June 21, 2007 9:21 AM   Subscribe

Female Buddy Comedy Filter: Please help me shop for an 11-year-old girl who loves female slapstick comedy.

My niece loves Lucy and Ethel. I just got her a couple of Laverne and Shirley DVD's, and she wouldn't get off the couch until she'd watched every episode. Twice. Since she's impossible to shop for otherwise (too old for dolls, too young for make-up), I'd love to help her build a collection of movie/TV DVDs that feature female buddies being silly/slapsticky. Barring the buddy thing, any silly, age-appropriate comediennes would be nice. I thought of Carol Burnett, but can you help me think of more?
posted by dogmom to Media & Arts (26 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Absolutely Fabulous and French & Saunders are probably a tad beyond her age, but might be recommended in the future.

Maybe check out some of the SNL collections of Gilda Radner and Molly Shannon?

I'm thinking of others right now...
posted by stefnet at 9:31 AM on June 21, 2007

Best answer: Although it seems like it would not be the case, but at that age (and now) I LOVED the Golden Girls. Not exactly slapstick but it's funny to see old people actually be funny (although they don't seem that old to me now).
posted by greta simone at 10:00 AM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

I Love Lucy. End of thread.
posted by briank at 10:04 AM on June 21, 2007

(oops, maybe not...I didn't see that you'd already mentioned it)
posted by briank at 10:05 AM on June 21, 2007

Besides I Love Lucy, Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance were also in the Lucy Show together and a few other productions based on those characters.

I don't think I've ever actually seen the Mary Tyler Moore Show or Rhoda, but they come to mind as comedies with female leads. Not sure about the age appropriateness. And Zena Warrior Princess qualifies as silly.
posted by Jeff Howard at 10:08 AM on June 21, 2007

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion is probably a little out of her age range. Which is too bad, because I will never, ever tire of it.

You could probably get a lot of mileage out of the Mary Tyler Moore show.
posted by hermitosis at 10:09 AM on June 21, 2007

I've heard Katharine Hepburn suggested as a slapstick pioneer. But try the silent film era! There were lots of younger women in silent slapstick comedy. Also, check out your local comedy scene. Sketch comedy is good for this kind of thing and there are underground sketch troupes in every comedy scene. It's really fun to see comedy live and I bet a lot of comedy venues are allowed to let in minors.

This is really cool -- there's something that's potentially rad about a young woman raised on awesome female comedy. Good on you!
posted by loiseau at 10:11 AM on June 21, 2007

Best answer: As a kid I LOVED LOVED LOVED Carol Burnett, so that's right on I'd say. (I used daydream that she replaced my very non-funny mom. And Andy Griffith was my dad.)

Maybe some Betty Hutton, Rosalind Russell or Judy Holliday? Imogene Coco was great too, although Sid Ceasar got mad that she upstaged him so she didn't get to really fulfill her potential. But "Your Show of Shows" was so popular that they used to postpone the presidential address until it was over.

If they don't have to be female, I used to love Abbott & Costello too. And I even thought WC Fields and Charlie Chaplin were total crack ups. Oh, and I still love the old Bob/Bing "Road" pictures with Dorothy Lamour.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:13 AM on June 21, 2007

Romy and Michele's might not be bad, actually. It's rated R, but if I recall, it is soley for 3 uses of the F word (non sexual). And there's some alcohol use, but it's an unflattering portrait of those drinking.
posted by peep at 10:14 AM on June 21, 2007

Try some good old screwball comedies with actresses like Katherine Hepburn (Bringing Up Baby) Irene Dunne (The Awful Truth) or even Rosalind Russell (His Girl Friday). I loved that stuff when I was her age.
posted by robink at 10:14 AM on June 21, 2007

Bob Hope and Lucille Ball were in a movie together called "Fancy Pants" that I thought was hysterical when I was a kid. Other Bob Hope favorites include "The Princess and the Pirate" and "Paleface". See if you can find any of those!
posted by hermitosis at 10:15 AM on June 21, 2007

Best answer: Lily Tomlin
Cloris Leachman
Tracy Ullman
posted by loiseau at 10:18 AM on June 21, 2007

It's a tame R, peep, but lots of frank talk about sex, including the scene where Romy and Ramon vocally simulate loud sex.

Really depends on the family and the kid.
posted by hermitosis at 10:19 AM on June 21, 2007

Amy Sedaris?!
posted by loiseau at 10:21 AM on June 21, 2007

Yes, please get her "Bringing up Baby." That's a classic that more people need to know about, anyway. "His Girl Friday" is another great suggestion. I am right there with you, robink.

A lot of the older movies have wonderful, witty dialogue and great comediennes. It Happened One Night is fantastic!
posted by misha at 10:22 AM on June 21, 2007

Oh - check out Jamie Lee Curtis' filmography. She's done some hilarious stuff. I loved her in Freaky Friday and of course A Fish Called Wanda. Also, I feel like a heathen for saying it, but Lindsay Lohan does great slapstick in Just My Luck (but your niece may have already seen it).
posted by loiseau at 10:29 AM on June 21, 2007

Bette Midler's been in a couple of films that fit the bill - Big Business with Lily Tomlin and Outrageous Fortune with Shelley Long.
posted by goo at 10:34 AM on June 21, 2007

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen
posted by Pollomacho at 10:49 AM on June 21, 2007

"Some Like it Hot" is stretching your definition quite a bit but it's funny and stands the test of time.
posted by chairface at 10:53 AM on June 21, 2007

Stage Door is a really great movie and it has Katharine Hepburn going head to head with Ginger Rogers who is a pretty good actress even when she isn't dancing. :) It gets a little serious at the end, though.

The Philadelphia Story

And this is probably a huge guiltly pleasure that only I love but Feds.

And she might also like the different versions of Little Women (Katharine Hepburn as Jo, Winona Ryder as Jo, June Allyson as Jo) as well as The Thin Man movies.
posted by spec80 at 11:27 AM on June 21, 2007

Auntie Mame isn't totally slapstick, but it's got some moments, and it's an otherwise wonderful film for that age range.

When I was that age I also loved the old Rogers & Hammerstein musicals, as well as movies like Bell, Book, and Candle. Ernie Kovacs! Hermione Gingold! Jimmy Stewart! What a film.
posted by Addlepated at 11:55 AM on June 21, 2007

Best answer: What about the original Parent Trap movie? You know, the good one.
posted by misha at 12:05 PM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

short subjects starring Thelma Todd and Patsy Kelly. I don't know if these are out on DVD, but I've caught a few on Turner Classic Movies.
posted by anitar at 12:46 PM on June 21, 2007

Response by poster: Can't I mark all of them as "best answer"? Thanks so much, MeFites. You've come through for me once again!
posted by dogmom at 1:28 PM on June 21, 2007

Pretty much anything featuring the late, great Empress Trixie Delight-Nympho, née von Shtupp.
posted by rob511 at 6:41 PM on June 21, 2007

There's an Australian series called Kath and Kim which could probably be right up there for your niece. It is absolutely brilliant.
posted by cholly at 7:18 PM on June 21, 2007

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