Sep. 12, 2012 at 9:10 AM ET
Humor is subjective, but that doesn't mean certain comedies don't strike a chord with almost everyone. "A Christmas Story" is as popular as holiday presents, and who hasn't quoted "Airplane!" in appropriate situations?("Shirley, you can't be serious?") And then there are the Monty Python films. And semi-universal favorites such as "Caddyshack." You get the picture...
A recent British survey declared "Airplane!" the funniest movie of all time. That survey gets technical, even calculating the exact number of supposed laughs per minute. For most of us, though, our reactions aren't quite so scientific. If it's funny, we laugh, and certain films just hit our funny bone over and over again.
We asked a few of our staffers to share their favorite funny flicks, and want to hear from you about the films that make you laugh the most.
"Blazing Saddles" burns its way across the comedic landscape of the Old West with stereotypes, puns, wordplay, sight gags and even racial jokes (designed to disarm as much as entertain). The film's rightfully famous for several scenes, including bean-laden cowboys doing what bean-laden cowboys do around a campfire, and when muscle-bound henchman Mongo enters town and punches a horse to the ground. During the film's climax, horses go flying, fists go flying and reality flies right off the rails as the hordes of fighting outlaws and townsfolk invade first the film lots, then Hollywood, no doubt killing more men than Cecil B. DeMille. --David Gostisha
‘Team America: World Police’
It’s tasteless and profane and I would be mortified if my mom were sitting next to me while it was on, but “Team America: World Police” is undeniably hilarious. And when it came out in 2004, just a few years after the 9-11 attacks, it was kind of cathartic, too. The team destroys Paris while fighting terrorists and celebrates while Parisians stand horrified in the rubble of their city. Kim Jong Il’s black panthers of death turn out to be adorable housecats. Middle Eastern puppets mimic the Cantina Band scene from “Star Wars.” Puppets die bloody, flaming deaths and have really weird puppet sex. And the soaring, wonderfully jingoistic anthem “America! (Bleep) Yeah!”, which praises American institutions from Starbucks to slavery, is an F-word filled classic. “How is this not our national anthem?” writes one YouTube commenter. How indeed? –Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
'A Christmas Story'
A confession: I just can't look at, or even think about, the tongue-meets-icy-flagpole scene in "A Christmas Story." If you grew up in an icy climate like me, even if you were never triple-dog-dared to lick a metal flagpole, you know all too well that unnerving, creepy feeling when wet skin accidentally meets below-zero metal. But that aside, this has to be the funniest holiday movie ever. The pink bunny suit. "You'll shoot yer eye out!" The Major Award. The Bumpuses' dogs and the Old Man's beloved turkey. "A crummy COMMERCIAL?" Ralphie's holiday frustrations are enough to make anyone say "Fudge!" --G.F.C.
‘His Girl Friday’
Movies didn’t always rely on fart jokes and bodily excretions to get a laugh. Back when screwball comedy reigned, words were the weapons designed to split sides. And there was no better example in 1940 than “His Girl Friday,” a film that perfectly matched an athletic Cary Grant mugging as newspaper editor Walter Burns and a mischievous Rosalind Russell as his ex-wife/star reporter Hildegard “Hildy” Johnson. She’s about to get remarried to Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy), the sappiest of saps, and leave the profession, and Walter won’t have it. Meanwhile, a condemned man has escaped from prison on the eve of his execution and Walter enlists Hildy to cover the story for old time’s sake. The pair run, flail, throw things and generally make a hectic mess of the courthouse press room as they trade verbal barbs with such crisp speed that it’s impossible to catch them all on a first go-round. Witty and smart, it’s a rollicking tale designed for the ADD generation. Stop the presses and check it out, now! --Randee Dawn
‘Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy’
Because the real news is often the furthest thing from funny, give credit to Will Ferrell for elevating this spoof on a TV newsman in 1970s San Diego. Ron Burgundy is hilarious because of his overblown sense of confidence and self-worth in the face of repeated acts of stupidity. He’s only outdone in those categories by his cast of co-workers, including Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell) and Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd). Christina Applegate is perfect as Veronica Corningstone, the new female reporter who brings “diversity” -- no that’s not a Civil-War era wooden ship -- to the newsroom. From the jazz flute scene to beloved dog Baxter getting kicked off a bridge, it’s clear why “Anchorman” is kind of a big deal in comedy. --Kurt Schlosser
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