Are American Moviegoers Suppose to Know Who Richard Ayoade is?


In what might be the biggest lack of advertising clarity of any summer movie, Fox is listing an actor named Richard Ayoade as apart of the cast for “The Watch.” Yet, who is he? He is prominently featured on the poster and in the trailer with A-list actors. Sure most American moviegoers know who Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill are. What other films has Richard Ayoade starred in? It seems foolish for the studio to prominently feature an actor in the trailer no one knows without giving viewers an introduction. A more appropriate ad campaign would say something such as “and introducing Richard Ayoade.”


I wonder if Ayoade starred in an overrated TV show everyone talks about, one that I don’t watch. This is becoming common practice in recent months. I’m not knowledgeable with my TV actors and more are making appearances in movies. Ayoade’s famous claim to fame is directing the indie film “The Submarine” and starring in some British TV shows.  I never got around to seeing that quirky movie last year. Should everyone know who this guy is? His body of work on IMDB didn’t ring a bell. Does anyone know who he is and what significance he’s made in the Entertainment Industry? Am I just being prudish thinking Ayoade shouldn’t have been featured in the P & A for “The Watch?”


Clarification: Due to the comment section, I want to say a few things. The issue I had with “The Watch” is in the MARKETING of the film. Fox might not have had time due to the last minute changes in the campaign due to the Trayvon Martin shooting. Yes, the world may not revolve around America, but if you are advertising a film in the States, it must be familiar to an audience in order for it to sell. If Fox were advertising “The Watch” in another country where Richard Ayoade is well known, then placing his image and name on the poster would make sense. He isn’t well known in America. It’s not a bad thing, just a reality. I did mention that I am not knowledgeable with my TV actors, let alone ones from shows from other countries. I don’t keep tabs on international TV shows when I barely can keep up with foreign films released in American theaters. My understanding of TV mostly consists of word of mouth from friends. I’ve had two friends already recommend the IT Crowd and I will give it a chance.



About Kenny Miles

Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding.He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.

29 thoughts on “Are American Moviegoers Suppose to Know Who Richard Ayoade is?

  1. You call yourself an “avid movie fan” who reviews limited release, independent and foreign language films, then write a blog about an industry you claim not to follow closely, to complain that there are things you do not know?
    To be honest I can actually understand not knowing who Richard Ayoade is, but to complain about the advertisers offending your ignorance seems unfair.
    Interestingly enough, I came across this article while looking to see if anyone else found it odd that Richard Ayoade was barely featured in the (Australian) trailer.

    1. Hey Hailey. Thanks for commenting. The article is about whether or not mainstream audiences know who he is, not whether or not aficionados like us who go out of their way to find out such things.
      Thanks again!

  2. Just shut up. Don’t watch IT Crowd because you don’t deserve to watch a great TV series, because you an ignorant internet blogger. Seriously like you said the world doesn’t revolve around the United States but for some reason you think that only good entertainment comes from the United States for some God awful reason. Richard Ayoade is a fantastic Actor/Director and should definitely be seen as an ‘A’ lister. I didn’t see the movie and I heard it wasn’t very good but that doesn’t change the fact that you know nothing about the person that you are writing this hateful post about. Seriously I’m done with this website now because you just don’t deserve to have anyone listen to your stupidity! You Idiot!

    1. Alexander, your reply is down right trollish.. This is going a little to far. So he made a mistake in misjudging who Richard is, doesn’t make him a bad blogger. Certainly doesn’t call for name calling like some teenager.

  3. I read the blog expecting a nice ending on how he is known and liked or going to be better known yet it felt like you just wanted to point out that you don’t know or care who this actor is (and in someway because he’s from UK)
    Pointless blog IMO, least you blog count is increasing

  4. @JigsawLounge terrible blog. Plenty of American movies are marketed over here with unfamiliar names from Saturday Night Live etc.

  5. Another post made up entirely of an ignorant person spouting off his views as gospel.  I think it’s time I found another movie blog to follow…

    1. [email protected] Same, this blog is getting worse and worse and this post I think has done it for me.  Well done Miles

      1. [email protected]’m pretty sure this post was meant as a question and as a way to highlight the marketing of an unfamiliar face being headlined in the materials. It’s good to know that if someone put my name on the poster that people like you would be there to defend me when it’s questioned who I am. Who hasn’t heard of Anthony from The Movie Blog?

      2. [email protected]’m confused. To me I read this as Kenny pointing out the poor marketing of Ayoade to help unfamiliar audiences become introduced to who he is as an actor. I don’t read this as an attack on Ayoade but a statement of fact that he isn’t being “introduced” properly so that we can get to know him.

      1. @JigsawLounge I am now amused by my drunken comment showing up on that page. Amused and a bit frightened. And possibly a bit turned on.

  6. Not all americans are so clueless.. I am American and I know exactly who he is.. I watch british comedies all the time.. He is a very good comedic actor.

  7. The world does not revolve around America, every one in the UK knows who he is and I imagine and I imagine many other countries will know him. Think before you speak ;)

  8. Can’t help but think that the tone of this piece is some kind of exaggeratedly ironic wind-up. Are you seriously trying to come over like every other wilfully and stereotypically uninformed Yank who passive-aggressively blames rest of us for their own ignorance? It’s not the fault of the film-maker if you don’t know who Richard Ayoade is: the majority of the world’s population – and that includes notable numbers of filmgoers – couldn’t name Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, or Jonah Hill. ‘A-List’ means little or nothing outside the parochial geekosphere. Everyone else is, oh, I don’t know, more worried about where their next meal is coming from or not getting caught up in some illegal drone strike. And having seen the trailer for ‘The Watch’ I imagine not knowing Ayoade is the least of that film’s worries. God I hope Romney doesn’t win.

    1. It’s not the fault of the film maker, it’s the fault of the marketing. His name is completely uncommon in the U.S. and he doesn’t typically noticeably appear in anything that would introduce us to him.As such it’s the responsibility of the marketing to help us better understand why we should be excited for his inclusion rather than us having to ask you, no?

      1. [email protected]_TMB He’s technically not uncommon to those who pay attention. Richard also played the same character in the American version of the IT Crowd from NBC, short-lived or not.

        1. [email protected] that’s my point. It’s very hard to pay attention to the stars of short lived TV shows. Society’s attention span is not known for it’s longevity. The expectation that he’s a recognized name in order to be marketing in similar fashion to Ben Stiller is on one hand flattering but on the other questionable.

        2. [email protected]_TMB Ok, I see your point.. But, you could look at it a different way to where you are over thinking it…The movie is about a neighborhood watch group. The group consists of 4 members. Don’t you think it would raise more questions if the 3 A-listers were the only ones displayed in the marketing campaign? Could just be another way of “introducing” him to a wider audience then his short lived show.

  9. He is sort of a cult figure in the US….and yes some people over here do know who he is. The IT Crowd is a brilliant show and his character Moss is amazing. He also was co-writer, director and starred in Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace which is bizzare, hillarious and…one of my favorite shows. I am from the US but I do like crazy british show. Also he played a great character in the Mighty Boosh, Saboo. Just YouTube those shows. As far as I know, he really hasn’t been in any films (other than a small cameo in a movie) or starred in US tv (other than a pilot for US version of the IT Crowd). His sense of humor is more deadpan, kinda subversive, and at the same time likable. Nathan Barley, I thought was sort of cool but probably out of all his TV work is quite edgy and a challenging bit of satire that would never make it to TV in the US. Oh  he did direct an episode of Community. Yes, he isn’t well known over here but he has been involved in some pretty inventive and original well written tv stuff…may not be mainstream or everyone’s cup of tea though. His  IT Crowd character is going to be a legend in British TV comedy. Just such a great character.
    I do agree that the studio did do a horrible job marketing this guy… but they did a shit job marketing this The Watch movie in general. Maybe one the movie hits overseas audiences, his name on the ads and commercials may be more meaningful. 
    Oh and Submarine (which he wrote the screenplay and directed) is a great movie. He is directing (and co-wrote) another movie called The Double that should be out next year.

  10. He starred in the IT Crowd in Britain on Channel 4.  Best British show by far of all the ones they tried to recreate in America.  He is simply hilarious on it and has some real skills to make people laugh.  I can see why they are using him since he will be a hit once it is all said and done.

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