Chris Haston/NBC

One of comedy’s fastest-rising stars, Josh Gad sang and danced his way to a Tony nomination in Broadway’s Book of Mormon.  Now he’s tickling ribs as the president’s son on NBC’s White House sitcom, 1600 Penn, a show Gad not only stars in but also co-writes and co-produces. Gad, 31, shares some of his greatest inspirations.

Charlie Chaplin
“I’ve always aspired to be a physical comedian because it’s a universal language and cross-generational too. My 93-year-old grandfather enjoys watching that type of comedy in the same way my 18-month-old daughter does. Nobody does it like Charlie Chaplin.”

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John Belushi and Chris Farley
“There is a long line of clowns that are cut from the same cloth, and it’s a very, very big cloth. John Belushi and Chris Farley are two big guys and even bigger geniuses that I’ve always looked up to — not only from the type of comedy they do but the commitment to their comedy. There are no half-measures.”

Meryl Streep
“I’m always shocked every time I see her on screen because no matter how good I think I’m doing, she always makes me feel utterly incompetent. She’s great at comedy and drama.”

Philip Seymour Hoffman
“There is a nuance in every single one of his performances — a little something that’s surprising and allows him to be completely different in everything he does. There’s no actor as good as him.”