Stupid Comedy

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Stupid comedy is just that, stupid.  I am embarrassed how easily I cry watching a drama but getting me to laugh at a comedy is difficult. What kind of comedy do you lean toward? Slap-stick, raunchy, witty, zany, sarcastic, dark, or stupid?

It has been said that comedy is more difficult to pull off than drama. I believe it.  There are few good comedies out there, and we need them, for laughing makes us forget how very serious our lives are.

Your state of mind and age plays a factor whether you roll your eyes, chuckle or laugh aloud at stupid comedies. All comedians I can think of from the last fifty years have made stupid comedies that had me laughing at some point and almost all of them have bored me, too. Others shine in a decade like Jim Carrey but peter out over time while some have evolved and aged well like Bill Murray. I’ve chosen to spotlight a few male contemporary comedians who have made millions acting stupid: Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, and Will Ferrell. Let’s start negative and go up from there.

This is stupid. Why are you laughing? 

Who is the king of stupid comedy? It has to be Jim Carrey. Ace Ventura and The Cable Guy were brilliant.

However, Carrey’s serious films I appreciate more:  The Truman Show, Majestic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I wish he would stop acting stupid and stick to sardonic wit where he shines.

Are there any good Adam Sandler films? Not many. But there are a few that charmed me.

Will Farrell? This is hard. I am not a fan. He’s overrated to me and I just don’t get his stupid humor. EXCEPT for one of my favorite stupid films, Night at the Roxbury (1998). Probably the music. Probably because it parodies Disco. Who hasn’t danced with their head sideways after watching it? Good for you, Chris Kattan, for ending on a high note and letting the stupidity go gracefully. Your grandkids thank you.

Mike Myers was a very funny man. I’ve laughed with him more than many stupid comedians. The Austin Powers series cashed in on juvenile puns and parodied all things James Bond. It was funny and clever. I loved his cameo stars, like Burt Bacharach playing on top of a bus or  Steven Spielberg back-flipping across a set. Fat Bastard didn’t thrill me, but it gave him practice for Shrek, and that’s been his profitable endeavor; he should stop while he’s ahead. But then again, wasn’t he wonderful in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds? Satire or dark comedy, not stupid, works better for the aging comedian.

I thought Mike Myers was super cool in Wayne’s World and couldn’t believe he was almost forty when Wayne and Garth celebrated 80s rock in a grunge present (Really? 1994 was 20 years ago?) I love Queen and “Bohemian Rhapsody” but I associate Wayne and Garth in the glorious Pinto jamming to the song whenever I hear it. What a great opening to a comedic film…great stupid.

 

Can anyone deny how influential Saturday Night Live is? It’s a post worthy all its own. What I’d be curious to know is what you think of the aforementioned comedians?

38 thoughts on “Stupid Comedy

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  1. I’m not crazy on the sitcoms that are on tv right now. But I did just receive a collection of Carol Burnett CDs. Now that is real comedy! Is it just because of my generation? Maybe. But I’m really looking forward to watching them! 🙂

    1. Aww, Carol was wacky and funny and sophisticated all wrapped up in one. I’m going to do a female comedian post soon and she will be featured. Enjoy your collection! 🙂

  2. LOVE this post! I have a few guilty pleasures myself when it comes to silly slapstick comedies. One of them being Top Secret! w/ Val Kilmer which is hilarious! I remember liking those Naked Gun movies too. I hear ya about Will Ferrell, I think he’s overrated too. I do love Night at the Roxbury too, esp that part when him & Chris Kattan danced to ‘What is Love’ I always get a good laugh w/ that one.

    1. Hiya Ruth. 🙂 We do see eye-to-eye when it comes to films. I just Carrey is doing another ‘Dumn and Dummer’ which is so, well, dumn. He’s undoing all the ‘art’ that had me respecting the guy. 😦

      1. I don’t even want to see the trailer for Dumb & Dumber 2, tho ppl can’t really complain that it’s dumb I mean just look at the title, ahah.

        Btw, we’ve got the follow-up to Jack Deth’s article on Powers Boothe today 😀

  3. I’m not big on too many of the comedians mentioned, but I love Steve Martin. He always, always, always makes me laugh. I love Mel Brooks stuff – High Anxiety and Frankenstein crack me up. (Loved Peter Doyle dancing – as Frankenstein – along with Gene Wilder to ‘Putting on the Ritz’. Stupid? Oh yeah, big time, but I always end up with tears in my eyes from watching that.)

    You come up with the best topics!

    PS – I loved Madelyn Kahn!

    1. Ah, well, you are playing my tune! I wanted to do a series of posts regarding comedians, going backwards, I guess. The first one here was from the last 20 years. The 70s 80s had some great ones. I’m a Mel Brooks fan and Gene Wilder is so close to being my favorite comedian of all time. I reckon I’ll do a top 10 favorite list in the near future with the hopes you will come back and comment 🙂

  4. I like a lot of silly comedies, but see them more as eating a Hershey’s bar instead of a Ghirardelli’s. But two comedies that I feel are not in the same league (genre?) are Bowfinger (Stever Martin and Eddie Murphy) and Zoolander (Ben Stiller). I feel that the humor in both are silly/stupid but also clever.

    1. I”m going to write additional posts about comedians, comedies, and will feature 70s/80s comedians next. Steve and Eddie are around the corner. For me, stupid can be clever (love the oxymoron) when they get into parody. Then I laugh at the hidden jokes and think it’s all a lot of fun. Hershey bars can be delicious!

  5. Not a fan of Sandler, and he only seems to get worse! My favourite onscreen funnyman would be Leslie Nielsen with Steve Martin in second. Bowfinger was stupid but sooo funny.

    1. The only time I can stomach Sandler is if his role is somewhat on the serious side. He makes horrible films. I’m going to do a series of posts regarding comedy and 70s/80s are around the corner. Come back 🙂

  6. Hmm hard to select from this list, but I would say the absolute stinker of this group is “The Waterboy” for some reason the lead actors all thought it would be a great idea to put on a really stupid voice. Wayne’s World only has the scene you included, there is nothing else in the movie for me. And any movie staring Drew (“oh she was so cute in ET”) Barrymore is intended to be ignored, how has that woman made a career I cant comprehend.

    1. LOL love your honesty. Drew. Did you see her in 2009 HBO acting the crazy sister in Grey Gardens? She acted! Really! So you picked out the stupid you didn’t like, what stupid do you like? Are there any?

  7. I liked the old stupid Sandler films like Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer.

    Also Ferrell in Anchorman is pure genius! Its the most quotable film ever.

    Have you seen the new trailer for the Dumb and Dumber sequel?

    1. Yes! UGH NNNOOOOO. You go right ahead and love Will all you want. I forgot about The Wedding Singer. I should have put that one down for I loved the songs and thought it cute. Thanks Mikey.

  8. Like you, it takes something to get me going. I suppose I lean toward the dry humor of someone like Michael Keaton, otherwise a comedian has to catch me off-guard with something.

    1. Michael Keaton was funny, wasn’t he? Dry for me always trumps stupid. 😉 I love to be kept off-guard–I just don’t like the crude and sexually gross and excessive swearing of today or Eddie Murphy on stage. Hey, I’m an ex-sailor and have heard it all, but it’s just not funny to “shock” me with a routine that is nothing more than expelatives and insults. Be clever and sarcastic all you want, Michael was that. The 1982 comedy, ‘Nightshift’: I still remember his character walking around with a microphone taking notes to self. It was funny!

  9. I have to say I thought Adam Sandler and Mike Myers were obnoxious and unfunny even back when they weren’t universally maligned. I do like Will Ferrell, though I enjoy his SNL stuff more than his movies.

  10. Not all movies are aimed at me. I tend to forget that. in fact, MOST movies are not aimed at me and I have no interest in them – even if they may be highly rated or popular.
    Comedy? possibly be the toughest kind of movie to make. ???
    I have my favorites – Ground Hog Day comes to mind instantly. The Pink Panther …I like most of Carrey’s stuff (except Dumb and Dumber). Danny Kaye – Bill Murray is good usually. I like the recent The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Stiller may be yet to do his best stuff) But most – Blazing Saddles, The Fokkers, Something about Mary, Anchorman, Ted … I couldn’t run from the theatre fast enough. Crude and NOT clever.
    I recently watched Grand Budapest Hotel – great cast, nicely done .. yet NOT funny. To me. (I’m guessing it was supposed to be a comedy?) Yet someone I know said they liked it. Go figure?
    I liked his last movie, Moonrise Kingdom …

    1. Howdy, JC. Thanks for you comments! There are a lot of types of comedy that appeal to one and not another. Stupid comedy is my least favorite. I like witticisms and puns and sarcarstic and dark comedies as a rule. However, there’s some stupid comedy that makes me laugh. I have a great respect for Ben Stiller; he’s made some stupid films and some really funny ones, too. I LOVED Walter Mitty–amusing, witty, and charming but not considered a comedy. Just good stuff. Wes Anderson’s GPH is all that you say, but his humor is more delicate and sardonic. Not guffaw out laughing. Amusing and entertaining. Moonrise Kingdom was very charming and delightful and witty. Not slapstick, roaring in the aisles type of humor. It depends on the type. Crude never sells for me. Yeah, sure, I’ll laugh once or twice, but a whole film of crude is boring. It takes brains to parody and be witty. Instantly, Monty Python and Mel Brooks pops into my mind and that’s ridiculous to think they, the bumbling idiots, are sophisticated and clever. But that’s their genius–the irony–stupid is funny when it’s done right. 🙂

  11. Hi, Cindy:

    There are far too many stupid, lame, poorly written and executed comedies running around today. And have been for about twenty years. Jim Carrey has been an early on front runner. Followed by Michael Myers and most recently, Will Farrell, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen and far too many talentless alums of ‘SNL’, male and female, to count.

    1. Hi Kevin, why don’t you tell me how you really feel? LOL.
      It occurred to me that I never write about comedies, only serious films, and I’m trying to lighten up. So I’m going backwards and devoting posts to differing kinds of comedy. Stupid comedy is my least favorite, but there’s always a few that when they parody something I love, like Tropic Thunder and war films, I eat it up. Next will be 70s/80s, 60s/50s,/40s/30s and a post to women.
      I’ve noticed you are a serious man, based upon your posts and comments, so I’m not surprised you don’t fancy contemporary stupid comedy. 🙂 Give me a clue, Keith, what comedian do you admire in film? I’m going to guess: Jack Lemmon. He’d be mine!

      1. Hi, Cindy:

        Comedy is a kind of tough gig. Since there are so many varieties and offshoots to focus on and dissect. And you’ve done a superlative job on “stupid” comedies. There’s so many to choose from. You’ve done yourself proud!

        Jack Lemmon is a heavy contender. As is/was Walter Matthau and oddly enough Lloyd Bridges and Leslie Nielsen. And all are dabbled in drama before of after. In regard to women. Carol Burnett, Lucy. Mary Tyler Moore rate very highly. Contemporary? Amy Poehller and Tina Fay are just not funny! Where Emma Thompson has both “funny bones” and class. And Allison Janney (Juno, Over The Hedge), Emma Stone (Easy A) are hit and miss.

        The paradigm changed in the 1980s with film in general. Changing from “Is it good?” to “Did/Does it make money?”. Quality took a back seat to demographics. Which shifted from Baby Boomers to teens with access to their parents’ credit cards.

        More’s the pity.

  12. Great post, Cindy. I agree that Jim Carey’s best work is his serious work, so much so that I have a hard time re-watching his stupid slapstick stuff. I too am a big fan of Mike Myers. He is very clever (though the fact he was nearing forty for Wayne’s World is stunning).

    1. Howdy, friend. I’m dismayed that there is going to be a Dumn and Dumber –whatever the number. ugh.
      He passed through golden doors into serious films and respect (like Bill Murray) and could have evolved into a wonderful performer for the ages. Instead he’s regressing.

      1. I think some of it has to do with studios no longer being interested in him. Apparently, he’s not the easier dude with which to work, and – to make it worse – once posted lewd comments about Emma Stone (I think) and other actors far too young for him. I get the impression Hollywood is still staying away from him.

  13. This is a very nice topic. I am not really into stupid comedies…but it depends on how to define stupid. Slapstick is not funny at all for me. I laugh more on Jim Carrey’s movie about beeing God (forgot the title) than Ace Ventura.

    Since I am Asian, I laugh more at Asian comedy from Japan than from US. I also enjoy British jokes more, comedy such as Shaun of the Dead, The IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh, etc always makes me laugh.

    For Adam Sandler, 50 1st date is definitely my fav comedy of his.

    1. Hi Novia! So glad you popped by :). Comedy is subjective, yes? Sounds like you like dark comedies if Shaun and Bruce Almighty makes you laugh. That’s my favorite kind, too. I’m not a big fan of slapstick or “stupid” comedy unless it’s Monty Python or Mel Brooks. 🙂

      1. Monty Python is slapstick? I never see it that way. I love them. I think their comedy is genius not stupid. I remember in The Holy Grail where they talk about sparrow and coconut…that’s genius comedy for me.

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