Movie Poll: What’s the best ’80s comedy?

MovieFanfare Movie Poll of the Week

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  • Michael Wlodarczyk

    Airplane over Caddyshack and Ghostbusters? What kind of idiots are voting for this poll?

  • Bruce Parent

    I’m surprised that the Coen brothers’ wonderfully funny “Raising Arizona” is not listed as a choice.
    And there are several others omitted as well. On your list I would choose “Tootsie”.

  • peter evans

    airplane is great. you are the idiot

  • DIRK

    They have cast a wide net here; so we give them a break. Anytime they put Beverly Hills Cop on the same list with Airplane! go figure! Its like what is your favorite drama of the 70s: the Exorcist or Love Story? LOL Its just for fun; not entirely scientific, ya know.

  • Bandyman

    Another great 80′S comedy that is hard to find on DVD is Moving Violations staring Brian Doyle Muarry brother of Bill a very funny movie that can be watched over and over again

  • Bill Brown

    My vote was for “Airplane”, but that’s because “Ferris Beuhler’s Day Off” wasn’t on the list.

  • Stephen Farris

    Ferris Beuhler was great, but I’m partial because it [almost] has my name in the title. I voted for Tootsie.

  • version

    Bueller? Bueller? Shld be on the listing

  • James

    Too many choices! And a few great comedies not on this list.

  • Cyndi Lunsford

    Airplane! Still makes me laugh when I see it. So does Stripes.

  • Kyle

    OK, um the best ’80s comedy is CLUE. But, from this list I’ll go for AIRPLANE!.

  • DeMeio

    Sorry, folks, but I don’t have a one of these titles in my collection of movies. Give me the comedies of the 30′s any day.

  • DeMeio

    Looks like my comment was scrambled. It originlly said “comedies of the 30′s”

  • paskuniag

    Stripes? Stripes? Stripes?
    I guess it must have been out giving Sergeant Hulka fifty when the movies for this poll were being compiled.
    Aiplane is a hoot, but so is the first Naked Gun.

    • Dave

      Agree. “Nice beaver”.

  • Cara

    Many great comedies. I hadn’t realized the 80s were so funny. I voted for Tootsie because, well, it would be great in any decade. Wish you’d listed My Favorite Year. It earned Peter O’Toole an Oscar nomination, and he’s wicked funny in this role. He’s one of a handful of actors who can play high drama and broad comedy equally well. As he pointed out as he was being hoisted up the stair attached to the trunk. “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.” One of the few movies that always leaves me helpless with laughter.

    “I’m not an actor! I’m a movie star!”

  • SLH

    Where is Funny Farm, Stripes, Private Benjamin, 9 to 5, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas ?

  • Mayka

    Great funny movies such as Tootsie, Beverly Hills Cop, A Fish Called Wanda, Private Benjamin and especially Planes, Trains and Automobiles, but you forgot one that to me was the funnies of all; Victor/Victoria. The first time I saw it, I though I needed pampers. The funniest of the 80′s in my opinion. That is the one that reminded me of the comedies of the 30′s, like What’s Up Doc in the 70′s. Pure fun.

  • WGM

    “Arthur” (1981). Next question please…..

  • wa

    Sorry to say but “Caddyshack” has really not aged well at all. It’s kind of one of those “had to be there” movies. Strange to see it so high on the list and “This is Spinal Tap” so low!

  • Paige

    Planes, Trains and Automoblies is just awful. Airplane is still funny. I know you can’t put all the movies up there but I like Pvt. Benjamin, Seems like Old Times, 16 Candles, Mr Mom. Princess Bride which may be considered a dramady but funny. And don’t call me Shirley.

  • dirkwrestler

    yeah, we are kinda all over the place here. Beverly Hills Cop much more sophisticated plot than Airplane! But both still hilarious! On the comment that Caddyshack is dated; I think that is the point here, DEF 1980s all the way! Fast Times is dated too but thats the great part about it — we relate to our past. Planes, Trains & Automobiles heart-warming conclusion coupled with its zany-ness and the same dichotomy in Tootsie! All are great; hard to choose!

  • Terry

    I vote for “9 to 5!”

  • Frosty

    “Airplane!” – funny in parts, but pointless
    “Caddyshack” – Rodney, Bill, and Ted were great, but I HATED that stupid gopher. The puppet didn’t work.
    “Tootsie” – I don’t find cross-dressing amusing.
    “National Lampoon’s Vacation” – John Hughes’ original short story for National Lampoon was the funniest thing I’ve ever read – seriously(google it – you’ll laugh out loud). The movie was a train wreck. As they say, the book is always better.
    “Ghostbusters” – Disappointing, not really funny. I liked the Tavern on the Green scene with the stereotypical New Yorkers.
    “A Fish Called Wanda” – I love dogs. I don’t find humor in dogs getting killed. Worst movie on the list.
    Which brings us to “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”, the best movie on this list. Funny, exciting, and extremely sentimental. I miss John Candy.

  • lovestorun

    Airplane was hilarious. Some of the actors weren’t known for being funny but were very funny in this movie.

  • ronnie

    Two that come to my mind are Trading Places and Real Men.

  • Kathy R

    Funniest on the list is Airplane but the best 80′s comedy is Sixteen Candles.

  • Toph Morris

    Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop, and Spinal Tap…in that order…would be my favorite funny movies on the list, but I’m not nearly narcissistic enough to think that my preferences make them the best comedies (yet I’m pretentious enough to bring it up!) Not on the list is Crocodile Dundee, which may be my favorite comedy of the decade. I feel like I’m forgetting something important, though…

  • Bruce Reber

    I voted for “Airplane!”, the ultimate disaster movie spoof of the 80′s, or any decade! So many great actors, hilarious lines and sight gags – too many to mention! I didn’t care too much for the subpar 1982 follow-up, “Airplane-The Sequel”.

  • Bruce Reber

    “Spaceballs”, “Ruthless People” and “Hollywood Knights” – three more 80′s comedies that didn’t make the list.

    • rogerscorpion

      I just posted about ‘Ruthless People’—the Zuckers w/a brilliant non-parodistic script & a wonderful cast.

  • Mike

    Airplane…also loved Trading Places, Arthur…and many others, but those two stand out. “Tootsie” was not funny at all to, Dustin Hoffman never looked like a “lady”, he looked like a guy in ladies clothes..not fooling anyone. Even his voice was “mannish”. Oh well, “Airplane” &”Trading Places”…I`m sure there are many others not mentioned..some “stupid” funny movies “Caveman” w/Ringo Starr..”The Jerk”..”Pee Wee`s Big Adventure”..”Easy Money” w/Rodney Dangerfield…many others.

  • Gord Jackson

    Saw only three on the list, AIRPLANE, TOOTSIE and BEVERLY HILLS COP. Of the three, COP all the way. However, Cara reminded me of MY FAVOURITE YEAR, which would be my favourite 80s comedy. Peter O’Toole is (once again) brilliant, an actor who was incapable of being anything less, his material notwithstanding.

  • Mario Brescio

    Your list was good, but it left out the best comedy of the 80’s and one of the best comedies of all time,

    S.O.B. (1981)

    It was written and directed by Blake Edwards…and a cast that included some of Hollywood’s biggest and best talents: Julie Andrews, William Holden, Robert Webber, Robert Loggia,
    Richard Mulligan, Robert Preston, Shelly Winters, Robert Vaughn, Loretta Swit, Larry
    Hagman, Stuart Margolin, Rosanna Arquette and many more. Yes this is the film where Julie Andrews exposes her “boobies.”

  • Mike Kelly

    It’s easy to see from reading the comments, that humor is very personal, and what works for one person, doesn’t for another. For me, after 20 years of reading every MAD magazine published, I just have to go with Airplane!. My pick for one not on the list: If you like your comedy drier, shaken but not stirred, I’d recommend Local Hero.

  • Virginia

    Very good comments here. I wanted to read them first because except for a couple on the list, maybe Beverly Hills Cop and Airplane, I didn’t find many of the others very funny, and others I hadn’t been interested enough to watch. But, in reading the comments, I was happy to see some of my favorites that were missing that I would have chosen for the list: Victor/Victoria, Trading Places, My Favorite Year, Private Benjamin and a couple of others, maybe Easy Money and Ruthless People. (Tootsie and Planes, Trains and Automobiles, not bad movies, just not that funny to me.)

  • Charles M Lee

    I have to agree with Mike Kelley’s observation that comedy is very personal. I read some of the picks in the comments and thought how in the blank could anyone think that was funny. Then I thought well someone will read my list and think the same thing. Everyone is entitled to their own (wrong) opinion. Also everyone is entitled to my opinion. Most of the comedies in the 80′s were just down right stupid to me. They depended heavily on sight gags, and lacked subtlety. The one on the list that does it for me is “Vacation” and the one that is not on the list that I would pick is “Trading Places”. There is an obscure comedy that I saw in the 80′s but not sure it was made then. It is called “Loose Shoes”. It is a collection of comedic vignettes culminating with a mock of Cab Calloway singing the title song with hilarious words. Also any list that doesn’t include a Richard Pryor movie is a total scam

    Thank you for poll and thank all of you for sharing your opinions.

  • papabear

    While parody like airplane and National Lampoon is funny, I would not rate it as highly as original work, like Ghostbusters, which was a truly original idea very very well executed. Where it gets hard for me, is when the humor is mixed up with romance… is it a comedy film, or a romance first and foremost. Victor Victoria comes to mind as a truly great film, one of the best funny movies of the 80′s that I would characterize more as a romantic comedy, which to me is a different genre. Indeed, Ghostbusters is almost a horror movie as well as a comedy. The question is, what is a comedy movie, and can comedy truly and totally stand alone without some other genre mixed in.

  • Bruce Reber

    Woody Allen’s “Zelig” and “Radio Days”, Neil Simon’s “Biloxi Blues” and “Tin Men”.

  • Anthony Ambrogio

    What is with the people on this list? A FISH CALLED WANDA and PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES are definitely two classic 1980s comedies. TOOTSIE is a good film. (I’m surprised that one responder said he didn’t “find crossdressing funny”; he must have hated SOME LIKE IT HOT and about a hundred other Hollywood comedies where guys dressed up in drag.) GHOSTBUSTERS is indeed disappointing (GHOSTBUSTERS II is better). And the other pictures on the list have their moments. However…
    I had to click “other” because the funniest comedy of the 1980s wasn’t even on the list: JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH—a perfectly directed, perfectly written, perfectly cast picture that delivers more laughs than most of the listed films put together. (Also significant by its absence: THREE AMIGOS, a great MAGNIFICENT SEVEN-WILD BUNCH parody that, like JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH, is severely underrated.)

  • Rebel Ed

    Although “National Lampoon’s Vacation” is the only mildly funny one of the series, and “This Is Spinal Tap” is so close to an M-TV “rockumentary” you can hardly tell the difference, “Airplane!” proved what Leslie Nielsen mentioned when he hosted Saturday Night Live; you can say un-funny things, in an un-funny way, and it’s hilarious. (“Cream?”)

  • rogerscorpion

    My pick is ‘Ruthless People’.

  • Daisy

    They all have funny stuff, but…call me a fuddy duddy, I just can’t get into any of these films.

  • SimbasGuard

    I have to go with The Naked Gun: From The Files of Police Squad.

  • aldanoli

    I voted for “Tootsie,” but only because it seemed like the most sophisticated movie among the selections — it was directed by Sydney Pollack (who also had a small role) and seems less dated than, e.g., “Fast Times at Ridgmont High,” “Caddyshack,” or “Airplane!” Among those not mentioned but brought up by others, I would have put “Trading Places,” “Radio Days,” “My Favorite Year,” or “Zelig” above any of these selections, though — “Places” had a complex plot with surprising twists, “Zelig” a wonderful gimmick (shades of “Forrest Gump”) and the other two were sweet memory pieces.

    But of all the great comedies of that decade, I’m amazed that no one chose “Real Genius,” a delightful film with the wittiest one-liners this side of the Marx Brothers, a great cast, and a memorable payoff . . . not to mention little non-sequiturs and “black out” scenes (e.g., first the students are gradually replaced by tape recorders in the lecture hall — and finally the teacher is, too!) that add nothing to the plot but make you want to stop the video and back it up to make sure of what you saw. Great memories all.

  • Rich “the Wizard” Higginson

    Hey! What about “A New Leaf” with Walter Matthaw & Elaine May! Or, the original “The Out Of Towners”? Not in the 80′s, you say? So what! I was very happt to be able to but “A New Leaf” in Blue Ray last year, & I don’t have a Blue Ray player? Debate question: which production of “The Producers” is better? Or, are they both great, in their own way? But, no one can beat, Zero Mostel!

  • Ellen Christy Snyder

    Private Benjamin crackes me up. Also, anything with John Candy.

  • laustcawz

    There are a lot of movies (both ’80s & otherwise) that I love in lots of different ways for different reasons & some are comedies, but there are only a special few that make me laugh again & again, no matter how many times I watch them. The winner here (for the ’80s) HAS to be “Better Off Dead”.