What Ever Happened to the Iconic Comedy?

It got Munsoned.

While flipping through the new DirecTV on-demand offerings recently (thanks, rain), it dawned on me it’s been years since a cultural milestone comedy has been released.


Now it’s possible that I’ve just moved far enough along in life that I’m not “hip” to all the cool new flicks out there, but what was the last big, quotable film in the order of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Office Space, Anchorman, Super Troopers, Step Brothers, etc.?

Alrighty then, I believe you have my stapler, That escalated quickly, Littering and …, The Catalina Wine Mixer. All classics that many people — well, particularly bros — reference to this day.

But what have the 2010s, and especially the last five years, brought us? Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates? Baywatch? (Perhaps The House, out this month and starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, will be a reprieve, though that somehow feels unlikely.)

Take a look at these non-comprehensive, off-the-cuff lists of comedies from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Then look at the 2010s. Where are the laughs?


  • Ghostbusters
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Caddyshack
  • Airplane!
  • Coming to America
  • The Princess Bride
  • Weird Science
  • Revenge of the Nerds
  • National Lampoon’s Vacation
  • Trading Places
  • This Is Spinal Tap
  • Spaceballs
  • The Blues Brothers
  • Trains, Planes and Automobile
  • Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
  • Three Amigos
  • National Lampoons’ Christmas Vacation
  • Fletch
  • Major League
  • Uncle Buck


  • Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
  • Billy Madison
  • Happy Gilmore (The price is wrong!)
  • There’s Something About Mary
  • Dumb and Dumber
  • Tommy Boy/Blacksheep
  • Kingpin
  • Wayne’s World
  • Office Space
  • The Big Lebowski
  • Home Alone
  • What About Bob?
  • Captain Ron
  • Groundhog Day
  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery


  • Anchorman
  • Old School
  • 40-Year-Old Virgin
  • Knocked Up
  • Wedding Crashers
  • Superbad
  • Step Brothers
  • The Hangover
  • Dodgeball
  • Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
  • Team America: World Police
  • Super Troopers
  • Meet the Parents
  • Mean Girls
  • Bad Santa


  • The Other Guys
  • Bridesmaids
  • Ted
  • Horrible Bosses
  • 21 Jump Street
  • The World’s End

It’s possible the dearth of big-time funny films can be attributed to TV’s emergence as a prestige medium over the past two decades. Maybe audiences now prefer bite-sized digital content. Regardless, you have to wonder when the next massive comedy might come along.

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