The Comedy 25: The Funniest Movies of the Past 25 Years

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caitlin1214

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From ''Clerks'' to ''Clueless,'' ''Austin Powers'' to ''Tropic Thunder,'' here are the funniest flicks to hit the scene since '83

(EW.com)



25. WITHNAIL AND I (1987) Fringe films often go to pot for inspiration, but pub-lovin' Brits made a cult hit out of one that honors alcohol. The bleakness of Bruce Robinson's stout-black comedy, set in 1969 London, makes the first swallow somewhat bitter. However, deft performances from Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann leave quote-ready followers (Steve Martin among them) thirsty for another round.



24. THE NAKED GUN: FROM THE FILES OF POLICE SQUAD (1988)
''Nice beaver.'' Still funny.



23. AUSTIN POWERS: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY (1997)
Before the sequels, the shameless tie-ins, and the co-opting of quotes like ''Oh, behave!'' by the masses, this psychedelic spoof from SNL funny guy Mike Myers became a cult hit on video thanks to its wickedly sharp skewering of the James Bond franchise.



22. OLD SCHOOL (2003)
The raunchy tale of three grown men regressing to their fraternity days is a well-worn homage to old-school SNL-alum comedies (complete with a Stripes-ish topless K-Y wrestling match and countless Animal House allusions), and cast with actors who rehash their most practiced personas (Vince Vaughn: smugly manipulative; Will Ferrell: earnestly blank-eyed). In theaters, the spotty outrageousness was never quite as funny as you'd hoped, but when seen at home on your couch, its familiarity makes Old School just as funny as it needs to be.



21. CLERKS (1994)
Kevin Smith's debut, about a day in the life of two service-industry suburbanites, was made for $27,575. It's hard to tell where all that money went, but the cruddy lensing and muddy sound actually enhance the experience. This spitball of nonstop scatology and pop-cult obsessiveness — what are the ethical implications of killing independent contractors aboard the Death Star? — feels like a bootleg copy of an adolescent mind.
 

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caitlin1214

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20. BEST IN SHOW (2000)
Director Christopher Guest's improvised dogumentary is as funny as any scripted comedy released this millennium. Fred Willard deservedly won kudos for his scene-snatching role as the 125th annual Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show's clueless colorman, Buck Laughlin, but equally fine performances are turned in by SCTV vets Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara (as owners Gerry and Cookie Fleck) Spinal Tap's Guest (as bloodhound enthusiast/ventriloquist Harlan Pepper), and Michael McKean (who's as understated as his on-screen significant other, John Michael Higgins, is over the top).



19. CLUELESS (1995)
A few references in this high school comedy may have today's teens reaching for their history books. (Who was this ''Pauly Shore'' personage, exactly?) But writer-director Amy Heckerling's script still crackles, while Alicia Silverstone's central performance as a lovable airhead remains, like, totally awesome.



18. NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (2004)
We're never on Napoleon Dynamite's side, really. Co-writer-director Jared Hess clearly asks us to laugh at him: at his hair, his glasses, his tater tots, his best friend, Pedro, and his abiding belief that practically everyone around him are ''freakin' idiots!'' And laugh, we do. Yet, somehow, we're sincerely grateful that Hess has allowed us a window into his singular psyche.



17. TROPIC THUNDER (2008)
Ben Stiller's making-of-a-cinematic-disaster film would deserve a place on this list even if it wasn't a spot-on skewering of ego-out-of-control Hollywood, even if it didn't have Tom Cruise's fat dance-happy studio head, even if it didn't start with those trailers...simply for Robert Downey Jr.



16. SUPERBAD (2007)
More than just witty — a blissed-out naughty-boy joyride. It takes the raunchily rude pop culture banter that percolated around the edges of The 40 Year-Old Virgin and the overrated Knocked Up and moves it front and center. More than that, though, the hilariously allusive porn talk is now spewing out of the mouths of kids too young, and virginal, to know half of what they're saying. Superbad catches the soul of a new generation: the first kids to be baptized in the Clerks/South Park/gangsta/Internet era. Their minds and mouths are decades ahead of their bodies, but as we follow their party-all-night-long fortunes, it's amazing to see how much McLovin feeling bubbles up through the swirls of their mad horndog talk.
 

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caitlin1214

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15. TRADING PLACES (1983)
Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd play a pair of polar opposites (a homeless con man and a moneyed stock-market wizard, respectively), the victims of two brothers (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) who decide to turn their lives upside down on a whim. It's the funniest movie about futures trading every made, hands down.



14. WEDDING CRASHERS (2005)
The retro, hetero, '70s-style raunch of Wedding Crashers feels new again, modernized by the neo-retro-hetero duo of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as champion skirtchasers. In the scenario, directed by David Dobkin (Shanghai Knights) with relaxed understanding that on-screen chemistry is what happens between dialogue cues, best friends Jeremy (Vaughn) and John (Wilson) love the swordsman's life so much that the two have made a specialized after-hours career of wangling their way into strangers' weddings, the better to pick up chicks susceptible to the romance in the air and the champagne in their glasses.



13. WAITING FOR GUFFMAN (1996)
Director Christopher Guest's hilarious mockumentary introduces us to a community theater troupe from Blaine, Mo., who belly flop into the deep end after they're told a Broadway agent named Guffman is going to attend their production about the history of their town. Guest and his troupe of master improv-ers — including Fred Willard, Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Parker Posey, Bob Balaban, and Larry Miller — went on to make some seriously funny comedies (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind), but the first is still the best.



12. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY... (1989)
Though they owe a thing or two to Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are, by now, just as classic a pair.



11. THE 40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN (2005)
Judd Apatow's hard-up story established his profanely sweet brand of humor and made a star of Daily Show correspondent Steve Carell, who painfully sacrificed his dignity — and chest hair — in the name of art.
 

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chessmont

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Loved Withnail And I! Saw it when it came out (dates me, eh?)

Got Richard E. Grant noticed, and he went on to a somewhat successful career - though haven't seen him in anything in ages,,,
 

caitlin1214

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10. DAZED AND CONFUSED (1993)
Richard Linklater's free-flowing comedy about the last day (and night) of high school in 1976 is as organic as a Robert Altman film, as knowing a look at the rituals of middle-class teen culture as American Graffiti, and as pure a portrait of the stoned joys of life in the free-ride '70s as the movies have given us.



9. A FISH CALLED WANDA (1988)
Pythonates John Cleese and Michael Palin reunited for this heist farce, featuring Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline (who won an Oscar) as jewel thieves. Let me say that again: Kline won an Oscar. For being in a comedy. Which never happens. Because he — like Wanda — is just that good.



8. THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998)
To a casual viewer, it might come across as a tangle of slapstick metaphysics and ad hoc wackiness. Fair enough. But for the Coen Bros. faithful, The Big Lebowski is a masterpiece of anti-storytelling. Jeff Bridges' Dude is a cinematic curio, the hero as placeholder: a detective who doesn't detect, an agent without agency. Plus, Tara Reid's near-cameo as the kidnapped Bunny ''Logjammin'' Lebowski may prove to be the highlight of her career.



7. THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY (1998)
You could make a pretty decent horror flick that featured dog poisoning, gruesomely injured genitals, a fitness-video-obsessed serial killer, and a beautiful young woman being followed around by an assortment of lovestruck stalkers. The Farrelly brothers decided to make a hilarious bad-taste comedy instead.



6. SOUTH PARK: BIGGER LONGER & UNCUT (1999)
With poison-tongued jokes about everything from abortion to incest, this feature adaptation of Comedy Central's long-running cartoon was one of the most blatantly offensive movies ever made — and also one of the funniest.
 

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caitlin1214

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5. OFFICE SPACE (1999)
In Mike Judge's comedy about three disgruntled Dilberts who rebel against cubicle drudgery, Ron Livingston comes off like Network's Howard Beale on Zoloft. Their amateurish efforts to get rich quick will continue to amuse as long as there are still corporate drones who seriously consider torching their workplace.



4. THIS IS SPINAL TAP (1984)
Years ago, we sat next to a middle-aged couple at a screening of Rob Reiner's faux documentary. As the has-been band of the title launched into ''Big Bottom'' (''The looser the waistband, the deeper the quicksand/Or so I have read''), wife turned to hubby in disgust. ''This is dork humor,'' she said. ''I'm leaving.'' She left. Look, lady, the movie may revel in the juvenile (herpes-sore sight gags, resoundingly stoopid lyrics, steady evidence that the band treads water ''in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry''), but stars Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer play fools as only wise men can. As antic as the Marx Brothers, more endearingly boneheaded than Homer Simpson, the men of Tap offer the ne plus ultra of the ultraridiculous — and a mother lode of quotable silliness, too.



3. BEVERLY HILLS COP (1984)
Eddie Murphy achieved megastar status with his portrayal of Axel Foley, a Detroit policeman who hilariously wiseacres his way around L.A.'s swankier locales on the trail of baddie Steven Berkoff.



2. NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION (1983)
The Griswolds — dad Clark (Chevy Chase), mom Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), and kids Rusty (Anthony Michael Hall) and Audrey (Dana Barron) — travel cross-country to the theme park Wally World. Of course, it turns into the road trip from hell: an Aunt dies, a hot blonde (Christie Brinkley) gets Clark in hot water, Clark launches the station wagon through a ''Road Closed'' sign and into the desert, the family runs out of money... Seriously, we could go on for as long as the Griswold summer holiday lasted. The best film Chevy Chase has ever been involved with.



1. GHOSTBUSTERS (1984)
In the summer of 1984, the only pop-culture question more common than ''Where's the beef?'' was ''Who you gonna call?'' The dream trio of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis was the epitome of sarcastic comedy cool, battling slimy ghosts, the nosy Environmental Protection Agency, and a giant Stay-Puft marshmallow man.
 

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chessmont

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Best In Show, hilarious! Altho' an extreme caricature, I show dogs, and let me tell you, these guys are right on with the characters, LOL.
 

Veelyn

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I've seen:

22, 23, 16, 17, 18, 19, 14, 11, 10, 7, 6

Favorites gotta be Superbad, Napoleon, Old School, Wedding Crashers, & 40 yr old Virgin. All GREAT movies!
 

cosmogrl5

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I love Ghostbusters, but I am shocked that it is #1!

I was watching Clueless on TV last night and was thinking how some of the references are already so dated. Alicia's clothes aren't that bad though (probably because they were extreme even then).

Anyway, I do agree with the others. There's nothing like a good comedy! :smile:
 
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