-up producer Gustavo Rocque of Big Time Rush hams it up quite a bit.
  • Gossip Girl episodes where Chuck Bass deals with the death of his father have Ed Westwick either chewing very large narmy hams or delivering his best performance yet.
  • How I Met Your Mother: Barney Stinson. Everything he does is a big chunk of ham.
    • Lily Aldrin too, though not as frequently.
    • Ted Mosby can push the ham to stratospheric levels if the situation calls for it (mainly when he's expressing strongly held opinions), despite often being the Deadpan Snarker.
    • Marvin Eriksen Sr. definitely qualifies.
    • The fictionalized HIMYM-verse version of Regis Philbin.
    • Sandy Rivers, who embodied the So Bad It's Good form of this trope when reporting on TV. Ted and Marshall used to watch him for the lulz.
  • Steve Urkel says hello.
  • Mr. Sikowitz from Victorious is this trope in spades. Robbie has moments of such too.
    • Trina Vega is ham.
  • FlashForward: "BECAUSE I WAS LOADED!!!!"
  • Jeeves and Wooster: Roderick Spode. "BRRRRRITISH BICYCLES!"
  • Don Cherry on Hockey Night in Canada. The largest ham on television, and what's worse (or better, given your perspective) is that he's not playing a part.
  • E4s and X-Factors Peter "Ruddy" Dickson - a voiceover man whose work now is practically built on this trope.


  • The somewhat shady CIA agent Darius Jedburgh (Joe Don Baker at his best) in Edge of Darkness has to be the most over-the-top American ever shown in a BBC mini series.
  • Apparently, Chad in Sonny With a Chance is a Large Ham in-universe, as apparent by this quote:

Chad: "You smell like ham."
Sonny: "I've seen your acting... so do you."

I will go to the animal shelter and get you a kitty cat. I will let you fall in love with that kitty cat. And then, on some dark, cold night I will steal away into your home... AND PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE.

    • Jesse St. James, too.
  • Peter Wyngarde is ham with (fancy) dressing in Department S and Jason King. For a double helping of ham, see him in The Avengers episode "Epic".
  • Half the characters on The League of Gentlemen qualify, though no amount of make-up can mask the demented glee on Reece Shearsmith's face when playing Papa Lazarou. Special mention goes to Tubbs and Edward from the same series.
  • iCarly:
    • Lewbert perfectly fits this trope.
    • Carly and Freddie also had instances of hammy moments.


    • Carly's brother Spencer also gets hammy from time to time


  • A recent episode of Covert Affairs had a really, really hammy Iranian defector. "FOR SHIZZLE! I WANT TO DEFECT TO THE U. S. A! =D"
  • Don Rickles' guest appearance on Get Smart.
  • Everyone on Gilligan's Island was a Large Ham - even by the standards of that hammiest of decades, The Sixties. And even by their standards, Jim Backus, as Thurston Howell III, went so far above and beyond, it's hard not to believe that he's actually a pig in disguise.
  • The Vampire Diaries - Damon Salvatore is what happens when you combine the Tropes of Vampires Are Sexy, Heroic Sociopath, Aloof Big Brother, Cain and Abel and Jerkass Woobie. He is delightfully hammy when he needs to be.
    • Ian Somerhalder said in an interview that he thinks he has the best lines on TV.
  • Castle has been known to ham it up. A prime example from the season 2 episode "Vampire Weekend". His mother Martha, being something of a White Dwarf Starlet, maintains some level of hamminess almost every time she's onscreen.
  • Jeremy Brett's brilliant performance as Sherlock Holmes was rife with ham, his version of Holmes having No Indoor Voice and tendency towards rambling and manic-depressiveness, much like his original book counterpart.
  • Alex Kingston as Mrs Bennett in Lost in Austen. Kingston is more than capable of giving a subtle, nuanced performance (and has even done so on Show Of Ham Doctor Who most of the time) - but she chucked it all out the window and went to town as Mrs Bennett. Although to be fair, anyone who doesn't play Mrs Bennett as an over-the-top piece of smoked, delicious ham is doing it wrong.
    • To be fair, she has her hammy moments on Doctor Who as well, such as her opening scene from "The Time of Angels":[1]

River: "You might want to find something to hang onto."

"I will be called back from the dead. (laughs). I will kill you all...AND COME FEAST UPON YOUR FLESH!"

  • While a lot of Immortals on Highlander probably qualify, Kronos really stands out.
    • Slan was a good example of this. And even Adrian Paul wandered into it once, during Darius's death scene.

Duncan: DAAARRRRIIUUUSSSS! DARIUS! (check out the onscreen expression and it'll be clear).

  • X-Play's Johnny X-Treme, a parody of the "extreme" trend in the mid-00's who spouted absurd catch phrases, broke beer bottles on his crotch, and made a game with a boss battle that involves a T-Rex with a hammerhead shark for a head (the entire shark) in front of the White House.


  • The Twilight Zone episode "The Little People" with Joe Maross as power-mad spaceman Peter Craig shouting "I'M THE GOD!, I'M THE GOD!" as he gleefully stamps on the little aliens' city. A line that was parodied by Dr. Forrester in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Movie.
  • Community: Professor of Drama Sean Garrity, played by Kevin Corrigan.
    • John Goodman as Vice Dean Laybourn gets to have even more fun than his work with the Coen Brothers.
    • Ken Jeong as Senor Chang regularly hams it up yelling at students in the first season.

Pierce: You can't do that!
Senor Chang: HAVE YOU MET ME?!

  • David E. Kelley is a writer/showrunner, not an actor, but he deserves some kind of lifetime assist award for scripting deli platters of ham (especially courtroom scences) for the following shows:
  • Will Friedle as Eric Matthews in the later seasons of Boy Meets World. He started out fairly subdued, but as Eric got crazier and Friedle developed better comic timing he added more and more ham to his performance until he became a full on large ham by about season six.
  • Jacks Teller from Sons of Anarchy, whenever he is angry with someone, takes this to ridiculous levels. It's particularly noticeable because he loses his temper very often. The other characters, especially Clay, usually try to resolve things peacefully.
  • Lenny Henry's titular character in Chef definitely qualifies.

Chef Gareth Blackstock: Everton, please remove the maggots, rat carcasses, and corpses of shocked health inspectors and make the place fit for the preparation of sodding food!
Chef Gareth Blackstock: Somebody bring me a knife, very long and razor sharp. I need to castrate the person who made this sauce and I don't want to cause any unecessary suffering. I'm not a vindictive man, I'm not out to cause pain, but with this man's DNA in the gene pool, humanity is doomed.

  • Pick a panelist from an episode of Around the Horn. Any panelist. Any episode. Odds are they will lapse into large ham territory at some point. Host Tony Reali can get pretty hammy himself.
  • Both Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser on Pardon the Interruption are like this. Most guest hosts, such as Bill Simmons or Dan LeBatard are pretty big hams as well.
  • The portrayal of Constantine the Great in the BBC documentary Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire with his fondness of Chewing the Scenery is definitely this trope.
  • Virtually every guest star on The Wild Wild West was a big slab of bacon, but the Largest Ham of all was Michael Dunn, who stood less than 4 feet tall.
    • He was nowhere near as OTT as Patsy Kelly ("The Night of the Big Blast" and "The Night of the Bogus Bandits"), Karen Sharpe in "The Night of the Ready-Made Corpse" or John Harding as Thaddeus Toombs in "The Night of the Winged Terror" - a man so hammy he had to have two episodes to fit all the porkiness in! (Coincidentally, this was the show's only two-parter.)
  • Averted on Mad Men: Jon Hamm is large, but he's not a Large Ham.
  • The vast majority of the hosts and guests on the Colgate Comedy Hour.
  • Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton on The Honeymooners.

Back to Large Ham
  1. Although let it be noted that it is debatable whether it is Kingston who is being the Ham, or River.