Thanks to Fishy Fred for tracking down Bravo’s list of the top 100 comedy movies of all time. I caught part of it and wanted to comment on the list. For the most part, I thought the list was abysmal. Four Weddings and a Funeral no higher than 96? Preposterous. Dr. Strangelove only at 53? No way. Only one Kevin Smith movie in the top 100? Unthinkable. I’m gonna post the full list, with my comments about the ones I have strong feelings about one way or the other.
100. Anchorman – Probably about as good as Will Ferrell is ever going to get in movies. Like many others before him – Dana Carvey, Adam Sandler, Chevy Chase – he was born to be an SNL cast member. He’s hilarious in 4 or 5 minute segments. But over the course of an hour and a half, he becomes tedious.
99. The Birdcage – Hank Azaria is hilarious, and it’s actually one movie where Nathan Lane’s ridiculously over the top style actually makes sense. Robin Williams was excellent in it.
98. School of Rock – Okay, I’ll say it: I don’t get the whole Jack Black thing. He’s not funny.
97. Happy Gilmore – The only Adam Sandler movie I’ve seen that I could stand to watch again (as a general rule, I find him idiotic and unfunny). Carl Weathers is very funny.
96. Four Weddings and a Funeral – One of my all time favorite movies, with one of my all time favorite characters in it (Gareth) and the kind of ensemble chemistry that Friends only wishes it had. And on top of being incredibly funny, Gareth’s funeral science with Matthew reading the Auden poem is heartbreaking. Makes me cry every time I see it.
95. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle – I was happily surprised to see this movie on the list, but I think it’s way too low. This is a very, very funny movie. Neil Patrick Harris’ cameo as a horned-up Doogie Howser on ecstasy had me laughing out loud.
94. Waiting for Guffman – Christopher Guest should be a huge star. All of his movies follow the same basic mockumentary formula, but they’re all brilliantly executed.
93. The Aristocrats – Loved it.
92. Father of the Bride
91. Revenge of the Nerds
90. Clueless – Holds up really well over the years.
88. Team America
87. The Kentucky Fried Movie
86. Zoolander – I just don’t get the Ben Stiller phenomenon. He’s one of those guys who is only funny if he’s with someone much, much funnier (as in Dodgeball, with the immortal Vince Vaughan), yet he’s always expected to carry a movie. He’s the Dan Aykroyd of his generation, but at least with Aykroyd, once he did Doctor Detroit, the studios got the clue that he couldn’t carry a movie.
85. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
84. Silver Streak
83. Sister Act – good lord, why?
82. Tootsie – way, way, way too low. This is one of the all time classic comedies, easily in the top ten by any sane measure.
81. Half Baked
80. Lost in America – also way too low. Albert Brooks is a genius, period, and I will not argue about this.
79. Three Amigos
77. Flirting with Disaster
76. Ghostbusters – also much too low. The fact that everyone has seen it 4000 times probably makes it seem mundane, but this was a very funny movie driven by a typically brilliant Bill Murray performance.
75. Dumb and Dumber – I don’t get the Jim Carrey phenomenon either. Bugging your eyes out isn’t funny. Tripping over things isn’t funny. It wasn’t funny when Jerry Lewis did it, it’s certainly not funny when Jim Carrey does it.
74. Trading Places
73. City Slickers
71. Roxanne – Much too low. Easily Steve Martin’s funniest performance in a movie, there is no close second (and don’t give me The Jerk, which is painfully unfunny).
70. The Nutty Professor (Eddie Murphy) – Okay, this is the one where you pretty much know someone was doing drugs when they put this list together. On the TV show, the one scene they showed was the stupefyingly stupid scene where Eddie Murphy is sitting around the table as 5 or 6 different characters, all farting or responding to farts. If you find this scene funny, hit yourself in the forehead with a ballpeen hammer. It’s stupid beyond belief and there’s nothing funny about it. Which pretty much can be said about everything Eddie Murphy has done for the last 15 years. Worse yet, we have to deal with the even worse imitators he’s spawned, like Martin Lawrence and the various Big Mama’s House movies. Please, for the love of all that is holy, just stop.
69. The Blues Brothers
68. Broadcast News – far too low. Not only one of the great comedies of all time, one of the great movies of all time. Albert Brooks is God; Holly Hunter is Aphrodite.
66. Dazed and Confused
65. Office Space – again, way too low. One of the truly classic comedies of the last few years.
64. This is Spinal Tap
62. The Pink Panther
60. When Harry Met Sally – way too low as well. The fake orgasm scene alone puts it among the all time greats.
59. Police Academy Series – did they seriously put Police Academy ahead of Broadcast News? Did Helen Keller put this list together?
58. Private Benjamin
57. Swingers – a classic.
56. Young Frankenstein
55. Bull Durham – another classic and one of my all time favorites. Sarandon and Costner at their very best. And the unintentional comedy of watching Tim Robbins throw a baseball takes it to a whole new level.
54. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
53. Dr. Strangelove – a hall of fame movie, should be much higher.
52. Meet the Parents
51. National Lampoon’s Vacation – I’m not really a Chevy Chase fan, but these were consistently funny. But how on earth do you explain leaving his best movie (by far), Fletch, off this list?
50. The Princess Bride – another one of the all time greats, should be much higher. Absolutely brilliant dialogue.
49. American Pie
48. American Graffiti
47. 9 to 5
46. The Incredibles
45. Raising Arizona – vastly underrated, terrific movie, the one that launched the Coen brothers’ career. But how is this movie on the list, but Oh Brother Where Art Thou not on this list? Is someone seriously going to argue that 9 to 5 is funnier than that movie?
44. Sixteen Candles
43. What About Bob?
42. Harold and Maude
41. Austin Powers – I actually think this whole series is seriously underrated. Mini Me is one of the great characters of all time.
40. Monty Python and the Holy Grail – far too low. Still brilliantly funny decades later.
39. Mrs. Doubtfire
38. Best In Show
36. Good Morning Vietnam
33. Clerks – the only Kevin Smith movie on the list, which is borderline criminal. Dogma absolutely deserves to be here.
32. Groundhog Day
31. The Big Lebowski – another classic Coen Brothers film. No one draws characters like they do, or writes better dialogue for them. John Goodman is brilliant.
30. The 40 Year Old Virgin
29. Legally Blonde
28. Annie Hall
27. A Fish Called Wanda – another one that is far too low. This is easily in the top ten. Kevin Kline was known as a very serious actor until this movie, which won him an Oscar. Otto is a Hall of Fame dumb guy.
26. Wayne’s World
25. Meet the Fockers
24. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
22. Beverly Hills Cop
20. The Jerk
19. Wedding Crashers – probably a little high on the list, but a very funny movie.
17. M*A*S*H – with the enormous popularity of the sitcom, people forget what a brilliant movie it was before that.
16. Old School
15. Fast Times At Ridgemont High
14. Napoleon Dynamite
13. Naked Gun Series
12. The Producers
11. Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
9. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective – okay, putting this movie in a top 100 list is bad. Putting it in the top ten? Whoever decided to do that should be beaten with bamboo poles until they bleed from every orifice. This is like naming Richard Simmons one of the 10 best heavyweight fighters of all time.
8. Blazing Saddles
7. The Wedding Singer
6. Airplane – this movie is still funny 30 years later. I still crack up at the dueling announcements at the airport.
5. South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut
4. There’s Something About Mary
1. Animal House
So that’s it, that’s my list. They missed some real gems. Orgasmo, made by the South Park guys, absolutely should be on this list. Not a single Charlie Chaplain movie? Inconceivable (and unlike Wallace Shawn, I know what the word means). Real Genius and Better Off Dead are easily in the top 50. And I can’t be the only one who wonders how on earth Eddie Murphy made the list for the Nutty Professor, but not for 48 Hours. And where are some of the classics like Some Like it Hot? You can’t put Police Academy on the list and leave that one off. Major League? Tin Cup? Eurotrip? Van Wilder?