Joey Diaz is a Cuban-American actor who is primarily known for his work in My Name Is Earl, The Longest Yard, and Taxi. In recent years he has become more popular for his podcasting, hosting The Church of What’s Happening Now and serving as a regular guest on Joe Rogan’s wildly popular podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.
Diaz’s work has spanned decades. According to his IMDb, Diaz has been credited in over 70 movies and television shows, with his first credited appearance being in El chupete back in 1973 when he was ten years old. A career like that is sure to be wildly inconsistent. These are the ten best movie and TV roles of Joey Diaz, according to IMDb.
American Gun (2002) – 6.3
Diaz was building his acting career in the early 2000s. In 2002 he appeared as a Gun Smuggler in this crime film, American Gun. The movie is notable for being actor James Coburn’s final movie role. Coburn’s career spanned 45 years, appearing in movies like The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, and Affliction (for which he won an Academy Award in 1998).
The Longest Yard (2005) – 6.4
After years of small-time movie gigs, Diaz earned himself a major role in the 2005 comedy-drama The Longest Yard. This is arguably one of Adam Sandler’s more gritty and down-to-Earth comedies – he stars as Paul Crewe, a convict who creates his own football team out of prisoners to play an exhibition game against the guards. Diaz plays Big Tony, the fat one who can’t read and who isn’t particularly great at anything.
BASEketball (1998) – 6.5
Diaz’s first movie role was playing a referee in the 1998 comedy BASEketball. BASEketball stars Trey Parker and Matt Stone as two loser best friends who decide to create a sport combining basketball and baseball. The movie was critically roasted due to the foul humor and bland performances from Parker and Stone. However, general audiences were far more receptive (as is usually the case with raunchy comedies), resulting in a 6.5/10 rating on IMDb.
Murder 101: College Can Be Murder (2007) – 6.5
Murder 101: College Can Be Murder is a television movie, the second in the Murder 101 film series.
This series aired throughout the mid-2000s on the Hallmark Channel and consists of four films – Murder 101, College Can Be Murder, If Wishes Were Horses and The Locked Room Mystery. In this one, Mike Parker investigates the mysterious death of a college professor, who supposedly died of a heart attack. Diaz portrays a character named Herbie Saxe.
The Guest Book (2017-18) – 7.0
In the fall of 2018, Diaz appeared in two episodes of the TBS anthology The Guest Book. He played a character named Vinnie in season 2 episode, titled “Finding Reality”, and again in season 2 episode 4, titled “Killer Party”. With The Guest Book, Diaz reunited with the My Name Is Earl showrunner and creator, Greg Garcia. The show received middling reviews from critics and was unfortunately canceled after just two seasons and twenty episodes.
Spider-Man 2 (2004) – 7.3
One of Diaz’s first movie roles came in 2004 when he appeared as a train passenger in Spider-Man 2. Granted, Diaz’s role certainly isn’t large. But he does have a speaking part in the movie’s most iconic scene, and that’s certainly worth something. Spider-Man 2 is often regarded as one of, if not the, greatest superhero movie of all time. It currently sits at 7.3/10 on IMDb, 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 83 on Metacritic. Small role or not, being a part of Spider-Man 2 is historic.
I’m Dying Up Here (2017-18) – 7.4
I’m Dying Up Here is a comedy-drama that aired on Showtime for two seasons and twenty episodes throughout 2017 and 2018.
The show primarily chronicles a group of young comedians as they attempt to make their way up the L.A. stand-up comedy ladder in order to gain a spot on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Diaz appeared in two episodes throughout the show’s second season, playing a character known as Taffy.
My Name Is Earl (2005-09) – 7.7
My Name Is Earl was an NBC sitcom that aired four seasons and nearly 100 episodes between 2005 and 2009. It stars Jason Lee as Earl Hickey, a small-time thief who learns about karma and decides to turn his life around by righting his numerous wrongs. Diaz played Jhoey in a four-episode arc throughout season three. His first appearance was in “My Name Is Inmate #28301-016: Part 1”, and his final in season 3 episode 12, “Early Release”.
Maron (2013-16) – 7.7
Through Maron, Diaz combined his two loves – comedy and podcasting. Maron was a comedy series starring podcast host Marc Maron (of WTF with Marc Maron – a very popular comedy/interview podcast) as a fictionalized version of himself. It ran for four seasons and 49 episodes on IFC between 2013 and 2016. Diaz played a character named Bobby Mendez on two episodes of the show – season two’s The Joke and season four’s Philippe.
The Midnight Gospel (2020-) – 8.3
The Midnight Gospel is a unique show indeed. Released through Netflix, The Midnight Gospel is an animated comedy in which a space podcaster (or spacecaster) travels throughout the universe and interviews various aliens. The interviews within the show are based on real interviews that stem from co-creator Duncan Trussell’s real podcast, The Duncan Trussell Family Hour. Diaz appears in four episodes of the show, “playing” Chuck Charles, the Devil, and Steve the Junkboat Fish.