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100 Best Comedies of All Time...

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Scott Roberts
100 Best Comedies of All Time...
on Sep 15, 2011 at 9:49:09 pm

Uh oh, Tim, we shouldn't try debating this list, based on the pure scope of it all!

Time Out London has assembled the 100 Greatest comedies of all time. But the catch is, it's not just a mundane list created by some random blog writer working for their website. They actually polled REAL comedians and others in the industry for their top 10's, and used the averages to create the big list. From their website:

"With the help of the Time Out Comedy and TV sections, we plumbed the depths of our contact books for every comic stand-up, writer, actor or director that we knew and asked them to name their top ten comedy films of all time. Many rose to the challenge. More than 200 to be exact, all diligently listing their personal favourites and, more often than not, offering wry annotations to explain their choices. Stephen Merchant, Edgar Wright, Jo Brand, Russell Howard, Tim Vine and Richard Curtis are just some of those who answered our call. And I can say you haven’t lived until you’ve received an email from Dan Aykroyd listing (in curt, 12pt Courier typeface) his favourite comedy films. Oddly, they include ‘Goodfellas’.

Which brings us back to that old conundrum of what makes great comedy. Probably more than any other genre, comedy eludes easy definition. Funny is subjective. Some people prefer a low chuckle, while others want to be transported to the point where blood vessels start bursting and intestinal tracts erupt in violent spasm.

The 100 films we arrived at – whittled down with an age-old points system – came from a sample of 478, ranging from oddities such as Whit Stillman’s urbane, political romcom, ‘Barcelona’ (1994), through to questionable Ivy League blackface romp, ‘Soul Man’ (1986). But long before we crunched the numbers, it was clear what was going to make it to number one. Rob Reiner’s ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ romped to victory by a staggering margin, appearing on 92 personal top tens."


I found it to be most interesting not for the big list, but mainly for all of the contributor's small lists. Just for the cool knowledge of who so-and-so likes. I haven't gone through all of them (or most of them, OK, I only looked at a few of them, I'm just taking a short break from work!), but it seems like a cool resource for those in a top-10 listy kind of mood. I'm gonna check out the rest when I get home.

http://www.timeout.com/london/feature/1502/100-best-comedy-movies-the-full-...


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Tim Wilson
Re: 100 Best Comedies of All Time...
on Sep 15, 2011 at 11:56:37 pm

[Scott Roberts] "Uh oh, Tim, we shouldn't try debating this list, based on the pure scope of it all!"

Believe it or not, I have ZERO problems with this list.

First, it has Office Space. Already most of the way to a legit list.

My issue with most of these lists is that when you say "all time," you better mean ALL TIME, and they do. The Great Dictator, Sullivan's Travels, Duck Soup, Bananas, Mr. Hulot's Holiday, The Producers, etc. -- that and more establish that we're talking about ALL of the past 90+ years. So now we refine.

I was pleasantly surprised at how many of my non-blockbuster favorites are on the list. For example, Midnight Run is one I was sure would be unjustly passed over -- yet there it is. Galaxy Quest, ditto. At $283 million, a blockbuster, but still I'm thrilled that Bridesmaids showed up so quickly.

A few of the ones missing....

  • What's Up Doc (an all-time favorite)
  • Bringing Up Baby (which Doc was inspired by). In fact, no Hepburn at all.
  • The In-Laws (Falk and Arkin)
  • MASH
  • My Man Godfrey
  • It Happened One Night
  • Victor/Victoria, maybe?


That's a pretty short list! And I can see why some of those would have been bumped for, say, the very deserving Kind Hearts & Coronets or Mr. Hulot, which wouldn't have made an American list. So I'm okay there too.

My "aw HELL no" list is also pretty short, but I won't speak their names.

After that, it's quibbles. I'd put Gold Rush, City Lights OR Modern Times on the list instead of Great Dictator. Team America: World Police ranked ahead of South Park? Maybe. I was on the edge of saying Clueless needed to be on there, but I'd certainly put it ahead of Mean Girls. Little stuff like that.

So bookmark this list as the first one that I wasn't jumping up and down and screaming at. :-)


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Jeff Breuer
Re: 100 Best Comedies of All Time...
on Sep 19, 2011 at 4:11:45 pm

Yea, I agree, a pretty good list. As someone who loves to watch and make comedies, I love seeing silliness appreciated. Some movies on this list like Anchorman, Three Amigos! and Dumb and Dumberer may not be the most critically well regarded films (and not on any AFI lists) but are very, very funny. And it's nice to see other films I think should be critically well regarded like Team America, Hot Fuzz and Swingers get some top recognition.

Clearly there is some British bias in the polling, and I would make some changes, but I agree this is a pretty decent list.

[Tim Wilson] "My issue with most of these lists is that when you say "all time," you better mean ALL TIME, and they do."

I agree.

A few of the movies I would have liked to have seen in there are:

City Lights
The Navigator (Buster Keaton, my vote for all time funniest movie)
The Muppet Movie
Private Eyes (Tim Conway/Don Knotts, I know it's a little film)
Talledaga Nigths
Knocked Up
Love Actually (Being British centric, very surprised this did not make the cut)
The Man Who Knew too Little

But this stuff is somewhat subjective, so I agree with you Tim, not a bad list.


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Scott Sheriff
Re: 100 Best Comedies of All Time...
on Sep 17, 2011 at 1:34:18 am

IMO, A few interesting picks, but overall I would say it's flawed.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair

Where were you on 6/21?


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Tim Wilson
Re: 100 Best Comedies of All Time...
on Sep 17, 2011 at 1:38:21 am

[Scott Sheriff] "IMO, A few interesting picks, but overall I would say it's flawed."

Dude, not acceptable. You must post 1000 words to ride this ride.

:-)

Soooo....???


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Scott Sheriff
Re: 100 Best Comedies of All Time...
on Sep 17, 2011 at 7:53:41 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Dude, not acceptable. You must post 1000 words to ride this ride."

LOL! I used up all my allotment on the FCP X debacle.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair

Where were you on 6/21?


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