My Top 99 Favorite Comedies
1985 7.6 899. The Blues Brothers (1980)
From the very beginning of the series, Saturday Night Live was continually introducing characters that were created specifically for the program's Not-Yet-Ready-For-Primetime players. And these creations finally start to prove themselves as bankable movie properties with the Blues Brothers, "Joliet" Jake & Elwood. Portrayed by Jim Belushi & Dan Aykroyd, they originated as a fictional soul revivalist band as a part of a musical sketch for the fledging late-nite weekend comedy show.
In their big screen debut, they are couple of orphan-raised white guys who soulfully sing the blues, regularly defy the law & like to drive at night wearing their sunglasses. Basically because they're on a mission from God.
It's safe to say that, as a non-religious person, I came to see the light when I realized that the Blues Brothers is probably my favorite spiritual film of all time.
876 6.8 7.598. Christmas Vacation (1989)
In this third installment of the Vacation series, the adventures the Griswolds continues during the time of gift-giving and carefree carolling. And in keeping with their family tradition, they find that no matter what season it is, their luck is always gonna be bad.
Yuletide holiday merriment & cheer from back during a period when Chevy Chase was considered to be cooler than Santa Clause. Not to mention, this was also a time when he was actually, believe it or not, kinda funny.
298 5.7 6.297. Bachelor Party (1984)
Back before he was a multi-Oscar winning actor, Tom Hanks was one half of the crossdressing duo from Bosom Buddies. While wearing a dress, it was a role that found him surrendering his heart to a blonde bombshell. Soon he parlayed his TV comedic skills to the movie screen, making a Splash in Hollywood whilst giving his heart up to a beautiful lady who was half fish.
Which he quickly followed up with Bachelor Party, as a character who's up and getting hitched with 80's super-vixen Tawny Kitaen.
With all this funny business in the early 80's, who knew at the time that, as a serious actor, he would eventually end up becoming so big?
2580 7.5 7.996. Hot Fuzz (2007)
A film by the comedy team of Simon Pegg & Nick Frost, the same duo responsible for what is, for my money, the best zom-com ever, Shaun Of The Dead. This time, they take on the world of the buddy-cop genre.
Hot Fuzz never really reaches as high a level of humor, humanity, wit as Shaun, nor is it as genre groundbreaking,
but when all is said and done, there was enough of the typical high balance of comedy & chemistry between the two "Bad Boys" to make this action-soof a commendable effort.
At least enough to include it on my list of fave laff flicks.
1346 6.5 6.995. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
1122 6.6 794. Paul (2011)
Paul is one of those typical big-eyed, big-headed aliens that we've grown accustomed to believing are hiding in Area 51.
Though, he disproves the stereotype that he & his kind are here in order to circle our crops, mutilate our cows & probe our anuses.....
Paul just wants to share with us what he knows & to smoke a doobie. The kind of doobie that killed Bob Dylan.
257 6.6 6.893. Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
This is a perfect example of how selling out with a buncha crumby sequels can ruin a franchise.
For it's genre, Smokey And The Bandit was a really quality film that was alot of fun & pretty cool (I mean, y'know, for it's time).
It was only after a multitude of sub-quality follow-ups & sequels, that this type of movie became the joke that it is usually considered now.
492 6.9 7.292. The Jerk (1979)
Throughout his long and lustrous career, Steve Martin has been known as many things.
A wild and crazy guy.
The New Pink Panther (*groan*).
But for me, I will always think of him best as The Jerk.
Now obviously, I mean that in a good way.
Yeah, I know that knowadays he's usually considered as the innocently flawed yet perfectly PC humoristic dad in films like Parenthood & Cheaper By The Dozen. But during the back-end of the 70's decade, Martin had an edge to his style of comedy. And after the monopoly that Mel Brooks had in the field of farce films up to that point, it was exactly the type of edge that was needed to bring back the against-the-grain antics that makes this particular brand of comedy the kind that'll bust a gut or two.
134 7.2 7.891. What's Up, Doc? (1972)
Lady Barbra teams up with that one guy from Love Story in a screwball comedy that's named after a wascally wabbit's most famous phwase.
After I put this movie on this list I realized that I hadn't put up any farce films since back from the 50's. It seems like either there very few made during the period between then & 1972, or just that I didn't find any of funny up until this point. Either way, it was refreshing to finally not only be able to post one up, but also, to see that the main stars of WUD? are two actors who developed reputations during this decade for being in more "serious" and/or sappy romance flicks.
And of course, there's only one way to end an entry for a movie named after a famous Bugs Bunny catch-phrase...
Th-th-th-th-that's all, folks.
451 6.9 7.390. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
The French Riviera is a coastline resort for the wealthy that has room only for one con-man. Therefore, it becomes a bit crowded when it finds itself the stomping grounds for two scoundrels, one smooth and sophisticated, the other, crass and crude, but both of them, dirty and rotten.
With comedy not as sharp as it first might appear or with as much confidence as other like-minded films, DRS's strength comes from the pitch perfect chemistry of Steve Martin and Michael Caine. Their combined thespian antics provide this film with the kind of scams and schemes that'll swindle a smile out of any one who decides to take a chance on this excellently executed snow job.
3266 7.2 7.789. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Worlds collide as the cartoon universe & the "real" universe meet in this who-dunnit "tail" of a wascally wabbit with claims that he has been
A groundbreaking modern day film noir with enough color, comedy & star-studded cartoon cameos to make any hardcore animated film buff want to play pattycake with themselves.
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
1001 5.8 6.588. Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
Hot Tub Time Machine is a film that uses time-travel to simply entertain thru a tale that just a bubbling bath of pure dumbassery. Which, even though it's a style I usually don't go for, this time around, I was quite surprised at how much I found myself laughing out loud during it's viewing.
Maybe it's a guilty pleasure that I won't watch with other people, but it was solid enough for me to include on this list.
169 5.6 6.287. Meatballs (1979)
Boy, I gotta tell ya,
whether they're on appetizer sticks, in a sandwich, on top of spaghetti or in the form of a movie, I really do like me some Meatballs.
Back during the late 70's & early 80's, summer camp was a very popular theme with teenage-targeted flicks.
And while I was never really a big fan of the overall theme, I did enjoy this particular movie. Not just because it's considered one of the classics of the genre, but also, because it featured then SNL staple Bill Murray in his first feature film appearance. I thought that he had (and still has actually) a laid-back approach to both his humor and his acting that often managed to make me smile that same kind of smirky smile that he always had on his face.
221 6.2 6.586. Back to School (1986)
91 6.5 6.585. Oh, God! (1977)
4210 7.2 7.484. Beetlejuice (1988)
56 6.3 6.782. Kabluey (2007)
The day to day adventures of Kabluey, a flyer handing out mascot for an imploding dot com company.
Add the subplot that he's a down & out loser that has a nephew and an aged Terri Garr that both want to kill him (for different reasons ....of course) & it's becomes obvious to see that this is a story of comedy that practically writes itself.
373 6.8 7.281. Muriel's Wedding (1994)
2399 6.5 780. Tropic Thunder (2008)
936 7.3 7.879. Blazing Saddles (1974)
After the primary law enforcer of a small frontiers town is killed, the locals must come to grips with the fact that's there's a new sheriff in town. His name is Black Bart, and the black part of his name is not because of his rep. It's up to him to win over the confidence of the frighten citizens of Rock Ridge & stop the new railroad from putting the town full of Johnsons off of the map.
This is one of those movies that I have fond memories of watching and immensely enjoying when I was a little kid. Mel Brooks' penchant for getting a laugh from his audiences by throwing everything but the kitchen sink was exactly the type of humor that appealed to the sensibilities of my age back then. These days, I'm sure modern audiences don't find the laughs aren't as hardy when it comes to a Brook farce, but for me, there's still enough in the satirical content & racial undertones of Blazing Saddles to make my now grown-up ass crack a chuckle or two.
1279 6.4 7.278. Old School (2003)
429 8.5 8.377. Sherlock, Jr. (1924)
During these early days of film, it's not all that hard to figure out who were the ruling kings of the cinema back then.
When it comes to the 20's, Buster Keaton is without a doubt one the first names to come up.
After viewing the combination of fantasy dream sequences with the elaborate stunts of physical comedy in Sherlock, Jr., is becomes abundantly clear why these theatric traits will always be cemented as the stylistic signature of Joseph Frank Keaton ("Buster" to you and me).
It's also easy to see why this film is regarded by many as the best the year of 1924.
3934 6.6 7.176. School of Rock (2003)
889 7 7.575. Trading Places (1983)
A story of a poor black man trading places with a rich white man, with the lead roles going to Dan Akroyd & Eddie Murphy.
For those of you who haven't yet seen this early 80's classic, based on that information, can you guess who plays which part?
Considering that this was one of those early 80's movies that features Jamie Lee Curtis in her prime, I wouldn't mind trading places with either of those guys, just so I'd be able to star in a film with her insanely perfect & fine ass, yo.
983 6.2 774. Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)
Pee-wee's first big adventure is featured in his big screen debut, aptly titled "Pee-wee's Big Adventure.
And no, this movie's title is not referring the "big adventure" that landed him in jail and thus made this playhouse dwelling man-child infamously kinda creepy.
But maybe it's that slight touch of creepiness that seems to add a bit of edge to this quirky cross country comedy about a "boy" and his bike.
145 6.8 7.373. The Bad News Bears (1976)
224 7.1 7.472. Slap Shot (1977)
An aging hockey player comes realize that he is at a point in which his life, inside and outside of the rink, have both become seriously stalled.
So he decides to take on a triad of brothers/new rogue players and tries to find a way to fold 'em into the rest of the team.
After utilizing and capitalizing on the base & brutish tactics of the three new members, the Charlestown Chiefs soon find their game and their attendance has been rejuvenated.
With it's humor relying heavily on the raw & raunch that has made this film famous, this is the kind of story that is best to watch unedited. So if you're ever flipping through the channels on your TV set, and come across this hockey "classic", keep surfing, & make a mental note to watch it on DVD or on on-demand. Because watching Slap Shot is alot like going to an actual NHL game: win or lose, the game is always more entertaining when either a fight breaks out between two players or when someone ends up getting a puck in their mouth.
586 8.3 8.371. The General (1926)
One of the first movies that helps to start the lonnng trend in Hollywood of portraying the U.S. Civil War with the Confederates as heroes & the Union as villains.
Which begs the question:
Just what the hell exactly is it that all those flakey movie makers from La-La Land have against those damn Yankees, anyways?
2758 7.3 7.770. Zombieland (2009)
I've never been really big into the horror-comedy genre. It always felt to me that the comedy sorta cancels out the horror aspect of the film. Fortunately, Zombieland seems to focus more with the comedy area of it's premise, & the story centered more on the main characters dealing in world with few human survivors than it does on these characters battling their way thru flanks upon flanks of zombies (though, there are enough of those scenes to warrant the name of this movie). So, even though I'm not a big fan of zombie apocalypses, I found that I was able to sit thru this one with a bit more of an appreciation not only for the sub-genre itself, but more importantly, with an appreciation for a certain actor* with the initials BM. And yet, even more importantly, with an appreciation for the fact that I live in a time when I don't have to worry about life's little Twinkie gauge going on empty.
*Kind of a spoiler if I mention the actor's name.
141 7.4 7.569. Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996)
5753 6.4 6.868. The Mask (1994)
I was a fan of the Mask back when hardly anyone knew anything about the comicbook.
So for me, it was kind of surprising when I heard that a movie about this character was going to be released.
Now, since superhero movies were just starting to finally prove to be able to generate attendance from the general public, I knew that there was no way they were going to be able to translate the dark humor & the violent tone of the comic for the silver screen, so I just assumed that out of necessity, Hollywood was just to completely re-invent the character, and Hollywood being Hollywood, would just completely eff it up.
However, they somehow were able to make this reinvention work for the medium of a live action movie. Not perfectly, mind you, but with the bizarre ingredients that were required for the basis of this weird, reality-altering anti-hero, it came off pretty well & pretty consistent. While the Mask doesn't hold the weight of any of its comicbook colleagues of this genre, it held it's own enough to be succesful at the box office & not spawn the ire of nerds like me who, especially at the time, just wanted to see these kinds of films earn a little more respect.
2523 7.4 7.667. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
1739 6 6.966. Elf (2003)
Will Ferrell fits very comfortably into the role of an elf who finds out that his elfin roots are alot shorter than even the height of his colleagues.
An engaging heartwarmer of a holiday tale as Santa's largest little helper journeys out to the big city to discover that as an elf in the North Pole, he might be unusually big, but out in the real world, he's still got alot of growing up to do.
A hell of alot.
449 6.8 7.465. Swingers (1996)
1429 7.8 8.164. Young Frankenstein (1974)
What is it that makes a young surgeon carry on the family tradition of creating a patchwork monstrosity of a menace that always seems to rile up the local villagers into taking up arms with their pitchforks & their torches & then, storming the castle?
Simple. It's in his blood.
as in a vampiric metaphor....?
I know that some of you out there would be quick to remind me that vampires are not the the central theme of this list. Frankenstein monsters are.
To which I can only respond "Actually, it's pronounced Frankensteen."
2928 7 7.663. Kung Fu Panda (2008)
When I first decided to put up this list I wasn't going to put up any animated films.
But, since the newer generation of computerized cartoon flicks seem to be able to incorporate humour that can generate giggles from the adults as well as kids, I thought I'd include at least one on this list.
Probably the one that made me laugh more than any other in recent years would have to be Kung Fu Panda (though this was a tough call).
For my money, the "anthropormorphic" facial expressions & the characteristics of the movements reached in this film truly allowed the humour to shine thru in as much in the way the characters moved & "acted" & really helped to enhance the jokes in the script.
967 6.5 6.962. Role Models (2008)
Role Models is a film that, with it's plot of grown men learning to grow up with the help of a couple of non-grown-ups, in my opinion, came off sort of as a waterdowned Apatow movie. However, it still provided me with more out-loud laughs than I had expected walking in. Not to mention that it's a comedy that comes with a message: "Don't try to bulls#t the bullsh#tter".
3324 6.6 6.861. The Addams Family (1991)
In this family, dysfunctionality is a form of functionality.
Stretching mom out on a torture rack or throwing the baby out of a third story window is simply a way of communicating "You're okay, I'm okay".
And one of the advantages that comes with having the last name of Addams is that, no matter how many family-friendly games of tag you play,
your cousin will always be Itt.
2618 7 7.460. Dogma (1999)
As a self professed comicbook nerd, one would think that, naturally, I'd be a fan of fellow comicbook nerd, Kevin Smith. And as that sentence implicates, I'm not.
I enjoy watching & listening to his various convention & college speaking tours, but his movies, while not bad,
I don't think their humor & storylines are as solid as his stories that he likes to relay whenever he's in auditorium full of his fans.
Whenever I listen to one of his scripts, I tend to hear him talking more than I hear the characters conversing with each other.
Dogma is no exception to this,
the difference being that in this movie, I do enjoy listening to the points he brings about religion & the stigmas that result or tend to grow out it.
Still monolithically-centered writing, but still fun & interesting in the end, for me.
146 7.5 7.959. American Movie (1999)
Have you ever wondered what was the story behind the making of the short fright film Coven, pronounced with a long "o" instead of the standard short "o" most associated with the word?
Well, if you're like most fans of films from the early 2000's, the answer is most likely "No". Followed up by another question "What the hell is Coven?".
Rather than explaining what "Coven" is & why the long "o" that has become attached to it, it might just easier to direct you toward this particular move. It's an american movie called "American Movie" and it will clear any and all confusion that might have surfaced after reading this entry.
505 6.2 6.758. City Slickers (1991)
As a comedic actor whose star was rising throughtout the 80's, Billy Crystal reaches the apex of his film career with this film, his first critically approved major blockbuster.
In it, he stars as the head of a group of city slickers (hence, the title of the movie) who decide to relive the drive of the Ol' West in hopes of getting back to the basics of their manhood. And nothing helps to restore a guy's masculinity better than donning a cowboy hat and herding cattle on horseback. At least, that was the case back in the early 90's.
179 7.4 7.757. Animal Crackers (1930)
Like all little grade school kids, I was big fan of cookies. However, the first time I tasted an animal cracker, i was pretty disappointed at how bland they were. I mean, it was cool that they each were shaped by a different zoo animal & that the box that they came in looked like a circus cage on wheels, but for all their superficial flare, my tastebuds found 'em to be pretty boring.
So, as a huge fan of the Marx Brothers, whenever I watch this film, you can be sure that I'll not be munching on the namesake of so-called snacks. I much prefer a big tub of popcorn that has been heavily sprinkled with an entire boxful of Sno-Caps.
And yeah, I know I'm increasing my chances for a coronary,
but if I gotta go early,
then let it be while I'm laughing hard & munching sweetly.
665 7.6 8.556. The Wrong Trousers (1993)
Stop-motion with a British flavor, that doesn't try to whack you over the head with it's look, humor or more importantly, with any kind of "universal life-lesson".
While it's distinction from other animated films is much more subtle and evenly consistent, the overall result of The Wrong Trousers left me not so much with a roaring laughter that other animated features try to shoot for, but more with a satisfying smile that was firmly set in place from beginning to end.
1561 6.6 755. Pineapple Express (2008)
Nothing brings two people together in friendship more quickly and/or more assuredly than high quality weed.
And no matter how dangerous a trail these best buds may find themselves on, the pot-laden Pineapple Express will always find 'em barreling through, mano a mano, with eyes redden, joints ablazing & most likely, a furious case of the munchies.
I'd get more into what this movie was about & why I liked it, but the truth is, I was stoned outta my mind when I watched it. So I all I can remember for right now is that I enjoyed it enough to include it this list.
165 6.6 6.854. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005)
Now here's a film about the unfilmable.
The Life And Opinions Of Tristam Shandy is classic humorous British novel that was published back in the mid 1700's and was 9 volumes long.
Considered for centuries as totally impossible for big screen adaptation, gigglelously surnamed director Michael Winterbottom takes a shot at it and produces a seriously chuckle chock-filled movie. And for what it lacks in volume (particularly compared to the source material), it more than makes up with in sheer amount of cock and bull. Which is as funny to watch as it is to say.
374 6.5 7.253. Major League (1989)
Yet another story of a team of misfits & losers banding together to form a winning world series team.
But what separates this one from the rest is that this is the only baseball movie franchise that exeplifies the idea of what a baseball movie should be by featuring Mr. Baseball himself, Bob Uecker.
103 6.1 6.552. Made (2001)
Real life friends Jon Faveau & Vince Vaughn portray movie life friends in a film that shows that if you can make it in the mob,
then you've really got it made.
This is a movie that tends to get overlooked because of the more well-known Faveau/Vaughn indie efort, Swingers.
And while I like that film too, I thought this one was just a tiny bit better, story-wise & especially comedy wise.
523 6.3 6.951. 48 Hrs. (1982)
This film is often credited as the one that started the trend for the modern "buddy cop" movie that took over theatres thru-out the 80's & early 90's. And as the one that set the standard for the story of how two completely different cops from different backgrounds must learn to work together to solve a crime.
And even though Eddie Murphy's character isn't a cop in this movie, it's still okay, since this film's director, Walter Hill, isn't really a hill.
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
33 7.7 7.650. Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982)
Starting through the mid 70's and continuing to the 80's, Richard Pryor was heralded as the King Of Comedy. And it was this title that not only spurred on his movie career, but heck, even got him to team up with Superman (although, it was a pairing that had proved to be almost as lethal as Kryptonite to the Man Of Steel).
Pryor's silver streak of success continues in this live comedy concert film, featuring a nite of hard-hitting material that shows why a streetwise huckster was able to hold the crown as regally as he did. Bold, honest and as always, sincerely funny, RPLotSS also proved to be one of the most successful of his onstage stand-up flicks.
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