Jim Carrey's TV time -- The actor starred in Fox's ''Doing Time on Maple Drive''

The Truman Show may have earned Jim Carrey recognition as an actor, but he’s shown his drama chops before. Witness Doing Time on Maple Drive, a 1992 Fox TV movie about a seemingly perfect, secretly mega-dysfunctional family. Carrey had a supporting role as the oldest sibling, an embittered dropout with a drinking problem, and those viewers who didn’t already know him from In Living Color could never have guessed he had a single talking-butt joke in him. If the performance has gone largely unrecognized, that’s partly due to the film’s absence from video — unless you count the 1995 pirated version retitled Faces in the Mirror. ”One of the zaniest, most outrageous laugh riots ever,” boasts the box, which also contains Carrey stand-up and ILC bits. ”A store in West Hollywood carried it with a disclaimer,” reports Maple Drive writer James Duff (Duffy on the packaging), whose script was nominated for an Emmy. ”’Despite the way it is being marketed, [this] is a sensitive film about a young man coming out. Jim Carrey plays his brother.”’ Fox has no plans for a release; Maple Drive‘s next legit showing comes on cable’s Lifetime on Dec. 26.