In Which It’s A Crime That Ben Affleck Wasn’t In The Departed

We haven’t quite processed last night’s historic awesomeness yet, so forgive us for blogging about the relatively more mundane spectacle of Ben Affleck’s stint hosting SNL over the weekend. We also imagine some of your are burned out with relief and wouldn’t mind thinking about something more trivial for a moment, in this case Ben Affleck. – ML


You Almost Make Me Forget About Tacos

by Molly Lambert

“I’m full of ideas and dreams.”Ben Affleck

I think the reason I like Ben Affleck has something to do with my eternal love of sidekicks. I also kind of respect honest hackery. Or rather I guess, Ben Affleck seems like kind of a douche, but one who is semi-aware of his douchiness, thereby negating some of it. It’s not like I even think he’s hot, I really don’t. He just seems like he’d admit Taco Flavored Kisses is funny.


I will never be able to watch Keith Olbermann again now without seeing him as Ben Affleck, because of this Ben Affleck as Keith Olberman sketch from SNL over the weekend. Affleck makes a great Olbermann even if he keeps corpsing towards the end. Watching Rachel Maddow and Olbermann last night I kept seeing him as Ben Affleck. That was one of my few thoughts during the election. Most of the others were “!!!!!”


I’ve always gone out of my way to defend Ben Affleck, especially since he came out of his snorting diamonds with J. Lo phase. He played excellent bullies in Mallrats and Dazed & Confused. He seems like maybe he was fat as a little kid. I’m not even really defending his acting so much as his status as a celebrity. It’s not like there aren’t far more useless celebrities than Affleck.


Ben Affleck for example is a much better celebrity than Josh Hartnett, who is the epitome of complete talentlessness.

If you hate Ben Affleck or are mad that this isn’t a piece about Obama, comfort yourself with the fact that they posted the Vincent Price Halloween Special clip from SNL on hulu! Featuring Bill Hader as Vincent Price, Kristen Wiig as Gloria Swanson Fred Armisen as Liberace, and Jon Hamm as James Mason. Hamm was apparently going to do Dean Martin and then decided at the last second to do James Mason having not shown it to anyone before the show. Hamm remains sexy.


I’m not saying anyone should ever watch Smokin’ Aces or Surviving Christmas or Gigli or Pearl Harbor, or really any Ben Affleck movie. I’m just saying, Ben Affleck is a consistently decent B-Actor in a lot of terrible bad B-movies. I feel like if he were a 1950s actor he’d be in a lot of gladiator movies, but maybe that’s just his facial hair growing abilities. I hear Gone Baby Gone, the movie he directed, is very well executed.


He was a great romantic lead in Chasing Amy, but that was a long time ago and he hasn’t made a good rom-com since. We’re still waiting on the much-delayed film version of self-help book “He’s Just Not That Into You,” in which he is just not that into Jennifer Aniston. He’d be best off playing sort of cocky a-holes like his excellent turn in Boiler Room. He ought to be the villain on a TV show. Ben Affleck is tailor made for television.


When he was doing the Alec Baldwin impression on SNL it occurred to me that Baffleck is basically a baby Alec Baldwin. He is also a super liberal kind of sleazy funny east coasty dude. Baldwin’s turns hosting SNL were some of the show’s highlights (Canteen Boy) and Ben Affleck has also been better as a host than he usually is in films. He does pick the worst films.


Like Alec Baldwin’s career renaissance via 30 Rock, Ben Affleck will be perfect as the Lou Grant of some future office sitcom, where he will play the Michael Scott-like boss of some company. Probably it will be kind of a fictionalized version of real Ben Affleck who is more of a caricature. If Jennifer Garner is reading this, I’ll be happy to write it. E-mail me.

National Theatre

Alex took on Jersey Girl and lost. Here Joseph Kirkland (bon voyage!) tackles Zack & Miri Make A Porno with unsexy results.


Affleck will probably keep directing solid genre movies and knocking up his incredibly hot wife while fantasizing about strippers. I don’t really know why I like him. He makes terrible movies. He’s like the ur-Masshole. It’s probably just because he’ll always be the Luigi to Matt Damon’s A-List Mario. Part of Affleck’s charm is that he seems to acknowledge and accept that he is not a great actor, but he doesn’t seem competitive with the talented Mr. Damon (because he would obviously lose).


Maybe it’s because he was so good in Night School Musical: Senior Year Equivalent as Wolf the ‘Nam-vet janitor. Or just because has some of the most ridiculous funfacts on IMDB:

When he was little, he asked his mom for a dog, and she tested him by making him walk an imaginary dog for a week. Ben only lasted for 5 days and didn’t get the dog.

Dropped out of the University of Vermont after 1 semester. Dropped out of Occidental College after 1 year, where he had studied Middle Eastern studies.

Has his teeth capped.

Owns 5 motorcycles.

His highest paycheck was for the movie Paycheck.

His father was at one time a janitor at Harvard University, the inspiration for Will Hunting’s job at MIT in Good Will Hunting.

Was an extra with friend Matt Damon in Field of Dreams.

Charlie Sheen drove him to Promises Rehabilitation Center.


Is known for being a very good impressionist. He usually picks one of his costars while filming a movie and studies them. While filming The Sum of All Fears, he chose to study co-star Morgan Freeman. When he showed Morgan his impression on set, it was so accurate Freeman told him, “You ever do that again, I’ll kill you.”

Has a Boston Celtics logo painted on the basketball court at his house.

Jennifer Lopez wrote the song “Dear Ben” about him and how much she loved him.

He once won $356,000 by winning the California State Poker Championship – defeating some of the best poker players in the world in the process.

Is an avid fan of Robert Englund.

Fluent in Spanish.

In 1999 he was nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple in the movie Armageddon with actress Liv Tyler. In 2004, he was again nominated for, and subsequently won, the Worst Screen Couple Award with co-star Jennifer Lopez in the movie Gigli. One year later in 2005, he was nominated, once again, for Worst Screen Couple, this time with both of the actresses (Jennifer Lopez or Liv Tyler) in the film Jersey Girl.



Change Da Game – DJ Quik: (mp3)

A Change Is Going To Come – Baby Huey: (mp3)

You Want Change For Your Rerun – Arthur Lee: (mp3)

I Can Change Your Life – Lloyd: (mp3

Changes (ft. T-Boz) – Society Of Soul: (mp3)

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording


Eviscerated By Elizabethtown

Deep Inside The Departed

Ben And Matt’s Boogie Nights



14 thoughts on “In Which It’s A Crime That Ben Affleck Wasn’t In The Departed

  1. I, too, defend The Affleck for some reason I can’t really put my finger on. I think I will always love him for the “Worst Part of my Day” speech in GWH.

  2. He’s also great in Hollywoodland, and appropriately slick in Changing Lanes, possibly the best Christmas movie not set during the holiday season (which makes the unendurable horror of Surviving Christmas even more dispiriting). Plus, he’s funny on chat shows. This makes up for a lot. Maybe even Pearl Harbor.

  3. Ben was in the office the other day and told us the whole history of the film industry was about interrelationships: “Creation, Finance, Distribution. That’s all you need to know.” It was a joke. I laughed.

  4. Affleck WAS in The Departed.

    Go to the funeral scene at the end where they are folding the flag. He in the flag detail on the far left.

    When they cut to the pic of [the dead cop], and then cut back to Vera Farmiga, you can see Affleck’s face clear as day, although his eyes are obstructed by the police hat.

  5. Oh Ben you are so perfect
    So spectacularrr in every way
    You bring light into my life, Ben
    You almost make me forget about…TACOS!
    YEAHm TACOS, SO GOOD in my tummy yummy yummy give me more!
    I love you, Ben. You almost make me forget about…

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