Excuse me while I whip this out
November 11, 2010 7:47 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for hilarious films to watch - but there are some things I'd like to avoid. Can you help me out?

It's been a long, dull week that sucked ass. I need a laugh - preferably a series of side-splitting, ROFL, 'Shit-I'm-crying-now' laughs. I'd like to watch a few good movies - but when it comes to comedy, things can be hit or miss for me. I don't like comedies that focus too much on the plot over the humor. For me, comedies are supposed to be absurd and inane - the plot doesn't have to make sense.

So, basically, here is my list of DO NOT WANT so that you can avoid the following:

1. Absolutely no "family" comedies - UGH (I like my profanity, drug use and scatological humor, thank you very much)

2. No sappy 'dramedies' that try to impart some grand moral lesson to me (double UGH)

3. Nothing highbrow (too Buzz Killington-esque for me right now)

4. No romantic comedies (exponential UGH)

5. Nothing with a low 'humor-to-time' ratio (one funny situation every 10 minutes is not going to cut it for me)

I'll watch films from any era, but I'd like to focus primarily on the past decade or so. I know humor is a matter of opinion, but I'm looking for any and all suggestions that you can give me. Thanks!
posted by Despondent_Monkey to Media & Arts (103 answers total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
The Producers (original w/ Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel)
posted by freshwater at 7:50 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by HuronBob at 7:51 PM on November 11, 2010

I have a soft spot for Anchorman because of it's very ridiculous humor.
posted by littlesq at 7:52 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

The Hangover
posted by jenmakes at 7:53 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

WITHNAIL AND I. That is all.
posted by scody at 7:58 PM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]

Sorry to not directly answer the question, but does it have to be a film? What about TV show collections for stuff like SNL, Mr. Show with Bob and David, Kids in the Hall, The State, etc.? I feel like you get the most "comedy bang-for-your-buck" with sketch comedies, but that's just me...
posted by dubitable at 7:58 PM on November 11, 2010 [5 favorites]

Bad Santa
Fist Foot Way
posted by cazoo at 7:58 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm going to hell for this, but if it's "absurd and inane" you're after, you may (repeat: MAY) want to check out Freddy Got Fingered. Figuring out how it got made is half the fun!

Also from Zucker-Abrams-Zucker, the pre-Airplane Kentucky Fried Movie holds up surprisingly well. I've also heard good things about Top Secret!

And of course there's the Naked Gun trilogy, and its antecedent TV series, "Police Squad!" These never fail to make me laugh, even now.
posted by MimeticHaHa at 7:58 PM on November 11, 2010

Billy Madison
posted by blaneyphoto at 8:00 PM on November 11, 2010

Oh, and shit, what about any of the Monty Python films? Perhaps a bit older than you specified but if you want, absurd, they got absurd...
posted by dubitable at 8:00 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Some Like it Hot. The plot is superfluous. There's a teeny bit of romantic comedy, but the classic screwball humor makes up for it. And oh, that closing line.
posted by Melismata at 8:04 PM on November 11, 2010

nthing Kids in the Hall and any Mel Brooks movie.
posted by patronuscharms at 8:06 PM on November 11, 2010

I love Out Cold. I don't know why; some people just do. If you are one of those people, it's awesome.
posted by hammurderer at 8:06 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

A Fish Called Wanda.
posted by applemeat at 8:07 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

Oh Brother Where Art Thou

Arguably trace amounts of morals, as they deal with bigotry, ignorance, the Klan, etc., but no more so than the movie you referenced in your sub-title (Blazing Saddles). And come on, it's the Coen Brothers. Fast paced, and profanity-o-plenty. One of Clooney's better "goofy" roles.
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:08 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Aside from the obvious classics (Zucker/Abrams or Mel Brooks films, Caddyshack, Animal House, etc.) I will always recall Highball (dir: Noah Baumbach) and Flirting With Disaster (dir: David O. Russell) as being two of the funniest movies of the 90's, despite being mostly overlooked upon release.
posted by holterbarbour at 8:09 PM on November 11, 2010

Shaolin Soccer!


And, at the risk of stating the obvious, The 40 Year Old Virgin!
posted by scratch at 8:14 PM on November 11, 2010

The complete first season of "Eastbound & Down". It's not a movie, HOWEVER, 1. One of the producers/directors is David Gordon Green, who has serious fucking chops, 2. Taken as a whole, it looks and feels a lot like a film feature, and lastly but not least-ly, 3. It made me laugh harder than anything, EVER (even more than my little sister, who has made me laugh so hard I peed myself). You will be quoting it for weeks, if not months.
posted by julthumbscrew at 8:21 PM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]

Being There
Ed Wood
It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
posted by cog_nate at 8:21 PM on November 11, 2010

Seconding The Producers and Bad Santa, also.
posted by cog_nate at 8:22 PM on November 11, 2010

Seconding Anchorman, but my answer is ALWAYS Wet Hot American Summer. ALWAYS. If you're a fan of Reno 911, The State or Stella, you will love it, guaranteed. (And it isn't porn, despite the name.)
posted by sarahsynonymous at 8:23 PM on November 11, 2010 [5 favorites]

Super Troopers. I was so thankful that someone brought that over in the middle of my sickness.

If standup counts: anything Eddie Izzard

If TV counts: Father Ted and The IT Crowd. Also seconding Eastbound and Down; I fricking love that show. It's so awesomely dirty.

Thirding Wet Hot American Summer.
Reno 911! Miami
Coming to America
Dirty Work
Major League
posted by Madamina at 8:25 PM on November 11, 2010

Pineapple Express. Not just dropping it for the obvious eponysteria, either... I thought it was as funny as The Hangover.
posted by pineapple at 8:26 PM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]

You want anthology movies. Here are my favorites (in order of what I'd consider hilarious ranking):

Other things:
The first 20 minutes of SUPER TROOPERS (It slows down after that)
Assuming you've seen both Harold and Kumar films?

Actually, thinking about it, the "Stoner Comedy" section of NetFlix is likely your friend in this case.
posted by Gucky at 8:27 PM on November 11, 2010

This Is Spinal Tap
The Naked Gun
posted by cog_nate at 8:28 PM on November 11, 2010

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters
posted by J. Wilson at 8:35 PM on November 11, 2010

posted by swift at 8:39 PM on November 11, 2010

I have never laughed harder at anything than I did at Chris Farley in Tommy Boy. Literally on the floor gasping for breath.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:42 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, anything Monty Python (Holy Grail and Life of Brian are my favs), Airplane!, Peter Sellers' Pink Panther Series, Jim Carrey films (Ace Ventura, Pet Detective; When Nature Calls; Dumb and Dumber), Steve Martin old films (the Jerk; All of Me; Planes, Trains and Automobiles); Caddyshack; Three Amigos; Fletch; National Lampoon.
posted by kch at 8:45 PM on November 11, 2010

Rat Race is an ensemble comedy along the same lines as "Mad Mad World". The scenes with Jon Lovitz are classic.
posted by kenliu at 8:46 PM on November 11, 2010

A Fish Called Wanda (may be the funniest film ever made)
Ruthless People (might be funnier)
Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle (spoiler: they make it to White Castle)
Bowfinger (might qualify as highbrow, sort of, but Eddie Murphy gives two of his best performances ever in this move)
Shaun of the Dead (a romantic comedy with zombies. A romzomcom)
Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness (Evil Dead II is too a comedy. Shut up).
The Mummy (perhaps not a laugh a minute, but I love this movie)

You are very welcome
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 8:47 PM on November 11, 2010

I can't believe no one's mentioned Kung Fu Hustle. And Shaun of the Dead.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:52 PM on November 11, 2010 [4 favorites]

posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:54 PM on November 11, 2010

I will always enjoy The Blues Brothers and The Burbs. If stand-up does count, Bill Cosby Himself usually makes me very nearly wet myself. Mel Brooks and Monty Python, too.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 8:55 PM on November 11, 2010

Clue always makes me laugh. Slapstick. Silly puns. A plot which is largely beside the point.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:00 PM on November 11, 2010 [4 favorites]

Okay, so it's a TV show and it flouts your rules 1-4 (at least technically), but watch all of Arrested Development. Then watch it again. And again. And again. NO American comedy (and, I suspect, no English language comedy) has the rewatchability of this series. Then, six months later, watch it again....
posted by kimota at 9:04 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

Kick Ass inappropriately funny. I thought Role Models was funnier that The Hangover. YMMV.
posted by WayOutWest at 9:07 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

I was very pleasantly surprised by Dude, Where's My Car when I finally saw it recently.
posted by skynxnex at 9:08 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you like your profanity, drug use and scatological humour, I can't recommend enough It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It's a TV show, not a movie, but I can think of few funnier shows to recommend.
posted by Nightman at 9:08 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

The Gods Must Be Crazy II
(I haven't watched part I yet)
posted by Neekee at 9:14 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

The first Jackass movie.
posted by KingEdRa at 9:14 PM on November 11, 2010

Raising Arizona is my favorite movie. Ever. It should be your favorite movie, too. As a tribute to me. For telling you to watch the movie.
posted by phunniemee at 9:15 PM on November 11, 2010 [6 favorites]

Yayyyy one of these threads!

From the already mentioned I like Anchorman and Elf. I find those to be by far the funniest of the whole arrested-development-manchild-Judd-Apatow strain. This Is Spinal Tap is a good suggestion, as would be Best In Show and Waiting For Guffman. The Jerk would be a good one. Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz work, too.

You could also go for an Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode. Those are movie length. Start yourself off easy with something like "Mitchell." or the "Shorts Volume 2" collection. (The "Last Clear Chance" short alone will have you dead on the floor. I would suggest "Manos" but that is such a boring movie that you need to be pre-initiated.)

I would avoid stuff like Mel Brooks, Airplane!s, and Naked Guns, as I've found they don't age well. You know what is surprisingly funny? The Great Muppet Caper. And, not surprisingly funny but a personal fave if you can find it...Kids In The Hall: Brain Candy.
posted by greenland at 9:20 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

if you dig weird and surreal - League of Gentlemen
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:29 PM on November 11, 2010

If you want scatalogical, low brow, laugh a minute funny, you want Shakes the Clown, "the Citizen Kane of Alcoholic Clown movies". (Yes, I've recommended this movie before)
posted by JaredSeth at 9:32 PM on November 11, 2010

Half baked.
posted by smcameron at 9:37 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Profanity, drug use and scatological humor? You should be downloading Wilfred then. It's deeply offensive and so, so funny that I THREW UP FROM LAUGHING watching it once.
posted by Wantok at 9:40 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum

Murder by Death


Monty Python's search for the Holy Grail

Oscar - Sylvester Stallone made a comedy, and it was funny!
posted by patheral at 9:45 PM on November 11, 2010

Pootie Tang
posted by gnutron at 10:17 PM on November 11, 2010

The first time I saw Waiting for Guffman it took me the length of the entire movie to eat one slice of pizza because I was laughing so hard. It's currently available for streaming on Netflix!
posted by missmary6 at 10:21 PM on November 11, 2010

In The Loop
posted by the duck by the oboe at 10:34 PM on November 11, 2010

I will third Bad Santa. I mean, it's horrible. I hated Dumb and Dumber. I dislike most movies of this kind. (ok, well now exceptions are flooding my mind but ignoring that--) Bad Santa was so ridiculously funny that it overcame all of that. It is just extremely funny.
posted by salvia at 10:35 PM on November 11, 2010

Also confirming Bad Santa as one of the funniest movies in recent years.

posted by holterbarbour at 11:04 PM on November 11, 2010

Not a movie, but the first four seasons of "Trailer Park Boys" is one of the most brilliantly, bleakly, relentlessly funny shows I've ever seen. (Then they got a budget and the rest of the show is garbage, but the first few seasons are genius.)

It's really Canadian, too! Not that there's anything right with that.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:07 PM on November 11, 2010


Kung Pow

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (there's already a sequel out for that which I haven't seen yet)
posted by Glow Bucket at 11:45 PM on November 11, 2010

Hot Fuzz
posted by goshling at 12:11 AM on November 12, 2010

A Mighty Wind is my classic go-to for absurd humor but in this case I have to recommend Grandma's Boy as it is the sleeper stoner hit of the decade. Profane, horned up, and even clever! Like, almost as good as Half Baked.

Not of this decade, but definitely age well: This is Spinal Tap and Stripes
posted by Juicy Avenger at 12:15 AM on November 12, 2010

Seconding Murder by Death. One of the best.

Also seconding Wet Hot American Summer.
posted by santaliqueur at 12:19 AM on November 12, 2010

Kenny fits the bit perfectly.
posted by ceri richard at 1:29 AM on November 12, 2010

Seconding Withnail and I

Black Books (Season 1 is the best.)
posted by FakePalindrome at 2:56 AM on November 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Wet Hot American Summer is a big, big yes.

So is the suggestion of Mr. Show.

Perennial favourites: Airplane!, Top Secret! and the Kentucky Fried Movie
posted by molecicco at 3:07 AM on November 12, 2010

Maybe you've already seen them since they are recent & huge, but I thought both Borat movies were hilarious.

Zoolander is absurdly funny... Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson as male models.

Nthing Arrested Development. It didn't look like the sort of thing I would like but my hubs wanted to watch it and I was hooked pretty quickly.

Squidbillies: an Adult Swim cartoon show that can be hit or miss, sometimes it's hilarious and other times just bizarre. See if you can find the episode "Butt Trouble." I nearly peed myself laughing the first 10 or so times I watched it.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:00 AM on November 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Four Lions
posted by gonzo_ID at 4:22 AM on November 12, 2010

Shaun of the Dead. And if you've seen it before and liked it, for the nostalgia factor, Dumb and Dumber.

I've had the same week you have had and am going to see Due Date, despite mixed reviews. We'll see.
posted by shortyJBot at 4:38 AM on November 12, 2010

If you like horror/comedy, then I definitely second Evil Dead II, Army of Darkness, and Shaun of the Dead. I'd also add the Norwegian Zombie Nazi film: Dead Snow

For other non horror comedies, I will second:
The Hangover
Hot Fuzz
The Hangover
All Monty Python
and did I mention the best of the bunch? The Hangover
posted by Grither at 5:46 AM on November 12, 2010

Noises Off is a much-overlooked riot with a suprisingly good cast.

Nthing Supertroopers, Grandma's Boy, Pootie Tang, and Arrested Development. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels holds up well, too.
posted by mimi at 5:47 AM on November 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Very Bad Things
Bubble Boy
SLC Punk
Citizen Ruth
Detroit Rock City
City Slickers
Galaxy Quest
posted by LuckySeven~ at 6:11 AM on November 12, 2010

I re-recommend the Dinner Game, and also the most popular French film for decades, La Grande Vadrouille.
posted by mkb at 6:51 AM on November 12, 2010

One of my favorites is a comedy starring Bill Murray entitled "The Man Who Knew Too Little".
posted by grizzled at 6:56 AM on November 12, 2010

Seconding (and thirding) many, but here's my list:

Blazing Saddles
A Fish Called Wanda
Life of Brian
Happy Gilmore
Ruthless People
Wet Hot American Summer
Spinal Tap
I'm Gonna Git You Sucka
Grosse Point Blank
Duck Soup

Plus, if the powers that be allow it to stay online, there's a hysterical cartoon called Twice Upon A Time - it's hard to find in other forms because George Lucas (the film's producer) seems to have decided not to release it on DVD - I guess it doesn't fit his image. But it's one of my all time favorite funny movies.
posted by Mchelly at 7:05 AM on November 12, 2010

TV seires again here, but I love the shit out of Peep Show.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 7:18 AM on November 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

i'm going to second 'the man who knew too little' with bill murray... i used to quote this movie non-stop. 'super troopers' and 'spies like us' are my two other go-to comedies.
posted by noloveforned at 7:55 AM on November 12, 2010

Seriously? No one has mentioned "Black Dynamite?"

posted by ColdChef at 8:16 AM on November 12, 2010

TV series: the BBC's Coupling
posted by Neekee at 8:17 AM on November 12, 2010

Yes! Peep Show! It's not dumb, but it's not highbrow.

I also find The Inbetweeners to be both very crude and extremely funny. Harry Hill and Shooting Stars also make me laugh purely becuase they make no sense, but I think it may be a very English type of humour.

As far as films go - Borat made me laugh a lot more than I expected. Same with Kung Fu Hustle.
posted by mippy at 8:44 AM on November 12, 2010

Oh man, I want to watch so many of these movies now. I will add Trading Places (with Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd), because I have been thinking about that scene on the bus with the smoked salmon for DAYS but I've resisted re-watching because it's a Christmas movie.

Which reminds me: The Ref. OK, maybe some lessons are learned, but they're not exactly the best lessons. Neither a dramedy nor a family comedy. It takes a little while to get going, though, maybe not ideal for you right now.
posted by mskyle at 8:57 AM on November 12, 2010

Drop Dead Gorgeous. Yes, a MN based beauty pagent movie sounds cringe-y, but it's great. It's like Fargo+Real Housewives.
posted by ShadePlant at 9:15 AM on November 12, 2010

Just a warning about Withnail and I, which has been recommended twice above. Withnail and I is a good movie but, in my opinion, it's more a tragedy than a comedy. There are comedic elements but the whole thing is full of unhappy people, some of them drinking themselves to death in a quite realistic manner.
posted by severiina at 9:22 AM on November 12, 2010

Anything Seth Rogen has acted in
Anything directed by Christopher Guest
Forgetting Sarah Marshall was funny, and not a rom com.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:14 AM on November 12, 2010

Most of my favorites have been mentioned already, but how about: Slap Shot, Quick Change, The Cable Guy, Run Ronnie Run, Yellowbeard, Bedazzled, Johnny Dangerously, Crimewave, Harlem Nights

If you're at all familiar with sci fi and horror of the 1950's, I recommend The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, which parodies those. I know that sounds kind of weak, but it's a big hit with everyone I know who wasn't born in the 80's.

Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle are very funny, and I would add, so are lots of other Stephen Chow movies. Some more high points are King of Comedy, From Beijing with Love, God of Cookery, and King of Beggars.
posted by heatvision at 10:29 AM on November 12, 2010

Death to Smoochy
posted by WeekendJen at 10:35 AM on November 12, 2010

and Bubba Ho-Tep
posted by WeekendJen at 10:38 AM on November 12, 2010

Undercover Brother
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:21 AM on November 12, 2010

I'm going to echo those who recommended It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Trailer Park Boys. Again, not movies, but as funny as anything you'll ever see.
posted by fso at 11:27 AM on November 12, 2010


Dodge, duck, dip, dive, and...DODGE!
posted by mefireader at 11:50 AM on November 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ghostbusters FTW!!!
posted by jasondigitized at 11:53 AM on November 12, 2010

Office Space
posted by entropy at 12:25 PM on November 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Pirate Radio (US title), aka The Boat That Rocked (UK title).

(For TV - Black Books)
posted by mbatch at 12:51 PM on November 12, 2010

The Big Lebowski
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:54 PM on November 12, 2010

Woody Allen's Love and Death is some of the best of his humor without the annoying elements. Pure setup-gag over and over and over. The plot is secondary. Examples that don't do the movie justice:
"Let's have three children"
"Yes...one of each."

"You're a wonderful lover!"
"Thanks, I practice a lot when I'm alone."

"What do you think of me as a man?"
"I think it's your best bet..."

And In the Loop. It's political but we nearly peed ourselves watching it.
posted by Jezebella at 4:14 PM on November 12, 2010

I was thinking about asking this same question... with pretty much the same requirements.
I love comedy... but have trouble finding a lot of movies funny.

Anyway, here are my suggestions:

Christopher Guest directed films; Specifically Best in Show.

Bad(der) Santa

Reno 911 (series and movie)

Groundhog Day

Stand-Up Comedy Films -
Louis C.K.: Shameless
Kings of Comedy
Jim Gaffigan
Nick Swardson - Seriously, Who Farted?
posted by KogeLiz at 6:12 PM on November 12, 2010

Ace Ventura Pet Detective (major guilty pleasure).
posted by ephemerista at 7:25 PM on November 12, 2010

The comedy group Broken Lizard did Super Troopers and Beerfest, they also have Club Dread and The Slammin' Salmon. Meets your requirements to a T.
posted by lizbunny at 9:28 PM on November 12, 2010

It's a bit dated, but still makes me fall down laughing: Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke. Here's a sample, very NSFW, man!
posted by Paris Elk at 4:41 AM on November 13, 2010

What About Bob?
posted by pollex at 10:10 AM on November 13, 2010

The Inbetweeners. Crude but very funny. Again, a TV series but so good that you'll end up recommending it on some other mefi thread....
posted by SueDenim at 5:04 PM on November 13, 2010

Zombieland is two parts comedy to one part horror movie. It's great stuff.

Thankskilling is hilarious, because it is the worst movie ever made. It's about some college who are chased by an evil turkey.
posted by JDHarper at 7:07 PM on November 13, 2010

For just-plain-goofball, I like any of the Austin Powers movies (with the second being my favorite of the three).
posted by abigredchair at 7:02 AM on November 14, 2010

Don't forget about The Young Ones. (Described, in the FPP just linked, as "A mad, helter-skelter, rude, awesomely violent, unpredictable, swaggering, staggering, joyously infantile, exhilarating steamroller of a sitcom[.]"
posted by mabelstreet at 1:44 PM on November 14, 2010

I like most of the films mentioned above, but the answer is the criminally underated and unseen 1997 comedy “The Wrong Guy” written by and starring Dave Foley. One of the best Kids in the Hall byproducts of all time.
posted by boost ventilator at 1:54 PM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, which I was prepared to hate. I saw a couple of clips on TV on different occasions and couldn't look away each time, so I had to rent it. Most comedies seem to use up all their jokes in the first half hour, but this one never lets up.
posted by sillygwailo at 4:56 PM on November 14, 2010

Ditto Black Dynamite. Also, if no one's mentioned it yet, I thought the South Park movie was utterly hilarious, but maybe you've already seen that.
posted by juv3nal at 12:21 AM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

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