Big Stu's "Why the FUCK haven't you seen these movies??!" (Comedy Edition)
Did I mention that one of my greatest thrills in life is recommending quality entertainment for others? I think I did. That satisfaction was one of the 2 main reasons for working at Blockbuster and AMC for as long as I did (the other reason was obviously free movies). If you recommend something and they were entertained then you've improved their lives, if only briefly. If what you've recommended has the same impact as it did on you then you've given them a "go-to" that can pick them up time and again. Even if they hate what you've suggested it starts and interesting conversation. See? A win-win situation (unless they say fuck Evil Dead.........then you show them your Boomstick).
In that spirit I give you my hodge-podge list (i.e. not numbered) list of thoroughly awesome comedies to get you in the spirit of chuckles and laughing until you pee yourself. Enjoy.
- Blazing Saddles: I love this one so much that I wrote a whole post about the importance of this movie as it pertains to race relations and comedy at large. And it is important, but it's also the funniest damn movie ever made. Mel Brooks is a God.
- Airplane!: The Zuckers are the unadulterated kings of spoof and slapstick. This movie should be in the Smithsonian. No shit. You can watch it 100 times in a row and see something new every time. The details are spot on and every single line is quotable ("I am serious, and stop calling me Shirley"). If you don't die laughing at this one then you seriously need to be examined; something must be broken (see also Airplane 2: The Sequel).
- Spaceballs / Young Frankenstein: Mel Brooks again. You can really take any of the Mel Brooks catalog and it goes on the list, but these 2 round out his 3 best films. Spaceballs is Star Wars meets stupid, and Young Frankenstein is the litmus test to see if you understand a Master's Course in how to do all layers of comedy (see also Robin Hood: Men in Tights, History of the World Part 1, Silent Movie, & The Producers).
- Naked Gun: Here we have the Zuckers again after they learned (in Airplane) the untapped potential of serious journeyman actor Leslie Nielsen as a comedy force to be reckoned with. Lieutenant Frank Drebin of Police Squad is trying to keep someone from killing a visiting Queen Elizabeth. OJ Simpson was pretty funny before he killed his wife. There is no lag in this movie; it's relentless pure slapstick (see also Naked Gun 2 & 1/2 and Naked Gun 33 & 1/3: The Smell of Fear).
- Not Another Teen Movie: This gem (along with the Scary Movie series) started the horrendous trend of spoof movies with no joke setup and little plotting, but that's a compliment. This sendup of every teen movie imaginable is filthy, beautifully timed, well cast, & manically paced. The cameos are excellent as well. It's the movie that birthed Captain America aka Chris Evans. All of the jokes birthed out of the Cruel Intentions spoofing are amazing ("Why won't anyone take a dump on MY chest?").
- Scary Movie series: Stick with the first 2 in the series from the Wayans Brothers. The rest are basically crappy pulp from one of the Zuckers past his prime (even Leslie Nielsen couldn't save those turds) that contain only occasional laughs. The first 2 are flat out ridiculous in the best way possible. My favorite of the series is Scary Movie 2 almost solely for the interaction between Chris Eliot as the butler with the deformed hand and the terrible hygiene, Hanson, and David Cross as Dwight, the wheelchair-bound assistant who hates to be told what he can't do.
- Clerks/Mallrats/Chasing Amy/Dogma/Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back/Clerks 2: People can shit on Kevin Smith all they want for going "back to the well" too many times. Thank God he did. That cast of characters spoke my language and the language of my generation. Jay and Silent Bob are icons. It's not just dick and fart jokes (although there are a few of those). It's not just filthy sex humor (but there are LOADS of those jokes...........so try not to suck any dick on your way to the parking lot). It's the voice of a generation, the generation that decided we needed to laugh hardest at the shit we're not supposed to laugh at.
- The Blues Brothers: If I have to tell you about this one then you should go hit yourself in the forehead with a fucking hammer. The music and musical cameos are amazing and Belushi and Akroyd were never better together. That's a pretty bold statement when you consider all of those years together on SNL. I cry a little when I watch this movie and see Belushi at his best. This movie should be required viewing in public schools just for the cool factor. If you have kids or are planning on having them then you need to share this crown jewel of comedy with your spawn (see also Blues Brothers 2000.....it's not as epic, but it's got a lot of heart).
- National Lampoon's Animal House: The ultimate college party movie. It's the one that made all of the others (like Van Wilder) possible. Another one with John Belushi at the peak of his godlike comedic prowess. When I was a kid I wanted to be half as cool as D-Day. True story.
- Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail: There has never been, nor will there ever be, a more quotable or ridiculously silly movie. It's (pardon the bad joke) the holy grail of nonsensical comedy. Knights on imaginary horses banging coconuts together and Knights Who Say Ni approve. My face always hurts when I'm done watching this one (see also Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life).
- National Lampoon's Vacation: The remake had it's moments, but you can't beat the original. Chevy Chase is the dad you wanted even though he would've embarrassed the living shit out of you. That station wagon was legendary. Christie Brinkley was many a young man's first boner (see also European Vacation, Christmas Vacation, & Vegas Vacation).
- Dr. Strangelove: Stanley Kubrick was a true giant, but he wasn't known for comedy. And yet......he made a movie about the death of the world due to atomic warfare and it's fucking hilarious. That's talent for you right there. It ages like kick ass single malt Scotch.
- Planes, Trains, & Automobiles: John Candy and Steve Martin. Enough said. This is the movie that all of those "everything goes wrong" movies aspire to be. Fuck, I miss John Candy. That speech by John Candy in the motel room is heartbreaking in how true and how naturally funny it is. Rest in peace, Big Man (see also Uncle Buck, which reteamed Candy and director John Hughes).
- Weird Science: Two nerdy losers make a woman with their computer. Kelly LeBrock was so hot in this movie that it's criminal. Bill Paxton (as bullying older brother, Chet) steals the show. John Hughes never made a bad movie, but this one is my personal favorite (see also The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink).
- Office Space: Do you hate your job? Then you've seen Office Space. It's Mike Judge's masterpiece, and he has made some damn good movies. No other movie makes you laugh so hard while perfectly embodying what it's like to drone on in the 9 to 5 life. Stephen Root as Milton may be the greatest bit part ever.
- The Jerk: Steve Martin starts off with the line "I was born a poor black child" and he's telling the truth. I really shouldn't have to sell you any more than that.
- Dumb and Dumber: My best friend, Matt, and I went to the "dollar theater" every day to see this movie for about a month straight, and it kept getting funnier every time I saw it. It still gets funnier every time I see it. The ultimate dumbass movie.
- Hot Shots: One third of the trio that gave you Airplane and Naked Gun went and did his own thing by spoofing Top Gun. It's fucking brilliant. Charlie Sheen was never better in a comedy. Cary Elwes is smug and utterly preposterous. Worth it for the scenes with Washout all by themselves ("Alpha Velveeta Knuckles Underwear"). It was also nearing the end of the great Lloyd Bridges career (see also Hot Shots Part Deux).
- Shaun of the Dead: This proves that my list here is in no particular order, because Shaun is on my personal Top 5. It works as a top shelf zombie film, comedy, & romantic movie all in one. It's the original "romcomzom". You knew the first time you saw Simon Pegg he was going to have a fantastic career. Infinitely rewatchable and quotable.
No doubt there are dozens of others that could (at the very least) go in the Honorable Mention category. There are probably a few I am blatantly forgetting as well. I've warned y'all that I've done a lot of drugs, so my memory is shit.
Heed my advice, though: if you read this list and there was a movie you haven't seen then you need to correct that issue. I wouldn't steer you wrong. Let's face it, my peeps- the world is a shitty place, and you could use a good laugh. I'm trying to help you out.