Saturday, April 01, 2006

No Sandler, no Carrey, no Robin Williams ...

Here's my rundown of filmdom's funniest scenes:

*Steve Martin avoiding the assassin in "The Jerk";

*The negotiation scene between the revolutionaries, lawyers and television execs in "Network";

*Art teacher Roberta Allsworth showing her short film in Ghost World ("Mirror, father ...");

*The pool party scene in the original Stepford Wives: ("I'll just die if I don't get this recipe");

*The opening musical number from "The Producers" (circa 1968);

*Every scene featuring Fred Willard and Catherine O'Hara in "Waiting for Guffman";

*Peter Sellers recalling his first brush with porn in "Being There," and from the same movie: Shirley MacLaine's masturbation scene;

*The American president (Peter Sellers) informing the Soviet premier that a rogue colonel has just launched a nuclear attack against Russia in "Dr. Strangelove";

*Peter Sellers losing his shoe in "The Party";

*Bill Lumbergh's birthday party in "Office Space" (and every scene featuring Milton);

*The fashion show from "True Stories";

*Faye Dunaway going haywire in "Mommie Dearest";

*Marge Gunderson's ill-fated "date" with an old high school acquaintance in "Fargo";

*Marshall McLuhan's cameo in "Annie Hall";

*Howard Cosell's cameo in "Bananas";

*Woody Allen previewing his bio documentary of Alan Alda in "Crimes and Misdemeanors";

*Woody Allen questioning his faith in "Hannah and Her Sisters";

*Woody Allen worrying about a homosexual encounter in "Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)";

*Albert Brooks torching his subjects' home in the mock documentary "Real Life";

*Albert Brooks trying to get his money back from the casino boss in "Lost in America" ("The Desert Inn has heart ... the Desert Inn has heart") and his breakdown after learning of his transfer to New York: ("Shut up Brad. Your song stunk, I hate your suit and I could hurt you!");

*Shirley MacLaine's cameo (welcoming visitors to the Past Lives Pavillion) in "Defending Your Life";

*Rodney Dangerfield's first appearance in "Caddyshack";

*Madeline Khan's deflowering in "Young Frankenstein";

*Madeline Khan, channeling Marlene Dietrich, from "Blazing Saddles";

*Michael Palin's botched murder attempts in "A Fish Called Wanda";

*Jack Nicholson trying to order a sandwich in "Five Easy Pieces";

*Benjamin Braddock's unease at the Taft Hotel from "The Graduate";

*DeNiro's limo ride with Jerry Lewis (great actor, lousy comic) in "The King of Comedy";

*Kurt and Ram's funeral, from "Heathers" ("I love my dead gay son");

*the Tommy Hilfiger parody from "Bamboozled";

*Steve Martin's impassioned indictment of John Candy in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles";

*The chase scene from "Raising Arizona";


*Mr. Van Driessen's performance of "Lesbian Seagull" in "Beavis and Butthead Do America."

My memory's good, but not airtight. Feel free to remind me of those scenes I might have forgotten about.

***Malcontenter Ms. Ellie reminded me of another that certainly belongs on the list: From "New York Stories," when Woody Allen is hounded by his omnipresent, "mother in the sky."


  1. The montage of Bill Murray taking advantage of his omniscience in Groundhog Day to try to seduce Andie MacDowell

    Mink Stole's 19th nervous breakdown in Desperate Living

    Steve Martin forced to tango with mannish drag queen Liev Schrieber in Mixed Nuts

    Ethel Merman turned upside by Milton Berle & Terry Thomas in Mad Mad Mad Mad World

  2. How could you leave out Woody Allen being hounded by his mother in the "sky" in New York Stories?