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Chewers' 100 Funniest Films of the 80's

post #1 of 190
Thread Starter 

It was a very funny decade: the heyday of the original cast of SNL, the golden age of the teen comedy, Eddie Murphy, and Steve Guttenberg. What are the films that cracked you up then, and still make ya laugh today


1. Diner (1982) d. Barry Levinson


"We all know most marriages depend on a firm grasp of football trivia."


Gloriously goofy and immature, bittersweet, and cool. A brilliant screenplay brought to life by a quirky ensemble that delivered on the most important aspect for the film's success: we buy into the friendships up on the screen. This is a hang out film that I still love hanging out with.

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2.  'Ghostbusters'.  Pretty much a perfect film.  

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3. Caddyshack (1980), d. Harold Ramis.


One of the most eminently quotable movies of all time.  And a cast that is absolutely on fire, shooting off non sequiturs and ad libbing their way through a film that, apparently, had a 200-page script when shooting began.

post #4 of 190

4. Airplane! (1980) d. Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker


Arguably the funniest film ever made. It serves as the original blueprint & gold standard for the Modern American Comedy while influencing seminal works from The Simpsons to Anchorman.

Edited by Art Decade - 8/4/11 at 1:57pm
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d. Rob Reiner (1984)


"It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black."

Edited by Art Decade - 8/4/11 at 2:28pm
post #6 of 190

LOVE 'Airplane!'.  I thought that it was a 1979 film, though...nice catch.


It's amazing how well that film has held up, especially compared to the other ZAZ output.

post #7 of 190

6. Midnight Run (1988); d. Martin Brest


Alonzo: you're gonna spend ten years for impersonating a federal agent.
Jack Walsh: 10 years for impersonating a fed, uh? How comes no one's after you?


The action-comedy that inspired Pineapple Express, Midnight Run is better (and I loved Pineapple Express).

post #8 of 190
Thread Starter 

7. Lost In America (1985) d. Albert Brooks


"Say it! Say it! Say "I lost the nest-egg." Go on, say it!"


A brilliant skewering of Boomer sensibilities in the Reagen era, this hilarious road movie ("just like EASY RIDER") is is pretty much the ultimate Brooks.

post #9 of 190

8.  Raising Arizona  (1987)  The Coens


"I'll be taking these Huggies, and whatever cash ya got."



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9. The Princess Bride  (1987)  d. Rob Reiner


Every single character in this film has his or her own iconic moment where they take center stage and elevate the film to a classic.




"Hello My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die."

Edited by Tim K - 8/5/11 at 1:29pm
post #11 of 190

10. 'Fletch'.  A non-stop explosion of one-liners that actually work to drive a narrative further.  Chevy Chase's best film AND best role.  Completely quotable from beginning to end.

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11. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)   d. Charles Crichton


because it just keeps getting funnier as I get older. This might be, pound-for-pound, the best comedy I have ever seen.

post #13 of 190

12. Top Secret! (1984) d. Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker


"Listen to me Hillary. I'm not the first guy who fell in love with a woman that he met at a restaurant who turned out to be the daughter of a kidnapped scientist only to lose her to her childhood lover who she last saw on a deserted island who then turned out fifteen years later to be the leader of the French underground."

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13. Better Off Dead (1985)


"I want my two dollars!"

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14. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)  d. Frank Oz


Its the only musical I'll never tire of. 

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15.  Beetle Juice (1988) d. Tim Burton


Michael Keaton turns in one of the best comedic performances ever.  "Nice fucking model!"

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16. Trading Places (1983)


Simply one of the funniest films ever. 

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17. Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)  d. John Hughes


Martin and Candy are a pitch perfect odd couple, and John Hughes is at the multitasking top of his game. Prickly but full of heart,

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18.  'Real Genius'.  William Atherton's finest hour.  Well paced with great characters who have some genuinely funny and clever lines to deliver.

post #20 of 190

19. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) d. John Hughes


Generation X's Easy Rider. Hilarious, poignant, lightning fast, & infinitely rewatchable. This is the godlike genius of John Hughes in full bloom.

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The triple lindy; Rodney in his prime; RDJ verbally eviscerating football jocks; Burt Fucking Young; Sam Kinison and Adrienne Barbeau as a bonus; Oingo Boingo; Zabka!; "Girls, this is Lou. Lou, these are girls."; not to mention the greatest Kurt Vonnegut joke ever committed to film (with an assist from Kurt himself). What's not to love?

post #22 of 190
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post

18.  'Real Genius'.  William Atherton's finest hour.  Well paced with great characters who have some genuinely funny and clever lines to deliver.


Hell yeah. A coming of age comedy staple.



21. Roxanne (1987)  d. Fred Schepisi 


Sometimes I need reminding how much a tour-de-force Steve Martin was, this is the movie I go to.

post #23 of 190
Thread Starter 

22. The Blues Brothers (1980) d. John Landis


"I hate Illinois Nazis."


THE great SNL movie and Landis' best film. Belushi and Aykroyd are hilarious, and the music is amazing. The third act is just bananas. (The tone is an interesting mash up: movie feels like the 70's, but has that 80's sense of fun)



post #24 of 190

23.  'Revenge of the Nerds'.  One of the most consistent titty comedies of the decade.  Perfect casting from the top to the bottom.  Lots of memorable scenes throughout.


hair pie, motherfuckers.

post #25 of 190



d. John Landis                          (1986)


"In a way, all of us has an El Guapo to face. For some, shyness might be their El Guapo. For others, a lack of education might be their El Guapo. For us, El Guapo is a big, dangerous man who wants to kill us. But as sure as my name is Lucky Day, the people of Santa Poco can conquer their own personal El Guapo, who also happens to be the actual El Guapo! "


Critically drubbed & more or less ignored at the box office during it's initial run, Three Amigos! has gained increasing recognition as a classic over the years. The film is a daisy chain of hilarious moments brilliantly executed by the comedic supergroup of Martin, Chase, & Short.



post #26 of 190

This is my last one I swear.*


25. Evil Dead II (1987)   d. Sam Raimi


A film that still represents (invented?) the the height of splatstick. A close second would be Braindead/Dead Alive but that wasn't in the 80s.



*Okay mabye only my last one for the day.

post #27 of 190

26.  'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels'.  Funny scene followed by funny scene.  Consistently funny and consistently charming.  One of my absolute favorite performances from Michael Caine.

post #28 of 190

Because if I didn't say it, no one else would:


27. The 'burbs (1989) d. Joe Dante


"In Southeast Asia we'd call this kind of thing bad karma."


"I've never seen that. I've never seen anybody drive their garbage down to the street and bang the hell out of it with a stick. I've never seen that."

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28. Back to the Future (1985) d. Robert Zemeckis


"If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits eighty-eight miles per hour... you're gonna see some serious shit."

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29. A Christmas Story (1983) d. Bob Clark


"Oh fudge! (Only I didn't say "Fudge." I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the "F-dash-dash-dash" word!)"


"Be sure to drink your Ovaltine. Ovaltine? A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch!"


Bob Clark should probably have another movie on here too...

post #31 of 190

My pick of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was snagged, so 30. National Lampoon's Vacation. I used this film to remind me that yes, Chevy Chase was extremely funny while living during the lean (to be charitable) 90s and 00s (thank you Community for restoring some luster!).

post #32 of 190

31. Clue (1985) d. Jonathon Lynn, written by John Landis


From the zany, to the slapstick, to the great comic actors here, and in rememberance of Collen Camp's brighter days. I picked it up for less than 5 the other day, and have watched it twice. I love it.

post #33 of 190

32.  'When Harry Met Sally'.  One of the best and most consistent romantic comedies that I've ever seen.  There's so much truth to the film that it's scary.

post #34 of 190

33. Coming to America (1988) d. John Landis


Eddie Murphy's sweetest performance, Soul Glo, Randy Watson & Sexual Chocolate, quotables galore...

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34. Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985) 


Tim Burton's first movie, a script that is filled to the brim with great lines and gags, and that bike chase thru the Warner Brothers studio feels like it came out of an old Bugs Bunny cartoon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the Judd Apatow produced sequel does happen. I want to see Paul Ruebens break out the bow tie and suit one more time.


Pee Wee: Go ahead and scream your head off! We're miles from where anyone can hear you! 

Edited by JPL - 8/7/11 at 4:30pm
post #36 of 190

35. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)  d. Robert Zemeckis


Do I really need to make a case for this masterpeice? 

post #37 of 190
Thread Starter 

35. 48 Hrs. (1982) d. Walter Hill


A star is born.


post #38 of 190

36. Broadcast News (James L. Brooks, 1987)



"Six years from now, I'll be back here with my wife and two kids. And I'll see you, and one of my kids will say, 'Daddy, who is that?' And I'll say it's not nice to point at single fat women." - Aaron Altman


A media critique in the same league as "Network". The film is funny and insightful. Albert Brooks is comedically delightful.

Edited by Barry Woodward - 8/7/11 at 1:31pm
post #39 of 190

Hey!  That's not the same disc cover as the blu-ray for Broadcast News!  What gives!?  Hahahah


Love that film.

post #40 of 190

Criterion cover designer Eric Skillman posted some of his earlier design iterations on his blog:

Edited by Barry Woodward - 8/7/11 at 1:25pm
post #41 of 190
Thread Starter 

38. Used Cars (1980) d. Robert Zemeckis


"Fifty bucks never killed anybody."


Kurt Russell is great, but it's the double shot of Jack Warden that makes the movie. Zemeckis' and Gale's sensibilities used to be gloriously anarchistic, a kind of amalgam of their two mentors Spielberg and Milius.

post #42 of 190
Originally Posted by Barry Woodward View Post

Criterion cover designer Eric Skillman posted some of his earlier design iterations on his blog:

Oh nice!  I love breakdowns about a process.  Thanks for this!

post #43 of 190

39.  'Bill Cosby: Himself'.  Bill doing a comedy routine in a brown suit.  It's just him on a stage with a chair, riffing on shit, for 90 minutes.  HILARIOUS from beginning to end.  Want to see a real pro at work?  Here you go.

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d. Joe Dante, John Landis, Robert K. Weiss


Henry Silva, host of Bullshit Or Not?: "Using undiscovered evidence, we ask the question: Was Jack the Ripper in fact a sixty-foot sea serpent from Scotland? Did I take this job to make a quick buck? We may never know the answers to these questions. "


A bomb upon release (it only grossed about 1/2 a million), this skit anthology send-up of 2am TV programming stands as one the great cult classics of the 80s. Sporting an impressively large roster of (then) huge names like Steve Guttenberg, Michelle Pfeiffer, & Carrie Fisher, the film is a rich buffet of absurdist comedy, bridging the gap between Airplane! & The Simpsons.

post #45 of 190

41. Scrooged (1988) d. Richard Donner


Yeah, another Christmas movie. Bill Murray is awesome as usual and there's also a great supporting cast. A yearly tradition around the holidays for me.

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42. Ruthless People (1986)  d. ZAZ


High concept comedy executed to perfection by the sure-handed Abrahams / Zucker alliance and  a none-more-80s cast. DeVito at his most gleefully underhanded; Midler intentionally irritating; Reinhold at his big-eared, everyman best.


post #47 of 190

43. Tootsie (1982)  d. Sydney Pollack


Aside from one the the best performances of a man in drag put to film, this film sends up Dustin Hoffman's reputation, woman's lib and the (mostly) unemployed new york acting community, yet it still maintains heart at all times.

Edited by Tim K - 8/8/11 at 7:39pm
post #48 of 190
Thread Starter 

44. Richard Pryor Live On The Sunset Strip (1982) d. Joe Layton


"When that fire hit your ass, it will sober your ass up *quick*! I saw something, I went, "Well, that's a pretty blue. You know what? That looks like *fire*!" Fire is inspirational. They should use it in the Olympics, because I ran the 100 in 4.3."


Rising from the ashes of almost being burned alive like a phoenix, Pryor delivers the funniest -and most personal - concert film of the decade

post #49 of 190

45. The Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie: Strange Brew (1983)


"Geez, you're real nice. If I didn't have puke breath, I'd kiss you."

post #50 of 190

46.  'Monty Python's The Meaning of Life'


It's not the best Python film by a longshot, and many of the bits fall completely flat, but there are many moments of absolutely gut-busting genius in here.

- Mr. Creosote.

- Death visiting a dinner party

- This man is about to die

- The Crimson Permanent Assurance

- Organ donation


The good outweighs the bad, and the final third of the film is almost flawless.

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