What Hath Von Neumann Wrought?

Skeptical musings of a reluctant cyborg

My Five Funniest Movies of All Time

It’s Sunday. It’s Mother’s Day. It’s the 27th anniversary of my arrival in Portland, Oregon. It’s hot. I’m grumpy. I need a laugh. Don’t you?

So … here are my picks for the five funniest movies of all time. I can’t honestly rank them, so I’ll simply give you the list.

Wag the Dog is one of those films that I love for the subtle references to the events of the time. Has it grown stale with time? I don’t think so. Our political process hasn’t changed as far as I can tell. Now, of course, we’d see viral YouTube videos and Twitter Trending Topics, but tails will continue to wag dogs and this movie will always be funny.

The Producers (1968): If I absolutely, positively had to pick the movie that made me laugh longer and harder than any other, this would be it. This was the first of the amazing list of comedies Mel Brooks and his troupe made, and it will always be my favorite.

Peter Sellers was one of the truly great comic talents of the 20th century. I could have picked any of a dozen of his films, but I settled on one of the earlier ones, The Mouse That Roared. This is biting satire at its finest. Few had heard of Sellers when this film was made, but it made him a world-wide star.

No list of comedies would be complete without one from Neil Simon. I’ve seen them all and this one remains my favorite. The Sunshine Boys stars George Burns and Walter Matthau as two aging comedians. They were a famous vaudeville act, but they broke up. Poor Richard Benjamin has to engineer a reunion, but … well … they can’t stand each other.

Finally, here’s a hint – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LS75NtlH3gI. But I’m guessing you’ll want to watch the whole thing. Like Sellers, Danny Kaye was a comic genius who appeared in dozens of films. But it’s The Court Jester that stands out in my mind above all the others.

So – dear readers – what are your funniest movies of all time?

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