Jul 17, 2023

Best John Michael Higgins Performances, Ranked

To celebrate the long and impressive career, we look at the best John Micheal Higgins' best performances, ranked up to our number one choice.

John Micheal Higgins had always shown an interest in the arts, with his first love of performance coming singing with an a cappella group at Amherst College. In the early '80s, Higgins would continue to hone his voice by working as a theater instructor with Street 70, in Rockville, MD. His first screen acting experience would come from the 1986 series Class of '86, which would lean into Higgins's theater and singing experience to help fill various roles on the program.

Since his debut, Higgins has become an iconic character actor, amassing an impressive 158 credits across film, TV, and voice acting. Some of John Micheal Higgins's most notable appearances would come from his roles in the Pitch Perfect series and a starring role as David Letterman in the movie The Late Shift. Yet, his ample career is full of notable appearances and starting roles, making him an industry staple.

To celebrate the long and impressive career, we look at the best John Micheal Higgins' best performances, ranked up to our number one choice.

While not as popular as the other Fran Drescher and Peter Marc Jacobson-created show The Nanny, Happily Divorced is inspired by Drescher's real-life experiences, marking a meaningful project for her. Notably, the series mimics Drescher's real-life experiences with her husband, who, after their divorce, comes out as gay. From that point, instead of turning her back on her past partner, the two built a meaningful friendship.

John Micheal Higgins plays the lead role of Peter Lovett in Happily Divorced, and he has spoken fondly of his time on the project thanks to the positive environment Drescher created for the cast and crew. However, the series ultimately fell into the generic sitcom stereotypes, and many viewers did not connect with it enough to warrant its longevity past a second season. Still, the series is worth checking out for those who enjoy sitcoms.

Originally appearing as part of The Martin Short Show, the bloated film critic would get his show in Primetime Glick, garnering a cult fan base for the Martin Short character. The inevitable movie, Jiminy Glick in Lalawood, merged candid interviews with various celebrities and a largely improvised murder-mystery plot, which saw Glick trying to solve a crime during the Toronto International Film Festival.

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For an expansive cast, John Micheal Higgins was one of many celebrities to have a brief role in the film. However, his is one of the most memorable as he plays Andre Devine, one the primary suspects of Glick's investigations. The film highlights Higgins's willingness to commit to comedy and not take himself so seriously to help make the jokes land.

Bad Teacher may not have landed critical success for its crass comedy that largely failed to hit the mark. Yet, the film proved to be a box office success largely from the gossip surrounding Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake, who had recently split.

This also got a lot of eyes on John Micheal Higgins and his performance as Principal Wally Snur, who got the brunt of Siaz's antics as the titular bad teacher. Time has not been too great for the film, but it is still fun to revisit based on the performances alone.

A comedy of self-exploration and romance led by the legendary Jim Carrey, Yes Man is one of comedic legend's most uplifting and entertaining films. Following Carl Allen (Carrey), a man who has said 'no' to every opportunity in his, takes a drastic shift to embrace saying "yes" after attending a motivational speech. Carrey's life is drastically changed as he pushes towards new experiences, self-growth, and a fresh romance with a girl named Allison (Zooey Deschanel).

John Micheal Higgins plays Nick, an old co-worker of Carl's who left the corporate world to live the life he always aspired to, of being free and happy. Nick acts as one of the catalysts to assure Carl he is on the right path, and while his guest role is brief in the film, it is one of the more memorable appearances by John Micheal Higgins in a blockbuster rom-com.

A somewhat underrated Neo-noir crime thriller on Netflix, Shimmer Lake took a unique approach in telling its story in reverse order, moving toward the robbery that framed the (chronological) final revelations of the movie. The experimental film highlighted a memorable cast, including Benjamin Walker, Wyatt Russell, and Rainn Wilson (of The Office fame). It would also prove to be one of the more unique Netflix originals released to this date.

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In the movie, John Micheal Higgins plays a crucial role in the plot, a politically aspiring bank owner whom three criminals blackmail into robbing his own bank. Higgins' character becomes pivotal in understanding the film as it travels backward in time and marks one of the actor's most defined and well-executed dramatic performances.

The short-lived American sitcom Great News had a fair amount going for it out of the gate, produced by Tina Fey and written by Tracey Wigfield, who had found previous success with 30 Rock and The Mindy Project as a writer. It also received praise from critics and fans alike, still sitting at a fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and a high score on IMDB. Alas, some shows are not meant to be, and despite fans rallying to try to keep the program going, it was canceled after one season due to poor ratings.

This is a shame when considering this could have turned into the definitive and best performance from John Micheal Higgins, who played the eccentric and charismatic show host Chuck Pierce. Higgins was one of the more memorable personalities among the strong cast, and the series is worth a revisit to watch him at his comedic best.

Pitch Perfect has proven to be one of the most popular musical franchises ever made, spanning three films grossing over half a billion dollars worldwide. Moreover, the film became a vehicle for actors like Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, cementing them as modern comedic standouts. Although not as prevalent as the other cast, John Micheal Higgins has become a staple across the three films as the commentator and judge for the a cappella performances.

Known for his dry wit in the series, this is one of many examples of Higgins being able to lean into his musical background and experience with singing to bring his unique brand of comedy to a performance. It is probably his most recognizable role, especially with modern audiences, and is favorable to presenting the actor at his most humorous.

John Micheal Higgins has been involved with several films that could be labeled cult classics. However, out of all those films, the one that stands among the rest is Best in Show, which won over a dedicated fan base due to its comical look at the world of pet owners and dog shows. Written by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy (who also worked on A Mighty Wind), the mockumentary followed five separate entrants into a prestigious dog show.

In addition to being filled with some of the best doggos in the biz, Best in Show was backed by a strong cast, including John Micheal Higgins, who plays Scott Donlan. Dolan and his partner Stefan Vanderhoof (Michael McKean) enter their prize Shih Tzu Miss Agnes with confidence she will win. The two are one of the five parties the film follows leading up to and performing at the dog show. The two work great as a duo and have some of the most quotable lines from the movie, making it an essential watch for fans of John Micheal Higgins.

While John Micheal Higgins's career is mostly a highlight of memorable guest appearances, with a few starring roles in TV shows, there is one film that put the actor in the limelight in an intriguing way. The Late Shift was a dramatization of the rivalry between David Letterman and Jay Leno to capture the prestigious role of host of The Tonight Show after Johnny Carson stepped down.

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The part proved problematic for Higgins, including being regularly critiqued by Letterman himself on his program for his performance. Considering how much of a distinct icon Letterman was on the late-night TV circuit, Higgins managed to push through the pressure and offer a credible rendition of the talk show host. Moreover, the movie was praised by some for capturing the power struggle between the two late-night titans giving viewers a memorable window into the events that transpired.

While This is Spinal Tap is one of the best music mockumentaries ever made, A Mighty Wind carries the same comedic brilliance with a phenomenal cast--in part due to having Christopher Guest help pen both films. The movie follows three folk groups as they get together for a concert for the first time in decades to honor fictional folk music producer Irving Steinbloom. One of the bands featured, The Folksmen, first appeared on SNL, but the production was not associated with the late-night skit show.

In A Mighty Wind, John Michael Higgins plays the role of Terry Bohner, a member of the New Main Street Singers. He is an eccentric personality who expresses himself through fashion and his new-age beliefs, including the practice of a spirituality centered around the vibratory power of colors. Given Higgins' background in singing and theater, he proved to be an apt fit.

John Micheal Higgins as Terry Bohner became one of the more memorable eccentrics in the movie which included comedic legends such as Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara. This makes A Mighty Wind an easy pick for the best John Micheal Higgins performance.

Adam is a counter-culture nerd obsessed with cinema, video games, music, and manga. He has been a freelance writer and editor for the past seven years, focusing on entertainment media.

John Micheal HigginsHappily Divorced Jiminy Glick in LalawoodBad Teacher Yes Man Shimmer LakeGreat NewsPitch PerfectBest in ShowThe Late Shift A Mighty Wind