daniel cohen stirs up a whole bunch of debate…
This is probably the most controversial top ten I’ve ever written. Everyone has a difference of opinion as to what they think is funny. I’m not here to declare what the top ten funniest scenes are, and I can promise you right now, I left out ‘your’ funniest moment. This is just a random excuse for me to celebrate great comedic moments in film, that’s all. While I’m sure you will disagree with what’s on my list, I’m confident you will at least find these moments to be somewhat humorous, and that’s all I can really ask for. But I welcome the difference of opinions.
Now onto the meat and potatoes of how I constructed this list. The only rule I really had was that no movie could appear twice. Some of these choices are long, others are more subtle, and some are just plain stupid. This was a tough task, and there were definitely some tragic cuts. But at the end of the day, I went with what made me laugh the hardest. But enough of my rambling! Let’s turn on the laughing gas as I give you a deep look into the depths of my funny bone. Here is my Top Ten Funniest Scenes Ever in a Movie!
*I put the movie title first, spoilers abound…
10) National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) – Wally World is Closed:
Let’s start it off right. We all know the story of Vacation: Chevy Chase plays Clark W. Griswold, an over zealous and naive dad who takes his family on a cross country road trip to get to Wally World, a Disney like theme park. A lot of hilarious and crazy shit happens, but they finally arrive…only to find out it’s closed for repairs – brilliant. What makes this scene so hysterical is that when the Griswolds pull up to the parking lot, we as an audience know something is horribly wrong, despite Clark’s optimism. And when Clark punches the robotic moose at the end, it’s the cherry on top.
9) Office Space (1999) – Michael Bolton’s Introduction:
Ah, Office Space…what a great movie. But its best moment comes in the first five minutes as we get an introduction to all the major characters stuck in traffic. Suddenly, we cut to the whitest guy in the history of motion pictures rapping to straight up gangsta rap. But what makes this scene truly memorable is when he locks his door as an African American guy walks down the curb selling flowers. If you don’t find that funny, I can’t help you.
8) Dumb and Dumber (1994) – Tricking Sea Bass:
Dumb and Dumber presented me with a lot of options. I could have gone with the classic shit scene, or the iconic shot of Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels) in those ridiculous tuxedos, but there’s something about this scene that is not only funny, but just so damn clever. It’s just so unexpected. By this point in the film, we can accurately classify these guys as true dumb asses, with Lloyd being the ‘dumber’ one. But when he pulls this move on Sea Bass (played by hockey legend Cam Neely), you’re just like, ‘Hell yeah!’ Maybe it’s not the most gut busting scene out there, but it’s just so damn satisfying and out of left field, I can’t help but produce a hearty laugh.
7) UHF (1989) – Gandhi II:
-This is Weird Al Yankovic’s crowning achievement. It’s Gandhi (Jay Levey) as an 80’s action hero…the end.
6) The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977) – ‘Hong Kong’:
Okay, I promise this is the only obscure moment on the list. So for those who don’t know, The Kentucky Fried Movie is directed by comedy directing legend John Landis, and written by Jim Abrahams, and Jerry & David Zucker of Airplane! and Naked Gun fame. Basically, The Kentucky Fried Movie is a series of random parodies. It’s actually not that great of a movie. But there is one funny sketch that parodies Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon. The actual sequence is mediocre, but there’s one quick shot in the beginning that made me absolutely lose it when I first saw it. Rather than try to explain it, I’m going to let the clip speak for itself, and hope you feel the same way. Wait till about 1:57 and keep watching till 2:06…You’ll know when it happens.
I don’t know what to tell you…I find that hysterical.
5) Caddyshack (1980) – Rodney Dangerfield’s Insult Romp:
If you were to ask someone who their favorite character is in Caddyshack, they’d most likely say Bill Murray’s Carl Spackler, or maybe Chevy Chase’s eccentric Ty Webb. You’d probably also get a lot of Ted Knight answers. I think all of these are great choices. But for me, it’s Rodney Dangerfield who makes that movie. The scene in which he basically insults everybody at the Bushwood Country Club dinner party is legendary. He’s on absolute fire. I don’t know if it was improv or in the script, but Dangerfield just spouts off the greatest one-liners ever uttered in a motion picture.
4) Wayne’s World (1992) – Selling-Out:
Wayne’s World probably is my favorite comedy of all time. Out of all the great moments in that film, this is the one that sums up perfectly their brand of comedy. It’s the ultimate self-parody. Mike Myers is great, but when the camera pans to Garth (Dana Carvey) completely decked out in Reebok gear, laughter engulfs my entire soul.
3) Swingers (1996) – NHL ’93:
-This scene pretty much describes my life in a nut shell. I’m convinced Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn broke into my house one night and recorded me playing video games with my friends. But really, this is all American males. This is the epitome of our existence: playing video games and calling each other ‘bitch.’ And Swingers captures it perfectly. It’s a marvelous scene.
2) Billy Madison (1995) – The Academic Decathlon Speech:
You probably think #2 is way too high for this scene, but I’m confident everybody in my age range would at least have it in their top ten. The set-up is simple: Billy Madison makes a literary comparison about today’s society through a childish 1st grade book titled The Puppy Who Lost His Way. I think the speech speaks for itself. I want to give credit though to the poor actor who delivers it – James Downey. Well done, sir.
1) Spaceballs (1987) – Spaceballs the Toilet Paper:
It’s not even a scene. It’s one simple shot in a bathroom stall. That’s all. I’m sure most think this is an insane choice, but like I said, I went with the moment that made me laugh the hardest, and I can promise you without any doubt in my mind…this is that moment. The brilliance of Spaceballs is that it doesn’t just parody Star Wars, it parodies the life blood of Star Wars: the merchandising. Throughout the whole movie, we are treated to Spaceballs merchandise, which ranges from bed sheets, place mats, and even a flame thrower. But when the camera suddenly cuts to ‘Spaceballs the Toilet Paper,’ I lose it every time. I have nothing else to say on this: It’s Spaceballs the Toilet Paper, possibly the greatest film prop of all time.