Top 10 Comedy Movies: 1980s

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Top 10 Comedy Movies: 1980s

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Max Lett.

Comedies didn't have to make sense back in the '80s – they just had to make us laugh. In this video, http://www.WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 comedies of the 1980s. For our series on the Top Comedies of All Time, we've chosen comedy films per decade based on their iconic status, critical acclaim, box-office success, watchability and, of course, how funny they are. This is part of a series of videos spanning the decades of comedic films from the 1930s to the 2000s.

Special thanks to our users Ovidijus Gelzinis, moereinhart and Shawn Mark for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Transcript
Script written by Max Lett.

Top 10 Comedy Movies: 1980s


Comedies didn’t have to make sense back in the ‘80s – they just had to make us laugh. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 comedies of the 1980s.

For our series on the Top Comedies of All Time, we’ve chosen comedy films per decade based on their iconic status, critical acclaim, box-office success, watchability and, of course, how funny they are. This is part of a series of videos spanning the decades of comedic films from the 1930s to the 2000s.

#10: “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983)

Chevy Chase delivers more comedy gold as the patriarch of the Griswold family who’s just trying to show everyone a good time. Chase’s default character of a clueless man unafraid to experience new things works perfectly here as he slowly goes nuts trying to get his family from Chicago to California – all while keeping everything from falling apart. “Vacation” wasn’t only a commercial success but has since achieved cult status and spawned several sequels.

#9: “Tootsie” (1982)

Dustin Hoffman sees what it’s like to live life in a pair of high heels. In this gender-bending comedy directed by Sydney Pollack, Hoffman cross-dresses as Dorothy Michaels so he can get a job in the acting business. Most of the laughs come from Hoffman learning that there’s a huge difference between men and women and his eventual embodiment of the idea of equal rights. Much of “Tootsie”’s success can be attributed to its effective fusion of the ridiculous with reality as well as its sensitivity and thoughtfulness – so it’s no surprise it was recognized with 10 Oscar nominations.

#8: “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (1987)

Steve Martin and John Candy are the perfect comedic match in this film about a man who just wants to get home for Thanksgiving. After Neal and Del are forced together following a series of unfortunate circumstances due to a snowstorm, Del tries to make the best of a bad situation, but Neal can’t stand it. What ensues is a slew of timeless comedy moments. Of course, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” also boasts a big heart, which makes it all the more poignant and very deserving of a spot on this list.

#7: “A Fish Called Wanda” (1988)

Monty Python stars John Cleese and Michael Palin give Hollywood films a whirl in this heist comedy. British surrealist humor meets good old American storytelling to produce a flick that is funny from start to finish. Cleese has great chemistry with Jamie Lee Curtis and the scene where Palin’s hit man character must kill a witness is a hilarious classic. Movie-watchers loved it and so did the critics; aside from multiple award nominations, actor Kevin Kline nabbed the Oscar trophy for Best Supporting Actor.

#6: “This Is Spinal Tap” (1984)

One of the very first movies to help popularize the mockumentary film genre, “This Is Spinal Tap” gives viewers a satirical inside look into the wild lives of rock stars. Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest all give hilarious performances as they navigate the highs and lows of the music industry. The documentary style shooting gave the actors room to work off one another and improvise, while positive reception from audiences, critics and actual rock stars helped turn it into a cult classic.

#5: “Spaceballs” (1987)

Mel Brooks is the master of puns and he’s at it again in this classic spoof of the sci-fi genre. In it, none of the great space epics are safe from the director and actor’s biting satire. “Spaceballs” breaks the fourth wall mercilessly and the references are positively gut busting. Despite initial mixed reviews, it’s since become one of Brooks’ most popular and beloved flicks – and then there’s Rick Moranis, who gives one of his most memorable performances as the vile Dark Helmet.

#4: “Ghostbusters” (1984)

They ain’t afraid of no ghosts. Sporting much the same cast and crew as the 1981 war comedy “Stripes,” this seminal ‘80s supernatural comedy reaches almost “Star Wars” levels of transcendence - and it caters to young and old alike, even to this day. In it, a group of down-and-out paranormal researchers start up their own ghost hunting business. Eccentric, infectious, and filled with special effects, “Ghostbusters” also spawned all kinds of highly collectible merchandise, cartoons, a sequel and a rumored third film.

#3: “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!” (1988)

Keep your eyes glued to the screen or you’ll miss something as the first installment in “The Naked Gun” series of films delivers a non-stop stream of sight gags and toilet humor. But don’t be fooled by its seemingly lowbrow subject matter; “The Naked Gun” is a hilarious slapstick comedy for people of all ages and generations - and it still hasn’t lost its comedic touch more than 25 years after its release. Leslie Nielsen is the king of ‘80s comedy and doesn’t disappoint.

#2: “Caddyshack” (1980)

With comedy legends like Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield and many others, this film packs one hell of a punch to the funny bone. From start to finish, “Caddyshack” supplies classic quotes, sidesplitting performances and overall hilarity. Anything can happen in this no-holds barred laugh riot and almost anything does. When it comes to sports comedies, this flick is truly a hole in one!

Before we unveil our pick for Comedy of the 1980s, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure” (1989)
- “Weekend at Bernie’s” (1989)
- “Big” (1988)
- “Trading Places” (1983)
- “Coming to America” (1988)

#1: “Airplane!” (1980)

If this movie proves anything, it’s that comedies don’t have to make sense to be hilarious. On the surface, “Airplane!” is a spoof of earlier disaster films, but as soon as the opening credits roll, the audience is also taken on a non-stop roller coaster ride of sight gags and hilarious dialogue. Lloyd Bridges is especially funny in his role as Steve McCroskey, an air traffic worker who slowly works his way through all the drugs he can find. But thanks to its cheesiness, silliness and use of slapstick, the satirical comedy is often considered one of the decade’s finest flicks and is also our top pick.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite 1980s comedy? For more hilarious Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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