Ingredient Three:
A few dramatic roles, to taste
Black was well received in 2007’s Margot at the Wedding, in which he had a dramatic role -- kind of. He did still don a Nachoesque mustache and bare his backside to comedic, and highly uncomfortable, effect in the film. But he also cried his guts out on camera, which is not something he’s pushing to do more of anytime soon. It’s not that he didn’t enjoy the challenge; it’s that he just doesn’t feel as sure about drama.

“With comedy, it’s a little easier to know when I’m doing something effectively,” Black says. “If I make myself laugh, that’s good. But if I make myself get the shivers because something was so real or emotional, that’s not quite as definitive to me. Funny is more tangible. I know what’s going to get a laugh. But I don’t know if any given scene is going to be effective emotionally.”

Still, Black wants to keep mixing the occasional dramatic role in with his comedies. Just for the sake of, well, getting the recipe right. “I like doing both comedy and drama because it is good to do something different,” he says. “It’s just like how you want to eat different meals. You don’t want to settle in and say, ‘Well, I’ve found it. The Big Mac is the best meal, so I’ll just have those for the rest of my life.’ ”