Well, of course.
Mel Brooks rates a second. Pound for pound, more tasteless laughs per minute than any film ever made.
THE LOVED ONE
Tony Richardson – 1965
The tag line was, “Something to offend everyone”. Scathingly tasteless, and recklessly hilarious screenplay by Terry Southern and Christopher Isherwood. And yes, Liberace is priceless – So is Rod Steiger as Mr. Joyboy, who’s saving up for Mom’s big tub.
MY FAVORITE YEAR
Dick Benjamin – 1982
A Personal favorite. You had to be there, and you had to know that Errol Flynn really did appear on the Sid Caesar show a year before his death, which is what the story is loosely based on. And you had to have a special appreciation for Sid Caesar, who played the saxophone at my parent’s wedding.
THE WRONG BOX
Bryan Forbes – 1966
Hey, it made me laugh a lot. I’ll bet most of you have never even heard of this. Find it – it’s out there. You’ll thank me. Or, maybe not.
THE LADY KILLERS
Alexander MacKendrick – 1955
So many brilliant, zany comedies from Britain’s Ealing Studios in the Forties and Fifties, and this is the best of the lot.
OH BROTHER WHERE ART THOU
The Coen boys – 2000
The Odyssey, a comedy? Yeah! Did the Sirens really turn John Turturro into a toad? Does it matter? It’s a smoldering gag that builds over maybe eight minutes, until you wet your pants. Funny, funny stuff.
Preston Sturges – 1941
You can’t do a list like this without including Sturges’ take on things funny, and this is his funniest.
IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD, WORLD
Stanley Kramer – 1963
I know, it’s corny, and looking a bit dated and long in the tooth these days, and I don’t think much of Stanley Kramer, but look who’s in it – everybody! More comedic talent crammed into one mad chase farce than, well – anything else.
Jim Abrahams, and those Zucker boys – 1980
Last but not least. Well, something had to be tenth, and why not Airplane. I thought about Caddyshack, but no, it’s Airplane. Look who’s flying the thing. And it’s even got Harriet Nelson. You can simply listen from another room, and it’s still funny. You can’t not laugh at this. It’s irresistible.