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The NY Times asks a bunch of

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 13, 2006

The NY Times asks a bunch of comedians: Which five comedies would you want to take with you if you were stranded alone on a desert island? My list: Dr. Strangelove, Zoolander, Office Space, Election, and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

Reader comments

Dan BolandNov 13, 2006 at 9:55AM

Zoolander? To each his own, I guess. Here’s my list:

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Half Baked
South Park
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Fast Times at Ridgemont High

AndrewNov 13, 2006 at 10:09AM

I have watched these repeatedly and could continue doing so:

SpaceBalls
This Is Spinal Tap
Groundhogs Day
Top Secret
The Jerk

The 40 Year Old Virgin recently had me laughing. It’s rare for me to laugh at comedies these days. Am I alone?

Ryan GuillNov 13, 2006 at 10:11AM

Dumb and Dumber,
Good Morning Vietnam,
Tommy Boy,
Caddy Shack,
and of course, The Goonies.

TrentNov 13, 2006 at 10:12AM

I only own three comedies on DVD, so…

Dr. Strangelove
Rushmore
Groundhog Day
Little Miss Sunshine
and.. um…
Borat (?)

aaronNov 13, 2006 at 10:15AM

This Is Spinal Tap
Airplane
Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
Dr. Strangelove
The Big Lebowski

andyNov 13, 2006 at 10:18AM

The Jerk
The Life Aquatic
The Big Lebowski
Raising Arizona
Fast Times at Ridgemont High

The thing is, I don’t think I’d really want comedies to be my only company. Humor is, at it’s heart, a social experience; and in the end the comedies would just make you miss people even more (although in the case of Fast Times at least you’d have Phoebe’s pool scene…).

JNov 13, 2006 at 10:21AM

Wedding Crashers
Anchorman
Clue
Big Lebowski
Office Space

RumseyNov 13, 2006 at 10:24AM

The 39 Steps
Vixen!
Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Moonraker
Weekend at Bernie’s

JNov 13, 2006 at 10:25AM

am i the only one that doesnt really like Dr. Strangelove?

MikeNov 13, 2006 at 10:27AM

Kinda tough to narrow it down to 5…

South Park
Swingers
Best in Show
Dazed and Confused

and of course…

The Big Lebowski (my all-time favorite flick…)

KristinNov 13, 2006 at 10:34AM

I hated “Dr. Strangelove.” I never laughed once. I don’t get that movie.

I can’t think of five right now, but for sure one would be “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”

JoergNov 13, 2006 at 10:38AM

Meet the Parents
The Party
Sideways
Punch Drunk Love
Caddy Shack

emilyNov 13, 2006 at 10:52AM

“Listen to your friend Billy Zane, he’s a cool dude.”

Something About Mary
Anchorman
The Freshman
Waiting For Guffman
The Princess & The Pirate (Bob Hope!)

Wait, do the ‘Arrested Development’ DVDs count?

PhilNov 13, 2006 at 10:52AM

Caddyshack
Blazing Saddles
The Blues Brothers
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Used Cars

PiersNov 13, 2006 at 11:05AM

Probably just Anchorman. I’d take Borat, too, but that’s just on the basis of the trailer.

Kip IngramNov 13, 2006 at 11:06AM

Moonraker is a comedy??? I admit it’s a bit punch for a Bond movie, but I don’t think it rises to the level of a comedy classic.

I enjoyed Zoolander and Office Space, but I don’t think I could watch either more than once every few years.

1) Ferris Bueler’s Day Off
2) The Princess Bride
3) The Paleface
4) Paint Your Wagon
5) Animal House

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a very close runner up.

DeanNov 13, 2006 at 11:23AM

Zoolander
Bedazzled (1967 version please!)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
This Is Spinal Tap
Raising Arizona

That works for today…who knows what it might be tomorrow…

TomNov 13, 2006 at 11:42AM

Bottlerocket
Big Lebowski
Caddyshack
The Burbs (horribly underappreciated)

and any Jacques Tati for the geezers out there

dobbsNov 13, 2006 at 11:45AM

Zoolander? 40-Year Old Virgin?

Wow, I’m stunned.

The Philadelphia Story
Bringing Up Baby
Hail the Conquering Hero
Stardust Memories
There’s Something About Mary

jkottkeNov 13, 2006 at 12:00PM

I might want to change one of my answers to Groundhog Day. Rushmore is one of my favorite movies of all time, but I don’t think of it as a comedy…it always struck me as more of a drama. Definitely great, whatever it is.

AjitNov 13, 2006 at 12:07PM

Bottle Rocket
The Kid (or other early Chaplin films)
Schizopolis (why this movie is not on any list baffles me)
Little Miss Sunshine
Arizona Dreams (the fan scene is one of the funniest ever)


others: the laughing scene in Betty Blue, Napolean Dynamite, Sideways, Annie Hall, The Apartment, Flirting With Disaster, Pink Panther, Adaptation (comedy ?), Rushmore. I will stop here.

MeNov 13, 2006 at 12:12PM

There’s Something About Mary
Office Space
The Princess Bride
Caddyshack
The Blues Brothers

Honorable Mention:
Major League

TimNov 13, 2006 at 12:42PM

The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Airplane!
The Big Lebowski
Swingers
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

judsonNov 13, 2006 at 12:44PM

young frankenstein
the heartbreak kid
waiting for guffman
the general
animal crackers

tystlNov 13, 2006 at 1:35PM

the big lebowski
meet the parents
blazing saddles
planes, trains, and automobiles
monty python and the holy grail

JoelNov 13, 2006 at 1:35PM

Zoolander.

Zoolander???

WHAT?!

IJHNov 13, 2006 at 1:47PM

How about something that doesn’t involve toilet humour or jokes at someones expense?

Local Hero

The Apartment

Annie Hall

Sons of the Desert

New York New York [oh yes indeed]

KyleNov 13, 2006 at 1:50PM

Young Frankenstein (“putting on the ritifhdjajffakf”)
A Fish Called Wanda
Dumb and Dumber
Vacation
Any Pink Panther original

BTW, check out the AFI list here

jweedNov 13, 2006 at 1:51PM

This is Spinal Tap
Best in Show
Dr. Strangelove
Young Frankenstien
Groundhog Day

crazymonkNov 13, 2006 at 1:54PM

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
The Big Lebowski
Being There
Sleeper
Life of Brian

Sorry Christopher Guest, but while I love Fargo, it’s not a comedy.

Jake BoumaNov 13, 2006 at 2:02PM

School of Rock
Little Miss Sunshine
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Anchorman (?)

LesterNov 13, 2006 at 3:02PM

Happiness
Punch-Drunk Love
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
The Squid and the Whale
The Life Aquatic

ColinNov 13, 2006 at 3:20PM

1. Some like it hot

+ four more, but they’re not so important as long as you have the first one.

kevin.Nov 13, 2006 at 3:34PM

Shaun of the Dead,
Dr. Strangelove,
The Big Lebowski,
The Princess Bride,
Trading Places.

Close in the running:
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,
This Is Spinal Tap,
Something About Mary,
Monty Python and the Holy Grail,
Napoleon Dynomite,
Annie Hall.

AmyNov 13, 2006 at 7:16PM

I’ll admit some of these I didn’t think of until I read the other comments, but…

Best in Show
School of Rock
The Princess Bride
The Big Lebowski
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Personally, I hate Groundhog Day. But that’s just me.

MartyNov 13, 2006 at 8:11PM

These are not my favourite comedies per se, but five that I would have with me:

1. Annie Hall
2. Caddyshack
3. Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story
4. This is Spinal Tap
5. Spaceballs

Paul JohnsNov 13, 2006 at 8:27PM

1. Austin Powers
2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
3. Four Rooms
4. Idiocracy (the last movie that made me laugh in theaters)
5. Blood Diner (not sure if it’s on DVD yet)

I’m surprised no one said Austin Powers, that’s probably my all time favorite comedy.

flatluigiNov 13, 2006 at 10:31PM

In no particular order: Monty Python: Life of Brian; Airplane!; Some Like It Hot; ; .

[I think the big question is how you’re going to have the electricity/batteries to watch said movies. But that’s what I always think when someone poses the desert island question.]

flatluigiNov 13, 2006 at 10:34PM

Ah, damn. The last two were any two Leslie Nielsen movies, but the comment system didn’t like the way I formatted them. Oops.

Dave VogtNov 13, 2006 at 10:44PM

It’s a tough call, I’m not really a comedy fan.

With no thought at all:
Airplane
Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life
Spaceballs
The Princess Bride


Do romantic comedies count? I’d take The Truth About Cats and Dogs in a heartbeat. If not, Robin Hood: Men in Tights would do the job.

DutchKidNov 14, 2006 at 6:52AM

- Life of Brian
- The Life Aquatic
- and 3 random films from other people’s lists I haven’t seen yet.

Bill BrownNov 14, 2006 at 10:36AM

Groundhog Day
Happy Gilmore
Greedy
So I Married an Axe Murderer
Wonderfalls (you didn’t say it had to be a movie)

Bill BrownNov 14, 2006 at 10:39AM

If no on Wonderfalls, substitute Dumb and Dumber.

Mike GerhardtNov 14, 2006 at 4:00PM

1. His Girl Friday
2. What’s Up Doc?
3. Raising Arizona
4. South Park (movie)
5. Arrested Development

Rob O.Nov 19, 2006 at 7:41PM

Hey! Great to see that someone else loves “Local Hero.” It’s n underrated and quirky little movie.

1. Office Space
2. Birdcage
3. The Princess Bride
4. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
5. The MatchMaker

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.