EXCLUSIVE | Top Ten Favorite Comedies

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Joe: This was a really tough top ten list for me, not only because I love comedy, but because it’s such a broad topic. I could have done top ten favorite satires, top ten favorite classics, favorite movies featuring Saturday Night Live alumni, holiday comedies, and many other narrower focuses easily. But I think this list covers a diverse selection pretty well.

Young Frankenstein, 1974

Young FrankensteinMel Brooks is one of the best comedy directors of all time. From The Producers in the late 1960s to his acting spots on Larry David‘s HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm in the 2000s, Brooks has been an absolute titan of the genre. That being said, I think Young Frankenstein is his best work. It tells the story of Dr. Frankenstein, played hilariously by Gene Wilder, and his monster, played by the always-amazing Peter Boyle, through slapstick comedy and general silliness. Frankenstein and his monster’s song and dance routine is one of the most referenced comedy bits in pop culture.—JK


The Blues Brothers, 1980

Blues BrothersI have probably watched The Blues Brothers more than any other movie. I absolutely love everything about this John Landis comedy-musical. Dan Akroyd and John Belushi reprise their Saturday Night Live characters Jake and Elwood Blues and go “on a mission from God” to save the failing Chicago orphanage they grew up in. Their journey to get their band together leads to all kinds of great musical numbers and encounters with the police and, of course, Illinois Nazis.—JK


Ghostbusters, 1984

GhostbustersThis movie is one of my favorite films generally, not just in the comedy realm. How can you go wrong with a movie directed by Ivan Reitman and starring an ensemble cast of Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Akroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts? You can’t, because it kicks so much ass it’s unbelievable. Sure, the special effects are dated and the jokes have been referenced so often that they might fall flat with new audiences, but Ghostbusters is the real deal. A remake is in the works, which I’m cautiously optimistic about.—JK


Clerks, 1994

ClerksI am not a Kevin Smith fan generally, but I love his scrappy film debut from 1994. It might be my experience working in grocery stores and a plethora of restaurants in my high school and college years, but Clerks rings very true about what it’s like to toil in the service industry. Smith cast a bunch of his friends from Red Bank, New Jersey and filmed in cheap black and white in an actual convenience store where some of them had worked. He completely financed the film by maxing out his credit cards and selling his comic books, which shows. The movie is amateurish by any standard, but the writing is sharp and introduced some of the geekiest, funniest conversations ever.—JK


Old School, 2003

Old SchoolTodd Phillips, who went on to make The Hangover, directed this Animal House throwback that became a staple for my friends while I living at Penn College. Another movie with a solid ensemble cast, Will Ferrell as Frank “The Tank” being the obvious stand-out. Old School was what we’d throw on after a spirited evening of shenanigans at our friend’s off-campus apartments. It’s still one that I never fail to watch when I catch it on television.—JK

Honorable Mentions:
Christmas Vacation (1989), The Jerk (1979), Half Baked (1998), Dodgeball (2004), Animal House (1978)



Danielle: I can be a really embarrassing person to go see a comedy with. I clap, I literally slap my knee, and sometimes that’s not even enough and I find myself slapping the person I came with. I also don’t just laugh, I wheeze. If something gets me laughing, I mean seriously laughing, I sound like a tea kettle going off. So while there are an absolute ton of comedies out there probably far funnier than the ones I’m about to list, I judged mine based on two things: Their ability to make me wheeze and the fact that I loved them enough to purchase the DVD. That may not even make them my five favorite comedies per se, but they stand out. Starting with …

The Birdcage, 1996

The Birdcage-1996One of my all-time favorite Robin Williams films even though he’s not even my favorite part. That honor would go to Nathan Lane whose perfectly quotable antics (“Oh God, I pierced the toast!”) and high-pitched squeals added the perfect dose of hysteria to a truly funny movie. Pretty much anything that comes out of Agador’s mouth makes me laugh and the dinner scene where they start to panic is always my wheeze moment.—DT

Wedding Crashers, 2005

“Ma! The meatloaf!” I saw this with my high school boyfriend and we spent the entire two hours laughing until we cried. I’ve since seen it so many times since then that it’s completely lost its effect, but that doesn’t take away from the first experience I had watching Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn team up to see who could bed the most bridesmaids through a series of seriously misguided backstories and code phrases. Of course, the most fun came when they landed themselves in the beach house of a Stage 5 Clinger. While Vince barely even makes my list of favorite actors, his crazy speed-talking always cracks me up. Also starring Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams (LOVE her), and Bradley Cooper before he became a big deal, it’s a fun watch that I just had to add to my collection.—DT

Accepted, 2006

Accepted-2006It was quite fitting that I was a college freshman when this movie came out. I went with my roommate and a couple new friends and it was the perfect introduction to the chapter we were about to start. Way before Jonah Hill was an Oscar nominee or Channing Tatum’s cop buddy, he was Sherman Schrader, the voice of reason in this story about Justin Long’s quest to find a college that would accept him, even if it meant creating his own. Full of hilarious moments crafted primarily by student stereotypes, it was still a fun way to kick off our ventures into higher education, even if the film had no basis in actual college reality.—DT

Forgetting Sarah Marshall, 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall-2008This was my first introduction to both Jason Segel and Russell Brand and I’m so thankful that I watched it because I’ve since become such a huge Jason fan. With a handful of other funny-people cameos (Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Zack McBrayer, Jonah Hill), a couple of my favorite actors (Mila Kunis, Paul Rudd), and a picturesque Hawaiian setting, the movie about a Joe Schmo mourning the end of his five-year relationship with a TV starlet (Kristen Bell) instantly became one of my favorites—mainly because I laughed so hard while watching it by myself late one night that I woke up all three of my roommates.—DT

Pitch Perfect, 2012

This movie about college a cappella is quickly becoming overrated (especially with the new sequel hitting theatres tomorrow) but that’s a shame because I truly loved it when I first saw it. Three of my girlfriends and I went together and spent the entire time laughing hysterically, to the point where we were just straight-up hitting each other, tears streaming down our faces. Instant classic. I can’t get enough of the witty one-liners, the super fun mash-ups, and, of course, my girl Anna Kendrick. Yeah, it spawned a seriously overplayed version of a song originally created with a cup, but it also gave us Fat Amy, Riff-Offs, and a bunch of new ways to listen to “Titanium.” I personally can’t wait to see what happens to the Barden Bellas next.—DT

Honorable Mentions:
Bad Teacher (2011), Father of the Bride Part 2 (1995), I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007), Nine Months (1995), She’s The Man (2006)


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