Monday, October 15, 2007

100 Reasons Bravo Should Be Ashamed of Itself

This post was alternately called "100 Movies Bravo Had The Rights To," and

"100 Movies, Some Of Which Were Funny, Presented In No Particular Order."

For no good reason, Ish and I got sucked into another countdown show. But instead of it being anything decent, like the sorts of QUALITY COUNTDOWNS VH1 produces, it was horrifying.

Bravo decided to name the top 100 funniest movies of all time. And I am deeply troubled.

Now, let me preface this by saying that I pretty much love Bravo. Bravo is the main ingredient in my television diet, and I am breathlessly counting down the minutes until the new season of Project Runway begins. Top Chef also won me over, and while I very much hated that Ilan won a couple seasons ago (yes, I'm still bitching about it), I thought Bravo's producers went out of their way to make the show better this season.

Gosh, I thought. How classy Bravo is!

So! When Bravo decided to embark on this "funniest movies of all time" countdown, I thought -- hoped? assumed? -- it would be fantastic.

It wasn't.

For starters, the countdown suffered from two HUGE flaws.

ONE - It heavily weighted movies that have come out recently. Nothing on the whole list wasn't American (which is fine, but that should be noted, I think), and nothing came out more than 45 years ago. No Marx Brothers. No Laurel and Hardy, no Abbott and Costello, nothing that would have once been described as a "madcap caper." Bringing Up Baby and Some Like It Hot spring to mind. But then, the AFI knows what it's talking about.

TWO - It spent a lot more time discussing the movies it happened to have clips for. Several of the major movies included in the list got all of 5 seconds worth of commentary and showed no clips. They just threw in a few still shots, zoomed through a perfunctory narrative, and then moved on to the next, thorough dissection of a Ben Stiller vehicle. How can a major network (or major network affiliate, anyway) not manage to get clips? (But then, they don't own www.bravo.com either, so whatever.)

Overall, I think the list was AT BEST about 70% accurate as far as which movies they decided to include. But it's not just that they omitted at least 30 really funny flicks, it's that at least 30 of the "films" they included should never, ever have been made, let alone dubbed "comedy" let alone CELEBRATED.

Meet the Fockers? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Worse, however, was the ORDER in which they counted these movies down. The Top 10 list in particular was an abomination. You want to know?

Prepare to be horrified.

* * *

10. Arthur
Wrong.

I am not saying that Arthur isn't funny, but I do not think it is TOP TEN FUNNIEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME funny. Shouldn't one criterion be whether or not the movie stands the test of time?

Dear Anyone Reading This Who Is Under The Age of 30:

Have you ever seen the movie, Arthur?

I didn't think so.


9. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
I think that if a committee over at the American Film Institute were to make a list of the 100 funniest movie stars of all time, Jim Carrey would probably have to be put on that list. However, I am certain that they would include him only begrudgingly, through gritted teeth, justifying their decision by citing his insane box-office draw and movies such as "Man on the Moon" and the un-ignorable "Dumb and Dumber." And they would still feel horribly, horribly guilty.

For shame!

8. Blazing Saddles
Correct.


7.
This is so ridiculous I couldn't even put it in the headline.

It's... The Wedding Singer.

Yes.

The Wedding Singer.

In the top 10.

The Wedding Singer doesn't totally suck as a movie. It's light, cute, and fun, and sometimes it has funny moments. It is not, however, laugh out loud funny. And the thing that makes it most enjoyable (aside from Steve Buscemi) is that it pokes fun of the ridiculousness of the 80s, even though it's totally anachronistic.

I swear to you, though, even Adam Sandler himself has more sense than to include this movie on the top 100. And yet there it sits, mocking all that is sacred.

(And speaking of sacred, Annie Hall is #28. That puts Meet the Fockers, which came in at #26, ABOVE IT. HAHAHAHAHA!)


Mickey Blue Eyes made me laugh a lot harder than The Wedding Singer. And that's saying something.


6. Airplane!
Correct.

Airplane! might be my all-time favorite comedy. I remember watching it at my grandparents' house once, with my dad. And he laughed so hard he -- quite literally -- fell off of the couch, clutching his belly.

And surely that is a Top 10 comedy.

It is a comedy. And don't call me Shirley.


5. Southpark: Bigger, Longer, Uncut
I am happy that this movie made the list at all, although I can't say I'm totally surprised, since as best I can tell this list was made by people who've only seen movies that make great drinking games.

Still, the Southpark movie was enjoyable on many levels and surprisingly clever -- especially if you're familiar with musical theatre.

Top 10 clever? Good God, no.

Top 100 clever? I'm not sure. Maybe. What would Brian Boitano think?


4. There's Something About Mary
I could probably be convinced that the performances, along with the prom-night bathroom scene and (of course) the hair gag, could land this movie on the Top 100 list. I think it will stand the test of time on the general American humor-o-meter. But I have to ask: was it really better than any of the wild and raunchy movies of the 80s? Like, say, Porky's or Smokey and the Bandit Part II?

Hmmm, maybe those weren't the best examples. But you get my point.


3. Shrek
I have to wonder if Bravo is just totally pulling our leg. Maybe it's all one big joke? Like, maybe Bravo was competing to win The Funniest "Top 100 Funniest Movies" list? And maybe someone is going to give them a prize for how HILARIOUS their "list" is?

Maybe someone?

Anyone?

Bueller? (#54, btw.)

I thought Shrek was ingenious and artful. It told a good story, and made fun of itself all at the same time. Kind of like Monty Python and the Holy Grail (#40) except animated. Or, you know, ANY Christopher Guest movie.

But I do not see how groundbreaking animation equals funny. And, be honest, if Shrek had been live-action, it wouldn't have been half so entertaining.

When you get down to it, the funniest thing about Shrek is how it throws in a lot of adult humor, stuff that will fly over most kids' heads and entertain the parents. I agree, that makes the movie fun -- but those crazy Muppets have been doing the same thing for decades. And call me old-fashioned, but I'd posit that The Great Muppet Caper is every bit as funny as Shrek. Eddie Murphy as a mouthy donkey is funny. Charles Grodin as a criminal mastermind in love with Miss Piggy? Priceless.


2. Caddyshack
I will not argue that Caddyshack is Top 10 material. It has proven, over time, to be the quintessential movie of the 80s. The comedy to define all comedies. The script by which all other comedies since have been judged.

That is, if you're a dude.

Ladies, may I ask: How many times have you seen this movie? Enough to know the names of all of the characters? Enough to quote the movie from start to finish?

OF COURSE NOT.

You do not have a Y chromosome, and therefore you simply remember that Chevy Chase was in it. Oh, and Rodney Dangerfield. And there were caddies. And Bill Murray was crazy. And um, there was that Baby Ruth thing.

But it requires that Y to know more than this. And while the Y makes the dudes love this flick, it does not also give them the ability to explain WHY it's so great. No guy I know can offer more than "It just IS" and then, having stupidly opened the door in the first place, I will be subjected to at least 10 minutes of quotes that mean nothing to me. God forbid another dude be in the room, because then the entire afternoon will be shot.

So it's not that this movie isn't funny, it's just... I find it hard to believe that men and women were equally represented on whatever sort of panel Bravo used to compile this crappy list in the first place.


1. Animal House
See: Caddyshack


* * * *

I reiterate: the list was absurd. Offensively so. And I'm not the only one who thinks so. If you Google "Bravo Top 100 Funniest Movies" you get forum after forum of people bitching about this atrocity, which I believe is made worse because it's coming from such an otherwise reputable source.

But let me ask you --

What do YOU think is the most offensive thing about this list? And what's most obviously missing?

Because this is just silly:

Top 100 Funniest Movies, according to Bravo

100. Anchorman
99. The Birdcage
98. School of Rock
97. Happy Gilmore
96. Four Weddings and a Funeral
95. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
94. Waiting for Guffman
93. The Aristocrats
92. Father of the Bride
91. Revenge of the Nerds
90. Clueless
89. Slapshot
88. Team America
87. The Kentucky Fried Movie
86. Zoolander
85. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
84. Silver Streak
83. Sister Act
82. Tootsie
81. Half Baked
80. Lost in America
79. Three Amigos
78. Bananas
77. Flirting with Disaster
76. Ghostbusters
75. Dumb and Dumber
74. Trading Places
73. City Slickers
72. Moonstruck
71. Roxanne
70. The Nutty Professor (Eddie Murphy)
69. The Blues Brothers
68. Broadcast News
67. Kingpin
66. Dazed and Confused
65. Office Space
64. This is Spinal Tap
63. Manhattan
62. The Pink Panther
61. Election
60. When Harry Met Sally
59. Police Academy Series
58. Private Benjamin
57. Swingers
56. Young Frankenstein
55. Bull Durham
54. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
53. Dr. Strangelove
52. Meet the Parents
51. National Lampoon's Vacation
50. The Princess Bride
49. American Pie
48. American Graffiti
47. 9 to 5
46. The Incredibles
45. Raising Arizona
44. Sixteen Candles
43. What About Bob?
42. Harold and Maude
41. Austin Powers
40. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
39. Mrs. Doubtfire
38. Best In Show
37. Dodgeball
36. Good Morning Vietnam
35. Beetlejuice
34. Rushmore
33. Clerks
32. Groundhog Day
31. The Big Lebowski
30. The 40 Year Old Virgin
29. Legally Blonde
28. Annie Hall
27. A Fish Called Wanda
26. Wayne's World
25. Meet the Fockers
24. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
23. Big
22. Beverly Hills Cop
21. Shampoo
20. The Jerk
19. Wedding Crashers
18. Stripes
17. M*A*S*H
16. Old School
15. Fast Times At Ridgemont High
14. Napoleon Dynamite
13. Naked Gun Series
12. The Producers
11. Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
10. Arthur
9. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
8. Blazing Saddles
7. The Wedding Singer
6. Airplane
5. South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut
4. There's Something About Mary
3. Shrek
2. Caddyshack
1. Animal House

32 comments:

  1. So many things about this list are offensive that I was actually gasping as I read through it. But I think that Meet the Fockers being on the list, AND being at number 25, IE in the TOP QUARTER of the list, is the worst part. Though it's hard to judge.

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  2. No George & Marion Kerby?

    Well, obviously both Bravo and AFI know nothiing.

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  3. AFI couldn't include Jim Carrey on a list of the 100 Funniest Americans of All Time... 'cause he's Canadian. Actually, three of Bravo's Top 10 comedies had Canucks in the starring role. Please accept my apologies on behalf of my nation.

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  4. wait a minute... how the hell did Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure get higher up on the list than This is Spinal Tap???

    HELLO?? SPINAL TAP. Feh.

    Wedding Crashers at #19? That's a travesty. Also, Dodgeball at #37.

    Stupid...

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  5. Hey!! I LOVE Arthur. Love it. Nobody played a drunk better than Dudley Moore. I still quote the movie regularly. Oh. But you're right, I'm over 30 so therefore who gives a fuck.

    ;)

    But the list does suck. I consider myself a connoisseur of fine comedy and any list that has The Wedding Singer and Meet the Fockers ranked ahead of A Fish Called Wanda, Trading Places and Best in Show?

    The compilers of this list should be thrown in front of a steamroller on an airport tarmac.

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  6. On second look -- The Princess Bride at #50? INCONCEIVABLE!

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  7. my order:

    1. caddyshack
    2. any george bush speech
    3. ace ventura: pet detective
    4. fast times at ridgemont high
    5. the ellen degeneres pet plea

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  8. I don't think that poop, puke, pee, or penis jokes should justify comedy and unfortunately there are way too many movies that use bodily functions as their humor. While Dumb and Dumber was amusing, it is not a "great" comedy by any means.

    Take away the animated Disney cartoons too. The Incredibles? I'm not even sure how that's considered a comedy.

    Harold and Kumar go to White Castles? Seriously?

    All it's missing a few of the Olsen twin movies and this would be the best "worst top 100 list" ever.

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  9. I can't believe monty python and the holy grail was #40! It was beaten by BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE???

    Graham Chapman is rolling in his grave.

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  10. Just found you! I live in the South Bay. :-)

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  11. Where's Young Frankenstein? That is supposed to be in the top 10! And not having any classics in it, no real film buff made that list, certainly not ones who are older than 25! No "Arsnic and Old Lace" with my fave line - "Insanity doesn't run in my family, it practically gallops!" That is top ten funny!

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  12. I'm totally in agreement over the Best In Show needing to be moved way, way up. At the very least, it should be ranked funnier than Shrek. Holy crap.

    I love this site, btw. I am going crazy over that spinning lady. CRAZY!

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  13. The real problem is Bravo. In our house it is considered only worth watching when the have L&O reruns. Otherwise it's a channel that gets the "remote" treatment. See, there's this little button that lets yu switch instantly away froma channel and...oh you know what I mean.
    A list of "100 best" anything on Bravo is beyond the capability of reality.
    When the time comes, we won't be paying for this channel.
    But I loved your post. Lots of fun.

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  14. It looks like a list pulled together by 25 year old guys that still think beer bongs are cool. It's like they threw in a couple of movies their girlfriends thought were funny just to make it seem balanced.

    There needs to be some more classic comedy and a whole lot more British humour. The newer American style comedies just seem so forced and formula I don't understand how anybody could find them funny.

    And where are the movies that were funny but weren't meant to be funny? Any good list needs a few of those.

    And Julie, Jim Carey became an American citizen awhile ago, so he would qualify.

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  15. mrs. doubtfire ranked higher than young frankenstein!?!?

    oy vey.

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  16. I'm under 30 and I've seen Arthur. Although it was a long time ago and the only thing I remember about it was the Christopher Cross song so it didn't leave much of an impression, which implies that it can't be very funny.

    About the list, I don't have a very sophisticated sense of humor, I like a lot of the more recent comedies, but I don't think there is anyway one could convince me that anything Ben Stiller or Adam Sandler has done is funnier than anything Will Ferrell and Mike Myers has done. Thats one major problem I have with that list.

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  17. Harold and Kumar? Seriously? the movie that was billed as starring "The MILF Guy from American Pie"?! Did anybody even SEE that movies??

    No, no they did not. and I'll tell you how I know. I was in movie marketing at that time, and did a major promotion in Boston -- we had Harold and Kumar to a movie-poster signing, and only 10 people showed up. Bad bad bad.

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  18. Actually, I have to admit. I loved Harold and Kumar.

    And one movie that should have been on there, 'Sean of the Dead'.

    But it's not american...so..that makes sense.

    And I have seen Arthur..and I'm under 30. But it's not that good!

    Anywho, Lets just say Thank God Project Runway is starting up soon!

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  19. The problem is this list is encompassing genres other than traditional comedy. I would label Swingers as an indie film, definitely not comedy, Raising Arizona and Election as satire, and Shrek, Pee-Wee, and the Incredibles as Children/Family movies. If we're including all those then we SHOULD include movies that weren't supposed to be funny but were (i.e. Showgirls, Gigli, etc.)

    When you think of a list of "Funniest Movies" you want to see a list full of movies that actually made you fall off the couch laughing! Meet the Fockers? The Wedding Singer? My seat was firmly planted during both.

    Did anyone think they would see a list where Legally Blonde is next to Annie Hall? Not that I didn't love Legally Blonde.

    And where the heck is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation?

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  20. I wonder if the people who chose these movies were eating special brownies while watching most of these movies. I know that I would have to be altered in some way to enjoy most of them.
    I did find a few of them were my favorites. #66. Dazed and Confused was a favorite of mine when I was in high school. (I was probably also altered when watching it.) I haven't watched it lately so I don't know if it would be as funny.
    And #45. Raising Arizona for some reason has always been a favorite. We even put our first born in Huggies so that we could say "I'll be taking these here Huggies". (and yes, I do realize that that totally made me sound likea complete dork)
    I would like to know why A Christmas Story wasn't on there and also Bridgette Jones' Diary. The first is a really funny cult fave and I thought Bridgette was hilarious.

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  21. I feel so much better knowing that you all have the same issues with this stupid list.

    I may have to post again with a MUCH IMPROVED list, thanks to all your input. Yay!

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  22. Eddie Murphy wasn't a dragon in Shrek... that was Mulan.

    He was a donkey.

    really, that's all I could think to say. The list was so WRONG that the only thing i could comment on was mulan.

    ahh..

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  23. hilary - this list came out a while ago i think. interviews for the show included peter boyle and the principal from the breakfast club (and they both passed away pre-Borat).

    and while i think borat was funny, i'm certain i didn't think it was as funny as these list-makers would have.


    also, thanks cryssteen (and alex): i confused mulan and shrek inadvertently.

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  24. what this list is telling me is there aren't that many funny movies out there. i totally agree with your comments regarding the top ten. who in their right mind could think 'there's soemthing about mary' is funnier than 'blazing saddles'?!?

    there are just so many errors on this list i can't even begin to name them all. i've seen caddyshack one time in my entire life and i was left unmoved.

    i do have to admit i saw the south park movie three times in the theatre. don't know if that warrants it being in the top ten list of all time funniest movies but it's on my personal short list.

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  25. The Top Ten blows. Really. Wow. I'm so stunned. Shrek? Ace Ventura? Wedding Singer? SOMETHING ABOUT MARY?

    Okay, I'm sorry for all you Big Fans of "Something About Mary" and I know that for some bizarre reason there are multitudes of you but it just wasn't that funny!

    Cameron Diaz with come in her hair. Har-de-har-har. Oh so funnnn-eeeee.

    No.

    But I am female and I adore(d) Caddy Shack. In golf shop store: "Who would wear this hat?" (paraphrasing, I'm not a guy so I do not bother memorizing too many details) "What an ugly hat, what a horrible hat, who the hell would ever buy a hat THIS UGLY?!"

    Man turns around wearing said hat.

    "Oh, well...it looks good on YOU though!" Still kills me.

    Okay, I'll shut up now except to say, geez, Bravo, you let me down! :(

    And I love your blog, btw! :)

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  26. I <3 the little gopher thing in Caddyshack. And Bill Murray. Yes, I don't remember half the movie, but I do dance the little gopher dance every time that song comes on. :)
    Oh, and I'm *barely* under 30 and have seen Arthur. Mainly because the FOX affiliate when I was growing up had the rights to that and Mr. Mom and Red Dawn. They played them almost every Sunday afternoon.
    And well, Mr. Mom should totally be on that list. It's a great movie. Clueless was a sweet movie, but I wasn't laughing my ass off.
    Alas, I always have problems with these "Top 100 Whatevers Of All Time" because, well, they were compiled by idiots. Mrs. Doubtfire funnier than Monty Python and the Holy Grail? I think they should check the video rentals at local Blockbusters. I could probably walk in right now and not be able to get a copy of MP&THG but they will have about 4 of Mrs. Doubtfire. THAT should be the hallmark of a fantastically fantastic film.
    And, as far and Harold and Kumar are concerned, it may not have been a huge theater release smash, but I think it may have done well in DVD sales. Like Office Space. I'm sorry, Office Space should be in the top 20.
    Wow, I typed a lot. I'll stop hijacking your comments page. :)

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  27. Dumb and dumber at anything over 15 is a travesty.

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  28. Airplane! Yes. I liked Arthur, but in a relaxed, smile and feel good kind of way. It wasn't a laugh-a-minute hilariously funny movie. But where does the Blues Brothers fit into the list? I'd rate it near or at the top.

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  29. Here's my "spur of the moment" theory on what happened...
    Why acknowledging that they aren't the "Bravo" they once were, a couple of program directors got together and decided to do something expressly unimaginative.
    Next, realizing that they were incredibly unhip, they decided to recruit a couple of the BigWigs urban hipster kids for the younger generations' view.
    Finally, they decided that, if nothing else, they could generate a buzz and reclaim their 15 minutes of fame.
    End result: This post and countless others.
    As for my two cents on the list...No Buster Keaton? Seriously?

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  30. Anyone who doesn't think Caddyshack is funny, male or female, does not know what funny is and there is absolutely no hope for you. The same is true of you if you feel the same way about The Producers or Anchorman. Your friend, Mr. Squirrel (nothing to worry about, just go about your business).

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