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Listomatic: Standing the Test of Time [Updated]

Over at Comedy Central, Joel Stein has two lists: Five '80s Stupid Guy Comedies That Hold Up and Five That Don't.

I'm not sure what Joel means by "stupid guy" comedies. Is he referring to the fact that stupid guys watch them, that there are stupid guys in them or that....ah, here:

The worst part is when guys force loved ones to watch their favorite old movies. And for our generation, that means '80s comedies. While that sounds tough, remember that our grandmothers had to sit through Gene Autry films....So which dumb guy comedies can you subject women and children to safely?

He never really defines what a "stupid guy" movie is, does he? He goes on later to say that John Hughes movies that don't star John Candy or Chevy Chase don't fit the bill and I'm beginning to think that Joel makes shit up as he goes along.

If Mr. Stein thinks that the movies he listed are guy movies, then he knows very, very little about women, especially women who did any part of their growing up in the 80's. Judging from this, Stein probably thinks that only guys laugh at fart jokes. I personally know this not to be true. But anyhow. The lists. We'll ignore Stein's need to bring gender into the mix, and we'll instead call our lists Five 80's movies that have held up over time and five that haven't. Because here at ASV, we ALL think Airplane! is funny.

The first list is hard, because there are so many, and I going to include Hughes movies, because I am not Joel Stein.

  • Better off Dead
  • Sixteen Candles
  • Airplane!
  • Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
  • This is Spinal Tap

Honorable mentions: Ghostbusters, Coming to America, Heathers, Fletch and the ubiquitous many, many more!

Update: How could I forget UHF and Johnny Dangerously (fargin iceholes!)?

Five 80's comedies that DID NOT hold up over time (you had to have liked these movies at one point in order to qualify - don't just list movies you hate or never found funny)

  • Stripes (the movied dies as soon as they get the camper)
  • Animal House (oops, came out in 1978)
  • Bachelor Party (I watched this movie several times just because one of the characters wears a jacket with my hometown high school on it)
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  • Porky's

Honorable mention: National Lampoon's Vacation, Pretty in Pink, One Crazy Summer, Back to School, Valley Girl, any Police Academy movie.

Update: Keiran is going to make me admit it. I tried to keep it a secret. Yes, I still laugh at Revenge of the Nerds. There. I said it.

Bonus update! Today is John Cusack's birthday! Gee, I'm real sorry your mom blew up, Ricky.

Comments

Gotta disagree with you on Back To School. It was funny 20 years ago, funny now and will still be funny 20 years from today.

Top Secret was great...completely under rated.

By the way, has anybody ever seen LORD LOVE A DUCK with Roddy McDowell? I think I'm the only person on Earth who ever saw it.

Holds up:

Better Off Dead
Johnny Dangerously
Sixteen Candles
Airplane!
UHF

Doesn't Hold Up:

One Crazy Summer
Police Academy 2
Police Academy 3

Ummm... Y'know, I really like 80s movies. I can't really say there are any more that I don't like.

For the record, I liked Police Academy 1, 4, and 5. Yes, I admit it.

Dang it, don't be messin' with Ferris!

And Johnny Dangerously definitely belongs on the "holds up" list (at least as an honorable mention), as well as being eminently quotable.

BTW, where would you place Revenge of the Nerds?

Oh, and Back to the Future.

a couple of my favorite lines from UHF:

Raul: Not many people know this, but the turtle is nature's suction cup.

Conan the Librarian: [imitating Arnold Schwarzenegger] Don't you know the Dewey Decimal System?

I loved the movie Real Genius and will stop everything I'm doing to watch it...it's like...a moral imperative.

Animal House? FERRIS!? And you claim to be a child of the eighties? What?

Stand Up:
Stand By Me
Goonies
Breakfast Club

Don't Stand Up:
Sixteen Canldes
Weird Science
Any Cheech and Chong

Up in Smoke? Weird Science? SIXTEEN FUCKING CANDLES?

You're the one who should be ashamed of yourself.

I have a soft spot in my head for "Real Genius".

I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, when he said, "I drank what?"

And I know it's not the season, but "A Christmas Story" belongs on the list.

Speaking of Cusack."Tapeheads" still works for me.

Okay, I'll give you sixteen candles and weird science, they were good then. But Cheech and Chong? It was like the same movie, same schtick each time. Maybe it's completely lost on me, but I still sigh everytime I flip through one on the TV. Ack.

Uh, didn't Animal House come out in 1978? I've never really thought of it as an 80's movie. It just doesn't feel like an 80's movie to me the way John Hughes' movies do.

Caddyshack
Real Genius
Better off Dead
throw in a Tom Hanks movie "turner and hooch" or "Big"
Fletch
and
johnny Dangerously "did you know your last name is an adverb?"

I'd disagree on Ferris Bueller, but you nailed it on Stripes. Once the camper is "in play," the movie becomes a total snoozefest.

Back to the Future can't get dated because if you have TNT and TBS you will never go more than two weeks without seeing it. It's like time travel!

I believe both Animal House and Airplane! were 1970's movies. Both still hold-up. What about Fast Times?

And I know it's not the season, but "A Christmas Story" belongs on the list.

Definitely.

Ferris and NL Vacation do not belong on the second list...

Bill and Ted and Sixteen Candles wins out over Animal House and Stripes?

Inconceivable!

and I know that word means what I think it means so you MUST include:

The Princess Bride.

You're right about Animal House (1978), but Airplane! came out in 1980.

Ferris and NL Vacation do not belong on the second list...

They belong on MY list.

Speaking of Cusak, how about The Sure Thing?

Cusak: I mean... I'm a good lookin' guy...

Really Fat Guy: You are... You're a good lookin' guy... I'm a good lookin' guy.

Cusak: You are a good lookin' guy...

Toothless Hillbilly: We're all three good lookin' guys...

Gotta disagree with you about Ferris. That one definitely belongs in the first category for me. But, like you said in an earlier comment, it's your list. My list looks like:

Held up:
Better Off Dead
Breakfast Club
Ferris Beuller's Day Off
Sixteen Candles
War Games

I don't have a not held up; if they are not memorable, why remember them?
Steve

Add me to the list of people who can't understand how one could say that Ferris doesn't hold up. And to the list of Real Genius supporters. (But count me as a dissenter also with regard to Johnny Dangerously. Sure, the quotable bits are still good. But to the present-day, older viewer, there's just way too much dead space between them.)

More for the "Not holding up" list: Top Secret!, Spies Like Us, The Ice Pirates

Was Ice Pirates ever good?

SAVE FERRIS

And Real Genius is the shit. I heart Toxic Waste.

Has anyone seen Time Bandits recently? I remember enjoying it way back when, but I don't know if it has held up.

Back to School rules. And NL Vacation holds up very nicely indeed, considering that it's a Chevy vehicle.

Ice Pirates was THE fantastic cheese fest of the 80's.

How can you beat Robert Urich grinning like Shatner on ecstasy? Or the stupendous performance of Ron Perlman? Fighting robots? The space herpe?

Even better it just came out on DVD recently.

Held up over time:

1) Rustler's Rhapsody - Watching Tom Berenger as a cowboy who can sing on a horse that can dance, shooting the bad guys in the hand, eating root, and ordering a glass of warm gin with a human hair in it, never gets old. Never. In fact, Rustler's Rhapsody just makes 'Sniper' and 'Platoon' that much more enjoyable.

2) Real Genius - Val Kilmer's Second Best Role

3) Top Secret! - Val Kilmer's Best Role

4) Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins
~ Professional assassination. It's the highest form of public service. ~ I like Joel Grey's performance in this film better than that "Cabaret" flick

5) "The Soldier" - Ken Wahl 1982 - It hold up better now than during the mid-late 90s. Not a "Day of the Jackal" type of thriller, but satisfying in the way that 'Silverado' is.

honorable mention: Silverado - Kevin Costner's best role. Gotcha! Anthony Edwards best role. After Dark - Linda Fiorentino's second best role, her best role being in Gotcha!.

Movies that Don't Hold Up.

1. Stripes - maybe it's funny for the first 15-20 times you see it, then 'click' it stops being funny.

2. History of the World, Part I - funny in spots, but ... 'eh'.

3. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - Kate Capshaw is no Karen Allen. Short Round was extraneous in an irritating way, and I didn't find the whole 'Rip out the Beating Heart and Show it to the Victim' believable.

4. Three Men and a Baby - was not, as I recall, bad but was upon happening to rewatch it recently.

5. Roxanne - Steve Martin - there are going to be better/worse suggestions, but it wasn't quite the movie that I recalled. Don't think it holds up particularly well.

Psst...bumper. We're doing COMEDIES.

With enough beer, they're all comedies.

I would have put Young Einstein on the "Doesn't Hold Up" list, but my kids saw it the other day and loved it! Who woulda thought - Yahoo Serious is relevant...

Comedy:

Rustler's Rhapsody -

2) Real Genius - Val Kilmer's Second Best Role

3) Top Secret! - Val Kilmer's Best Role

4) Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins
~ Professional assassination. It's the highest form of public service. ~ A Comedy in which I like Joel Grey's performance in this film better than that "Cabaret" flick

5) After Hours.

) Rustler's Rhapsody - Watching Tom Berenger as a cowboy who can sing on a horse that can dance, shooting the bad guys in the hand, eating root, and ordering a glass of warm gin with a human hair in it, never gets old. Never. In fact, Rustler's Rhapsody just makes 'Sniper' and 'Platoon' that much more enjoyable.

2) Real Genius - Val Kilmer's Second Best Role

3) Top Secret! - Val Kilmer's Best Role

4) Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins
~ Professional assassination. It's the highest form of public service. ~ I like Joel Grey's performance in this film better than that "Cabaret" flick

5) Weekend at Bernies - because corpse abuse in a non-Zombie movie is teh funnie

Comediesthat Don't Hold Up.

1. Stripes - maybe it's funny for the first 15-20 times you see it, then 'click' it stops being funny.

2. History of the World, Part I - funny in spots, but ... 'eh'.

3. Time Bandits - it's extremely funny at spots, and I liked it much better then than now. The 'Mom, Dad - don't touch it it's Evil!' line is enough for the price of a rental, but overall the movie doesn't stand up.

4. Three Men and a Baby - was not, as I recall, bad but was upon happening to rewatch it recently.

5. Roxanne - Steve Martin - there are going to be better/worse suggestions, but it wasn't quite the movie that I recalled. Don't think it holds up particularly well.

UHF

My kids always ask me, "Why do you always say 'Wheel...Of...Fish...' every time Sajak comes on?"

I would also add "Running Scared" to the doesn't hold up list - even though it's one of my favorite movies of all time. But then again, I'm the only person I know that loved 'Joe versus the Volcano' - so my opinion probably isn't worth a lot.

Holds up: Back to the Future (except for the music), Heathers, An American Werewolf in London, The Evil Dead 2, The Man With 2 Brains, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (the 1st 10 minutes)

Does not hold up: Beverly Hills Cop (I & II), The Golden Child, Trading Places, Crocodile Dundee, Three Men & A Baby, Mr. Mom, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (the rest)

Saw "One Crazy Summer" when I was in 8th grade or so and my sister was a junior or senior. Saw it in an old-time theater in a college town; the theater was packed with college kids. That's the only way to see a movie like that.

ok...if people are gonna mention Ice Pirates, I'm throwing Spaceballs into the thread...

I agree with the consensus: save Ferris! But I'm with you on Porky's (crap!).

I'm putting 16 Candles and Weird Science together as teenage fantasy for girls and boys, respectively. We may or may not personally grow out of them, but they'll always hold up for the next generations, even more so given the 1980s cheese factor.

Bachelor Party was funny until 1998. But then Very Bad Things came out. Ever since then the Bachelor Party experience has been officially ruined. In fact the Supreme Court ruled on that a couple days ago. Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion and there was certainly no dissent from Scalia.

Ferris is to be saved ! You have that one wrong.

One movie that will never ever die: The Blues Brothers

I nominate Space Balls.