As with the previous post, I thought I would continue to share my sense of humor, this time focusing on my favorite comedy films. The comedies that formed my humor, for good and bad.
They aren’t the best films. In fact, some might be considered down right bad. But they give insight into specific areas of my sense of humor.
So now, in no particular order, here are the top ten films that have truly informed my sense of humor and continue to tickle my funny bone.
- A Night at the Opera - “You can’t fool me, there ain’t no sanity clause.” Rapid-fire wit, with out and out farce. The Marx Brothers are geniuses and created so many of the gags that influenced so much of the cartoons and television that I love. That they created the mirror gag fascinated me. I singled out this film for the contract negotiation scene. One of my favorites.
- Singin' In The Rain - “Well of course we talk Don’t everybody.” Musical comedy, along with a self-deprecating look at Hollywood. And while the whole cast is great, Jean Hagen just jumps off the screen. The voice, the self-confidence. It’s amazing.
- Arsenic and Old Lace - “You don’t think I’d stoop to telling a fib.” A comedy of subverted expectations. The most unlikely murders and pitch perfect black humor. I loved being in this play and I love watching Frank Capra’s film.
- Some Like it Hot - “Well, nobody’s perfect.” Billy Wilders masterpiece. Each piece just works. From Tony Curtis doing his best Cary Grant, to the lunacy of Jack Lemmon’s performance. I just love it.
- Blazing Saddles - “You know, morons.” Comedy is best when everyone is a target. I don’t know if they could make it again today. But I’m glad they did. So many pieces that come together as a greater whole. I’ll always remember watching this at the Alamo Ritz, busting out into a pie fight on Sixth Street.
- Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail - “on second thought, ‘tis a very silly place.” Silly, silly humor. This was the best thing to get introduced to in high school. I’ll also never forget that midnight show. My introduction to British humor.
- The Birdcage - “Actually, it’s perfect. I just never realized John Wayne walked like that.” This one is a guilty pleasure for me. Great performances by Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Hank Azaria, and the wonderful Robin Williams. This might be my favorite performance of his next to the Genie in Aladdin. It’s wry and sardonic and acidly funny.
- Drop Dead Gorgeous - “The communal wine just proves too tempting for some people!” “That's why we Lutherans use grape Kool-Aid for the blood of Christ.” A true under appreciated gem. The darkest of dark humor, showing how lethal beauty pageants can be. A mocumentary style film before that was the rage. Great early performances by a host of actresses. Hard to find but worth it.
- Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back - “I’m Jay and this is my hetero-lifemate Bob.” I have a soft spot for Kevin Smith films. They are filthy but part of my college years. While other films do land a little better, I appreciate this one for seeing it at the Paramount with smith himself holding a marathon discussion after.
- Hunt for the Wilderpeople - “He's molestering me!” One of the funniest films of recent years. While not his best film, this is perhaps Taika Watiti’s funniest. Sam Neil and Rachel House make this film. Clever and touching, and very well put together.