Happy 54th Birthday, Steve Buscemi! What's His Most Underrated Screen Moment?

buscemi225.jpgCorrect me if I'm wrong, but I think it's safe to say that Steve Buscemi is one of the most universally liked actors of this generation. He vivified Fargo, gave Ghost World a soul, lent Big Fish some quirky sincerity, ruled on 30 Rock (and Boardwalk Empire, I suppose), and even proved himself a viable proxy for Paul Lynde as the voice of Templeton in the Charlotte's Web remake. That's not an easy sneer to fill. But today we're talking about Buscemi's underrated work, the stuff that doesn't percolate with the grim vigor of a Coen Brothers classic. What's your pick?

Eagle-eyed readers will note that I toasted Buscemi's uncredited role as Danny McGrath in Billy Madison during Bad Movies We Love recently, but it's too goddamn funny not to revisit here. As Billy (Adam Sandler) makes amends with the kids he tortured in high school, he finds that onetime loser Danny McGrath seems mysteriously well-adjusted. It's a different story once Billy hangs up the receiver, though, and we watch as Danny's true nature gurgles up from the netherworld. So, so weird and so unassailable in its gall. I laugh every single time at this clip.

What's Buscemi's most underrated moment? Those who disagree with me will be forced to skip recess and apply glue to Miss Lippy's face.


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