The New Yorker: Letter from Hollywood: Funny is Money

LETTER FROM HOLLYWOOD about Ben Stiller. At forty-six, Ben Stiller is arguably the world’s biggest comedic movie star. He has sold more than five billion dollars’ worth of tickets to such comedies as “There’s Something About Mary,” “DodgeBall,” “Night at the Museum” (and its sequel), “Madagascar” (and its sequels), and “Meet the Parents” (and its sequels). He is the only actor with three billion-dollar franchises (the ones with sequels). Even when he’s hired only as an actor, he’ll take full responsibility for a film, from retooling the script to approving the director, assembling the cast, and overseeing how the scenes are edited together.