What was the funniest movie you ever saw when you were a kid?
May 3, 2020 3:00 PM   Subscribe

Not asking what you think the funniest movies are, or what you consider the funniest movie for kids now that you're an adult who has seen All The Movies. But when you were an actual kid (say age 7-12), what was that one movie that made you laugh the most?
posted by Mchelly to Media & Arts (92 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Hard to say what the absolute #1 funniest would be, but I still remember my dad taking my brother and me to see Dumb and Dumber and thinking it was the funniest movie we’d ever seen (I still think it’s funny).
posted by cakelite at 3:08 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

The Blues Brothers.
posted by HotToddy at 3:09 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

Maybe Ferris Bueller's Day Off?
posted by praemunire at 3:10 PM on May 3 [8 favorites]

Blazing Saddles!
posted by Calvin and the Duplicators at 3:11 PM on May 3 [13 favorites]

Hollywood Shuffle and Raising Arizona were two of my favorite movies when I was about 8 (I was born in '80) and I found them to be very funny although I find them to be funny in different ways now that I'm an adult. Also, these were probably inappropriate for me to be watching at that age but ...

(One of my other favorite movies was Little Shop of Horrors. I may have been a weird child.)
posted by darksong at 3:12 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

What comes to mind: me as an 11 year old lad screaming and rolling on the living room floor for Carry On Doctor. It just happened to be airing on a Saturday afternoon and I'd never seen anything like it.
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:14 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

At that age I didn't get to see a lot of comedies in the theater, so I'd say either Airplane! or The Jerk, both of which I recorded to VHS from TV (the latter having some extra scenes added to the TV version, and I get fidgety when I don't see them in the movie release version)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:23 PM on May 3 [4 favorites]

When I was 7 it was probably The Love Bug or Herbie Goes Bananas. When I was 12 it was probably the Three Amigos or Monty Python and the Holy Grail. There's a lot of ground between 7 and 12!!
posted by Gray Duck at 3:23 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]

Dunston Checks In!
posted by popoosh at 3:24 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

In the mid 1990s, my family watched many movies with Jim Candy, and from that period, I recall us all laughing like loons by the end of Planes, Trains and Automobiles (trailer), co-starring Steve Martin.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:27 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

Spaceballs. I had it on VHS and loved it so much that I would watch it, rewind once I got to the end, and then watch it again.

"Keep firing, Assholes!"
posted by DingoMutt at 3:30 PM on May 3 [17 favorites]

Hot Shots.
posted by Vortisaur at 3:32 PM on May 3

Seconding Spaceballs. I'm sure I could think of others but that is the first movie that popped into my mind when I read this question.
posted by sm1tten at 3:39 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

Spaceballs, probably.

Although I watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles with my parents and they were *crying* with laughter at the car rental scene, so that definitely made it funnier for me.
posted by Twicketface at 3:44 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

I honestly could not make a decision between The Court Jester and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. I would say it was probably The Court Jester more towards the 7 end of the range, Robin Hood more towards 12.
posted by brook horse at 3:44 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

Hard to think of a single favorite, but looking through my Flickchart this would have been my top ten laugh-out-loud, quote-it-annoyingly faves from ~1995-2001:

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Christmas Vacation
Billy Madison
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
Meet the Parents
Rat Race
posted by Rhaomi at 3:46 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]

Back in the olden times when my parents decided to rent a VCR to see if buying one was maybe in the cards, I distinctly recall finding Summer Rental (directed by Carl Reiner, starring John Candy) uproariously hilarious. I was probably 10 or 11.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:56 PM on May 3 [4 favorites]

We watched an extremely edited for TV version of Spaceballs back then which I loved. (When I saw an unedited version as a teenager, I was deeply dismayed that it was not the movie that I grew up with!) Was also an immensely large fan of Clue (and still am!).
posted by firei at 4:00 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

Hmm. That would have been 1975-1980, before my family bought a VCR, so it would have been either a theatrical release or a broadcast on ABC's Sunday Night Movie. Probably it was The Pink Panther Strikes Again, which I think I saw in the theater. I do remember as a ten-year-old finding the pink elephant scene in Harper Valley PTA hilarious.

I came to Mel Brooks and Monty Python a little bit later.
posted by brianogilvie at 4:06 PM on May 3

I'm a bit older than the respondents so far. I'd say something seen on TV before the age of the VCR, perhaps It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World or Duck Soup.
posted by 2N2222 at 4:09 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]

9 to 5. It's funny to see this question because I can still vividly remember how funny I thought it was. I think I was in the third grade at the time.
posted by Crystal Fox at 4:16 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

2N2222 wrote almost exactly what I was about to say. The Marx Brothers and Abbott and Costello movies were on a lot on Saturdays and Sundays in the late-1960s into the 1970s, as were the Laurel and Hardy and Three Stooges short films. Basically, any comedy that had lots of chaos.
posted by plastic_animals at 4:17 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

Ghostbusters and Airplane!
posted by cowlick at 4:18 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]

I was a total sucker for the silly parodies of the 80s-90s like Airplane!, Naked Gun, Hot Shots and, just in under the line apparently, Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
posted by General Malaise at 4:24 PM on May 3 [4 favorites]

Spaceballs, for sure.

Also the Naked Gun 33 1/3.
posted by fingersandtoes at 4:24 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

Home Alone
posted by nathaole at 4:28 PM on May 3 [4 favorites]

What's Up, Doc? with Streisand and Ryan O'Neal and Madeline Kahn. Damn I thought that movie was funny.
posted by bricoleur at 4:36 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]

Another vote for Airplane!
posted by phoenixy at 4:38 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

Probably The Absent Minded Professor - the Fred MacMurray version.

I also remember really liking Laurel and Hardy movies, but those kind of blend together and I can’t name any individually.

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken was a big one for me, but I also found it really scary, so it’s a bit complicated.
posted by FencingGal at 4:49 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

I remember going to see "The Return of the Pink Panther" at the local drive-in when I was 12 (1975). Absolutely the funniest movie I had ever seen to that point in my life.
posted by briank at 4:49 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

Blazing Saddles and Monty Python's Life of Brian.
posted by rpfields at 5:00 PM on May 3

The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming! Emergency! Everybody to get from street.
posted by evilmomlady at 5:12 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

Private Eyes - with Don Knotts and Tim Conway
Home Alone
posted by ilovewinter at 5:28 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

Spies Like Us
posted by bendy at 5:32 PM on May 3

Cheech and Chong's Up In Smoke
posted by Rob Rockets at 5:32 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

Spies like us
posted by tilde at 5:36 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

The Great Race. How can you not love the largest pie fight ever filmed?
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 5:39 PM on May 3

My sister and I loved The Great Outdoors (more John Candy) and Spaceballs!
posted by pepper bird at 5:44 PM on May 3

Another vote for The Russians Are Coming!

posted by Rash at 5:48 PM on May 3

Absolutely UHF, the Weird Al movie. Honorable mentions to Spaceballs, Happy Gilmore, and Airplane!, but the first time I watched UHF as a kid it just totally reshaped my brain in its image.
posted by Polycarp at 5:54 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

Young Frankenstein and Clue
posted by galvanized unicorn at 5:58 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

posted by Winnie the Proust at 6:05 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]

nthing Airplane!
posted by gaspode at 6:14 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

UHF is probably it for me, too.
posted by Stacey at 6:20 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

This is not movies, but the golden age of late 60s American comedy TV was surreal: Beverley Hillbillies, Bewitched, The Monkees, I Dream of Jeannie, Isle of Gilligan, they were all something else. My fave was Green Acres, an existential thought-piece.
posted by ovvl at 6:23 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

Airplane! I was 12 and had already been reading MAD Magazine and this movie basically cemented a lot of my sense of humor.
posted by jessamyn at 6:24 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]

When I was 6, it was Milo and Otis. When I was 8, it was UHF. When I was 10, it was Monty Python and the Holy Grail. When I was 12, it was Raising Arizona.
posted by thelastpolarbear at 6:25 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

Slightly older than 12, but the funniest movie I saw as a teenager was "What About Bob?". I saw it in the theatre with friends and laughed so hard that I couldn't breathe and, at the end, I literally couldn't stand up because my stomach was so knotted from laughing. No one else found it as funny as I did, but even now, just thinking the words "Hit him harder, Bob!" makes me smile to myself.
posted by VioletU at 6:27 PM on May 3 [6 favorites]

The original version of It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World.

A little older, Up in Smoke and Animal House.
posted by AugustWest at 6:32 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

I had Police Academy 3 memorized.
posted by goatdog at 6:42 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

Airplane! I remember thinking to myself that I had no idea it was possible anything could be so funny.
posted by STFUDonnie at 6:51 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

I also loved some Woody Allen movies especially Sleeper and Bananas.
posted by AugustWest at 6:55 PM on May 3

Another vote for Monty Python and the holy grail at 11/12 years old.
posted by natasha_k at 7:10 PM on May 3

Mid-eighties, Strange Brew and Johnny Dangerously. We would cry from laughing so hard. Neither film tickled me nearly that much as an adult.
posted by msali at 7:20 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

It’s a Mad Mad World. My parents must have wanted to see it and just took us with them because I pretty young. I can’t believe someone else here even remembers it. It was just nuts.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:20 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

Young Frankenstien
posted by wwax at 7:24 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

Ace Ventura!!!
Home Alone
Planes Trains and Automobiles
Police Academy
Wayne’s World
posted by nouvelle-personne at 7:24 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

It's a tossup between Bringing Up Baby and A Shot in the Dark (I did see them as a kid; my parents had no real control over my tv viewing, and I would stay up way past my bedtime and watch older movies that used to be broadcast at 11:30 PM and later).
posted by gudrun at 7:30 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

Wayne's World, Billy Madison.
posted by Charity Garfein at 7:30 PM on May 3

Oh yeah, Caddyshack, though I knew not of golf
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:39 PM on May 3

It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World
The Pink Panther Strikes Again
M. Hulot's Holiday
Strange Brew
The Great Race
After the Fox
posted by scruss at 7:50 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

Airplane! I was in the upper range of the age range when it came out and holy “hospital what is it” did I watch it on cable so many times.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:54 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

Wayne’s World
Drop Dead Fred!!!!!
posted by kapers at 8:12 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

Airplane! and Holy Grail.
posted by equalpants at 8:32 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

The Addams Family and The Addams Family Values
definitely Young Frankenstein and Robin Hood, Men in Tights
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
2nding Drop Dead Fred
oh man, LOVED What About Bob?
posted by Miss T.Horn at 9:25 PM on May 3

Well it was just now that I learnt Airplane! and Flying High (title in Australia) are the same movie. This would have been my answer but apparently I was already outside your age-range when it came out. So, I dunno, probably the Life of Brian. Or any of the Marx Brothers' movies, which were often shown on TV.
posted by Coaticass at 10:45 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

the Jodie foster freaky Friday
oh god

the bad news bears
high anxiety
love at first bite
9 to 5
the live chicken scene in Casey's shadow
posted by brujita at 1:11 AM on May 4

Anything Jim Carrey had me and my siblings rolling: Ace Ventura, The Mask, Dumb & Dumber. Also, randomly, the movie It's Pat.
posted by moons in june at 1:26 AM on May 4

Bruce Almighty
The Court Jester
A Knight's Tale
posted by Balthamos at 1:59 AM on May 4

Definitely Airplane! which I did not see in the theater but instead on tv later on.
posted by kimberussell at 3:48 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

Another vote for Airplane! here.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:58 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

The Wayne’s World movies, Ace Ventura, Top Secret! This is all around 12. Before that, I just kind of watched whatever my parents rented (I spent my rental on a video game because of course I did).
posted by sara is disenchanted at 4:04 AM on May 4

Add me as another one for Its A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
(Who would have guessed we needed a fan club for that movie?)

I also loved physical comedy along the lines of “I Love Lucy” in the chocolate assembly line episode.

So basically anything where a situation just kept getting more and more ridiculous.
posted by MexicanYenta at 4:51 AM on May 4

I am incredibly bad at timelines and knowing what age I was, but these movies:

Return of the Killer Tomatoes
Ace Ventura Pet Detective (this was funniest when I was younger, by around 12 less so)

I adored the Addams Family movies but not because I found them the *funniest* movies. Also, I think I watched it a little older but I loved Kung Fu Hustle so much that I own it on both DVD and Blu-ray now...
posted by stillnocturnal at 4:55 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

10 yo me thought that the 1999 Dudley Do Right with Brendan Fraser was the funniest thing of all time. The fact that my parents didn't trade me in for a better model when I refused to stop quoting it at mealtimes is a testament to their patience.
posted by coppermoss at 6:07 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

The Three Amigos was hilarious when I was 11. Watched it with my kids not too long ago. They loved it and I still thought it was pretty funny.
posted by trbrts at 6:45 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

Wayne’s World
posted by wowenthusiast at 7:07 AM on May 4

That Darn Cat (1965 version). Here's a taste.
posted by scrubjay at 7:25 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

Loved the Police Academy movies. At least the first 5 or 6...?
posted by hydra77 at 8:48 AM on May 4

Nthing "Mad.. Mad World" and seconding "What's up Doc?"

I love screwball comedies like that, and they work for both kids and adults.

"Rat Race" is a remaking of "Mad Mad World", and "What's Up, Doc?" was inspired by "Bringing Up, Baby", so if you like screwball, follow the threads to those movies, too!

I also find Mel Brooks movies to be fairly kid-accessible. "To Be or Not To Be" is one of the best, and it's Jack Benny original, also "To Be or Not To Be", stands up to time well, too.
posted by juggler at 9:01 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

Ace Ventura 2 jumps to mind first. I still remember an all-night sleepover fueled by snickers and mountain dew and uproarious laughter.
posted by dbx at 9:03 AM on May 4

I can't believe I'm sharing this publicly, but when I saw "Porky's" in the theater when I was 11 or 12 I thought it was absolutely hilarious; I remember crying from laughter at the theater. I would not think it was funny now, and am definitely not showing it to my own kids.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:17 AM on May 4 [2 favorites]

As a kid, I was an easy laugher, but the one film that stands out the most, easily, was/is "The Road to Hong Kong (1962)" Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, tons of cameos (Peter Sellers!).
posted by Chitownfats at 9:18 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

nthing Airplane! for all the wordplay that makes kids chuckle, but This Is Spinal Tap also ranks right up there for me.

I couldn't breathe after the Stonehenge scene.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:43 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

The Muppet Movie
History of the World Part 1
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Jerk

I have a vivid memory of watching (the Marty Feldman directed) The Last Remake of Beau Geste in a theater with my parents--looking at the release date I was 5 or 6--and them absolutely howling at a particular scene. I tried to rewatch that film a couple of years ago and it was a slog. The timing of that vein of films from the 70s and early 80s, like the Pink Panther movies, was so much slower. People thought The Pink Panther was hysterical despite having about 4 actual jokes in it.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:48 AM on May 4 [2 favorites]

As a kid, I found Bad News Bears hilarious - probably from the foul language. Watching it again as an adult, I found the child abuse and alcoholism disturbing.
I loved all the Peter Sellers Pink Panther movies. To this day, any of my brothers or I can get another of us to laugh by saying "But that's a priceless Steinway!"
The Longest Yard was hilarious as a kid, probably from the gratuitous violence. Haven't seen it since.
High Anxiety
posted by plinth at 10:04 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

I'm not going to defend them as unproblematic, but I loved the Ernest movies and there was something so funny in Ernest Goes to Jail that I could reliably crack myself up for months after if I conjured the memory. It's completely gone, I want to say it had something to do with chewing gum, but I couldn't say for sure. Anyway, Ernest Goes to Jail. Also Ernest Scared Stupid. The line about MIAK still sends me.
posted by witchen at 11:44 AM on May 4

Mr. Mom with Michael Keaton and Teri Garr. We loved the battle with the vacuum, making grilled cheese with the iron, the adult obstacle course, and the kids wearing slippers in the bathtub. The large quantities of innuendo went right over our heads, but it's a surprisingly sensitive movie about masculinity that still holds up on rewatch.
posted by Alison at 1:56 PM on May 4

12 was right about when I transitioned between two of the most hilarious movies I'd ever seen: Goodburger and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
posted by chainsofreedom at 2:57 PM on May 4

Airplane! for sure
posted by slogger at 7:56 AM on May 5

I watched Clue and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? so many times I wore out the tapes.
posted by zeusianfog at 2:28 PM on May 5

the Three Amigos.
posted by getawaysticks at 5:48 PM on May 8

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