JB is having a laugh this month with a huge selection of comedy titles on offer. Of course comedy is a matter of personal taste, so there’s something to satisfy every sense of humour. With so much to choose from, let’s get you started with eight comedy classics that belong in every comedy collection.
This satire of the corny Airport disaster films of the ‘70s is a masterclass in how to construct a genuinely hilarious spoof film. Few would argue its status as one of the all-time great comedy classics – and one of the most quotable. Hands up if you’ve ever responded on occasion with the lines “Don’t call me Shirley” or “Looks like I picked the wrong week to give up smoking”.
Monty Python alumni John Cleese and Michael Palin join Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline for this comedy crime caper. Cleese’s screenplay successfully blends British and American humour, highlighting the quirks specific to both styles, while Ealing comedy veteran Charles Crichton calls the shots. The result has the feel of a traditional ‘50s Brit-com, albeit with Americans behaving badly.
Marty Di Bergi’s attempt to capture the sights, sounds and smells of a British rock band on the road is the quintessential mockumentary. Rob Reiner’s debut feature is so authentically crafted – from the group’s look, sound and backstage banter, to the original songs – that many thought the band were real. Indeed, a number of real life rock luminaries found it all a little too close to home.
We bet you’re already humming Lindsay Buckingham’s theme tune ‘Holiday Road’ as fond memories of the Griswolds’ inaugural holiday come flooding back. Vacation sports a champion ‘80s pedigree – it’s written by John Hughes (from his story for the Nat Lampoon magazine), directed by Harold Ramis, and stars Chevy Chase. A bona fide classic from that decade.
If Kevin Smith invented the slacker comedy with romantic allusions, affable characters, acerbic dialogue and gross-out moments, then Judd Apatow refined the formula for a whole new generation. This is a prime example – a blokes’ rom-com that’s surprisingly more warmhearted, honest and sentimental than it is crass. Did we mention it’s also extremely funny?
“America, F… Yeah!” Even more relevant today than when it was released back in 2004, this cheeky adult puppet show is wrong on so many levels and guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes, with no strings attached. Make sure you check out the Uncut Version for maximum hilarity. The perfect appetiser to Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s The Book of Mormon.
Baked beans and a campfire inevitably spring to mind at the mere mention of Mel Brooks’s legendary western spoof. Rude, crude, wacky, anachronistic and anarchic, the film’s lowbrow humour delivered high end results for Brooks, and this comedy trailblazer remains a glorious time capsule from an era when political correctness didn’t exist.
This life-affirming comedy boasts a brilliant ‘what-if?’ premise, a dash of romance, and Bill Murray in his best form since Ghostbusters. The time-loop device might be nothing new to sci-fi, but Groundhog Day nails the more absurd possibilities and consequences. Directed by Harold Ramis, the title has become part of the everyday vernacular, and the film certainly demands repeated viewings.