maybe some funny films might take the edge off all the writing – ALL THE WRITING.
Hot Fuzz (2007)
It’s a testament to how much I love Edgar Wright that 3/5 of my favourite films are directed by him. On a constant seesaw with it’s zombie counterpart, I often come back to this one a little bit more just due to the brilliant action movie references and hilarious one-liners. There’s also just a great sense of Britishness in this one for me — with Nick Frost reppin’ the West Country like a motherfucker — which I can’t help but love. It’s star-studded and effortlessly funny — that’s it.
Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004) – On the other side of the spectrum, Will Ferrell’s tour de farce brings stupidity to a whole new level — basically a set of loosely connected scenes where four or five funny people try to make each other laugh as much as possible and it works like a charm.
The Cable Guy (1996) – More people need to give this movie a shot. Jim Carrey’s on peak caffeine levels but with a sinister twist, as Ben Stiller’s offbeat direction gives us possibly one of the most underrated comedies of all time — yeah, I said it. Matthew Broderick’s the perfect punching bag for the chaos that ensues as the film plays with absurdity.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) – A PROPER 80s flick, the only thing that kept this from absolutely destroying that category was it’s ridiculous funniness. Broderick’s back, 10 years prior this time, to play the snarky little shit everyone wants to be. Following the trend of my picks, the quotability comes thick and fast, as I haven’t been able to look at a baseball bat without going “SWIIIING BATTABATTABATTABATTA SUWINNGG BATTAA” since I first saw it.
Wayne’s World (1992) – However, fool, if you want quotes, you gotta go Wayne’s World. Easily the funniest thing to come from Mike Myers’ iffy catalogue, there’s nothing not to love about this film — it’s not dumb enough to be stupid, but it’s definitely not clever. It’s a ride of great performances and many a memorable moment — but, no Stairway, denied!
Tongan Ninja (2002)
The fable goes that my brothers found this DVD in a Blockbuster of legend in the late noughties, thinking it would be a bad but perfectly enjoyable action film about a ninja from the Pacific. Little did they know, destiny would give them something far, far greater… That’s right, this little unknown I mentioned before in the 2000s nominees has just won itself an award, and it’s gonna win it alone, because it is unmatched in this genre. Sure, it may appear stupid and awful on the surface, but that’s kinda because it’s meant to be? From the genius of Jermaine Clement and a bunch of other cucks from New Zealand, this is a bad dub, idiotic gag slinging stroke of comedy brilliance which I credit for creating about a million in-jokes. Fronted by the famous Sam Manu as the Tongan ninja himself, the “So-Called Syndicate” gets its ass KICKED, and Actionfighter’s villainy has to be seen to be believed. In fact, this whole film needs to be seen to be believed. Seriously, go on Amazon, buy yourself this on DVD. You will not regret it.
Seeing as comedy is potentially my favourite film genre, a few of them have littered other award categories, including Ghostbusters, School of Rock, Napoleon Dynamite, Wayne’s World, etc., etc… However, in terms of other INFERIOR but still amazing comedies, first up, we’ve got Hot Fuzz (2007): Edgar Wright’s masterpiece and the flagpole British comedy — it’s also filmed in Wells boi, it’s local ’round these parts. Next up, Jack Black’s Nacho Libre (2006), which, aside from Tongan Ninja, has probably made me laugh more than any other movie for its sheer stupidity. We also have Dodgeball (2004), which is funnily enough the first 15-rated movie I ever watched in general and is tip-to-toe in quotable gold – Ben Stiller’s best film by miles. Finally, there’s 90s classic Dumb and Dumber (1994), probably my favourite film starring Jim Carrey and a stupid, brilliant time.
Auntie Mame (1958)
Airplane! (1980) – I laughed so hard my stomach hurt halfway into the film.
The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975)
Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975)
Largely due, I think, to the medieval setting, this is my favourite of the Python films and is without doubt my favourite comedy film of all time – I recall crying with laughter on my first viewing. I like how the Pythons were able to move away from the sketch-show formula of their TV series and still make their unique brand of humour work in a way that still hasn’t been matched.
Gentlemen Broncos (2009): I like classic sci-fi, I also like ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ and I definitely like Jemaine Clement and Sam Rockwell. This film is all of those things in a pot with a whole bunch of weird thrown in on top. Very weird.
The Sasquatch Gang (2006): A personal favourite of mine and my friends that stands up well to repeat viewings; it just gets funnier every time, especially when you can say the lines before the characters! It’s a small film, with a weird story and silly characters but maintains a high laugh-rate.
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005): Who doesn’t like this cheese-loving Yorkshire bachelor and his intelligent dog? I love the short films, but in terms of gags per minute this is the best Wallace and Gromit outing to date with a stellar voice cast to boot, and it still makes me laugh uncontrollably at the silliest of puns.
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Not only the greatest comedy movie all time, Spinal Tap is also the most accurate (if you will) “rock-umentary”, the best imaginary band (so vividly imagined I’ve paid to see them in concert twice) and gave me 45% of the stock phrases I use in everyday conversation. It’s a thin line between clever and stupid.
Withnail and I (1987) – I may have spent a significant portion of my 20s mistaking this brilliantly scripted British comedy as a ‘how to’ guide for living life. What made me laugh then was Richard E Grant’s spectacular over-reactions and the liberal use of a well-placed C-bomb. What makes me laugh now is Paul McGann’s subtle performance of a man beaten down by circumstance, entertaining himself with a shrug of the shoulders and an understated despair.
Ghostbusters (1984) – This must be the movie I have watched the most times in my life. I know every line and I would like to think I approach my working life like Egon but I’m sure I’m more a Venkman. The effects being so damned good made the laughs so much more grounded. No normal human would stack books like this.
Shaun of the Dead (2004) – The cast of my favourite TV show (Spaced was the 90s TV equivalent of Withnail and I) doing a zombie movie with arguments about albums, a jukebox on random and set in a pub? What’s not to love? Shaun Of The Dead is so densely packed with genius moments it demands repeat viewings.
Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004) – Silly is funny in a way clever can never be. Anchorman goes all out for giving its cast ample room to dick about. The plot is loose, the characters are broad as caricatures, the dialogue… “Whore island”, “A whale’s vagina”, “I love lamp”, “Scotchy-scotch scotch”, “The pants party” — It’s a gold mine.
Four Lions (2010)
Irreverent, outrageous, uproarious. It is incredible how Four Lions even got made in the first place. The terrorism satire is not far from his previous efforts in Nathan Barley and The IT Crowd, displaying the same wit and relatable disdain for normalcy.
Stay tuned for more Best Thangs of All Time!