We've heard it time and time again from actors and actresses: Comedy is hard. It is amazing when you see a talent capable of Oscar performances fall flat on making audiences laugh. To gauge comedy is hard, as it's all a matter of perspective. While there are plenty of those that find the Scary Movie franchise and, why not, White Chicks to be cult comedic classics, others would strongly disagree. I myself have a weakness for the goofy parody, such as Hot Shots and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. When browsing the premium networks, if an easy comedy is on, I typically hold the channel. Spy has been my new addiction, but I digress...
I doubt I could ever find a person who has the exact same tastes as I do in the comedy genre. Comedy is just too broad. Take for instance English comedy. I typically find it -- save for a few rare exceptions -- to be dry and boring, but have a collection of friends that love it. And don't even get me started on my Scottish relatives. They, however, might be a bit bias.
Considering that is near impossible to find a comedy that will satisfy every moviegoer, I couldn't even imagine the task of choosing which ones are best. But Reddit gave it their best effort. With the help of a community downvoting and upvoting choices, we are going to break down the Top 10 they've come up with. I am going to list a few I have to assume came close after the list, but onto the top selections.
10. Hot Rod
Of all the comedies I would have guessed, I would never have considered this Andy Samberg-led feature. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was absolutely hilarious, but it does require the viewer to er, let go. Go into a film such as Hot Rod with an ounce of seriousness and you are not going to have a good time. Especially considering that the premise follows Rod Kimble, a wannabe stuntman who attempts to raise money for his step-dad's heart surgery. Why does he care so much about his step-dad? So he can kick his ass, while damn near killing him, to earn his respect. No joke.
9. Blazing Saddles
Anyone could have guessed that this one would have made the list. While I enjoy Blazing Saddles, its laugh out loud moments came in less frequently than some other films. Then again, it is a classic, and deserves respect for the fact that it does everything possibly to find humor in not be politically correct. In this day and age, that is something to be appreciated. Especially considering comedies of this tone are becoming more rare.
8. The Other Guys
What? I don't agree with this one at all. Don't get me wrong, The Other Guys has its moments, but it isn't what I'd call the whole enchilada in regards to comedy. Sure, the scene where Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson willingly jump off a roof deserves to be a on a highlight reel, but the rest of the film could use some polish. How this made the top ten, I'm not sure. But let's assume it has to do with the film's impressive callsheet.
7. Kung Pow! Enter the Fist
Good to see a straight-forward parody making the list. While I appreciate it's finger pointing at bad dubbing and other foreign eccentricities, Kung Pow is not what I'd consider Top Ten caliber. This is all-time people! Like The Other Guys, the film has no shortage of hilarious sequences or bits, but the overall package wasn't perfect.
6. What We Do in the Shadows
I have a weakness for the Flight of the Conchords, and am a big fan of Jemaine Clement. Henceforth, I've always considered What We Do in the Shadows a some-day cult classic that deserves more attention. And, now that it has made a Top Ten list, I couldn't be happier. At least, for the attention the list will bring to the film. But, as great as the film is, it is not exactly flawless either. Would I recommend this film to anybody? Of course. It's a hilarious fauxumentary that successfully mixes dry humor with laugh out loud gags. Taking a realistic approach to the issues Vampires would have living in today's world, it was surprisingly smart as well. But is What We Do in the Shadows Top Ten caliber? If it means getting you to go see the film, I'll say yes. But, to be honest, Top Ten seems out of reach.
5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
I'm going to say that this comedy is deserving to be in the Top Ten only because it was my most quoted film in High School. I adored Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and became upset when somebody tried to suggest that Life of Brian was better. Shut your mouth! Nothing beats the sequence when the Prince "secretly" sends off a distress letter, or when we see a knight charging a castle over and over, only to have him immediately show up. Even the musical sequence that cuts to the tortured prisoner clapping had me howling. I love this film, and will accept its ranking in the top ten. A piece of dialogue that I've likely mis-remembered but will never forget...
"Is it behind the rabbit?"
"It is the rabbit!"
4. 21 Jump Street
Agreed. This film is hilarious and hits all the right chords. A remake of the popular TV series, the film was also a parody of buddy-cop actioners. Showing smart writing, 21 Jump Street successfully pays tribute to the original franchise while tearing apart the buddy-cop actioner. I could start rambling off scenes that were classic, but we'd be here all night. Sadly, I was not a fan of 22 Jump Street.
No surprise here. A perfect comedy slash parody that has no problem bashing on political correctness. And, as dumb as the jokes get, they are still funny. Besides, Airplane! has Leslie Nielsen, and to not have at least one film on the list with him would be tragic.
2. Hot Fuzz
Yes! I adore Hot Fuzz. Adore it. But my one complaint is that it seems sacrilege to include this film and not Shaun of the Dead. If Hot Fuzz is the most perfect parody of the buddy-comedy actioner, then Shaun of the Dead was be best parody of zombie horrors. But I don't want to take away from this Edgar Wright comedy being given the #2 spot. It deserves it. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have never made a better pairing, save for maybe Shaun of the Dead.
1. Super Troopers
Nobody will ever agree on what is the best comedy ever. Such a thing is impossible, but if a film were to be selected, Super Troopers would at least be worthy of being considered for the top spot. The independent film is surprisingly funny. Broken Lizard was an unknown comedy troop before this comedy based around Highway Patrol; a typically non-funny topic. With this masterpiece comes tragedy, as this same comedic team could never find the same successful formula. Ever. I don't even want to discuss their later ill-fated attempts. So, here's to Super Troopers 2!
Based on the top ten films selected, here are three that should have at least been considered.
MacGruber. I'm sorry, but this film had me laughing out loud during its entire 99 minute running time. Plus it showcased Ryan Phillippe's comedic chops, which is something you don't see every day. The film didn't do well in theaters, but it's cult following has helped push out a possible sequel. I can't remember the exact line but, "Be on the lookout for a large brown egg."
Anchorman. The film was so funny that I actually remember where I saw it. I was visiting San Luis Obispo with the rest of my family to watch my soon to be brother-in-law propose to my sister. We decided to catch the film one of the nights since we didn't have much to do. Anchorman did not disappoint, and every person in my entourage was howling the entire time. Whale's vagina? Amazing.
Wedding Crashers. Back when I was running another blog, I went on a huge rant when AFI Listed The 40 Year Old Virgin as the best comedy of 2005. Sorry, it wasn't, Wedding Crashers was the best comedy of 2005. Actually, forget 2005, as the film could be an all-time Top Ten contender for best comedy. It is not only hilarious, but a perfect romantic comedy. I was so upset by AFI's decision, I took a poll to see if I was alone in my feelings. What were the results?
After receiving a total of 4,913 votes, only 22 votes said The 40 Year-old Virgin was better. That is less than 1%. Near everybody agreed -- Wedding Crashers was the best 2005 comedy. The film's screenwriter, Steve Faber, wrote me an email thanking for the article and my complaints listed within.