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Some are young amateurs who have built mini-empires for themselves out of doing little more than cracking wise in front of the camera in their bedroom, like Jenna Marbles; others are full-fledged brands like Vice Media and AwesomnessTV that have attracted Flollywood backers (21st Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation, respectively).
Starting in May, Marvel Comics will shed more light on how the transformation took place and how those early days of fighting crime, juggling school and coming to terms with the emotional blow of losing Uncle Ben helped turn Parker from a gawky teenager with a knack for cracking wise into the hero and human he's become.
In a RoboCop rocket suit, genius inventor and cuddly global weapons dealer Robert Downey Jr wages his own war on terror, cracking wise through the comical crash-bash action.
One day people are up in arms about a misfiring Amul ad making fun of Ishant Sharma, the next day they're cracking wise at the misery of a man who lost his grandmother and father to terrorists.
WHETHER HE'S CRACKING WISE as host of The Soup or as vain ex-lawyer Jeff Winger on the wacky community college-set sitcom Community, now in its fourth season on NBC (which is available on DVD in May), Joel McHale looks good enough to be mistaken for gay.