Favorite Comedies of The 80’s

In looking back at the 1980’s I was surprised how rich the decade was in comedies. Films that could have made my list but did not include Airplane!, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The Naked Gun, Tootsie, Spaceballs and Stripes. There are others, but you get the idea. The 80’s included one of the last great romantic comedies along with Woody Allen continuing to produce some great films and the underrated Albert Brooks.

You can find earlier post in this series easily by clicking right here!

Broadway Danny Rose


Woody Allen’s nostalgic look at the the lower levels of New York’s show business community that he knew so well from his early days as a writer and standup comedian.  Here is my complete review.



The late director Harold Ramis always reflected a healthy disrespect for the establishment whether it be the military (Stripes), science (Ghostbusters)  or golf (Caddyshack). In Caddyshack, directed and co-written by Ramis, he brought together the old, Rodney Dangerfield, who was experiencing a resurgence in his career and the new, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray, alumni of a relatively still new and fresh Saturday Night Live, Caddyshack captured the irrelevance, free-spirited and anti-establishment attitude of the youth generation. While Chevy Chase got top billing, it was Bill Murray’s goofball groundskeeper, Carl Spackler, who steals the film.

Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid


Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid is  classic Steve Martin as well as a loving and affectionate tribute to classic film noir. Read my complete review here.



Hannah and Her Sisters


Lost in America

Lost in amercia

Like Harold Lloyd who always remained number 3 in the ranks for best silent comic behind Chaplin and Keaton, Albert Brooks always lagged behind Woody Allen and Mel Brooks in the 70’s and 80’s.   Brooks humor may be more off-beat, but nevertheless funny. Check out the film and read my review.

Raising Arizona


Trading Places

Trading Places1

An outrageously funny comedy filled just the right amount of sophistication and sophomoric Animal House style humor (well it was directed by John Landis after all!). A breezy satire that hits at the financial shenanigans of the Reagan era (and are no different today). Sure it’s contrived, but the writing is good and Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd are scene stealers at the top of their game. On top of that, it’s takes place at Christmas time and there is Jamie Lee Curtis.

When Harry Met Sally


Billy Crystal as Harry says it all here – “I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” Along with Annie Hall, it’s one of the great modern day romantic comedies


NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION, Anthony Michael Hall, Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Dana Barron, 1983

This is Chevy Chase at his best. There’s a throwaway kind of craziness to the film that, while way off the wall, many may find familiar in their own family vacations gone wrong. The Griswald’s have become an American treasure of sorts with a series of sequels, but this film remains the best


11 comments on “Favorite Comedies of The 80’s

  1. The Lady Eve says:

    Broadway Danny Rose is such a gem. It seems to get lost in the shadows of Woody’s “bigger” films, like Hannah and her Sisters (another favorite), but for me it’s among his top five or so.

    Haven’t seen Caddyshack for ages but you remind me that I tend to forget about Chevy Chase thanks to Rodney Dangerfield and especially Bill Murray, who then went on to have a career beyond that of any other early SNL cast member.

    Liked by 1 person

    • John Greco says:

      Dangerfield and Murray do steal the film, but I always like Chevy’s subtle performance. I do think Danny Rose gets better with each viewing.


  2. Margaret Laredo says:

    Billy Crystal’s character in ‘When Harry Met Sally’ is too overbearing and obnoxious.
    The first twenty minutes or so of his car trip “know-it-all” schtick is charmless.
    Meg Ryan may fall for him, but honestly, does any woman watching the movie fall for him?

    By the way, I’m surprised not to see Woody Allen’s ‘Radio Days’ or John Hughes’ ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ mentioned as at least “honorable mentions.”
    And ‘Moonstruck.’ And ‘Mystic Pizza,’ too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • John Greco says:

      There was only room for ten and I did not do a HM list. Radio Days and Moonstruck are both worthy contenders. It’s been years since I watched Mystic Pizza and my faulty memory does not being impressed. Nothing wrong with it, just thought it was nothing special. As for Ferris Bueller, I have not seem it. One of those misses that have yet to be corrected.


      • Margaret Laredo says:

        Thanks for the reply, but when you claimed you didn’t list ‘honorable mentions,’ I couldn’t help but wonder if you had forgotten you had named six ‘honorable mentions’ in your very first paragraph;

        “Films that could have made my list but did not include Airplane!, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The Naked Gun, Tootsie, Spaceballs and Stripes. There are others, but you get the idea.”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. John Greco says:

    You caught me! A goof on my part 🙂 Radio Days and Moonstruck easily could have joined the others. No list is perfect and as always it’s subjective. I think comedy is exceptionally hard to make most folks agree on.


  4. bharrelson63 says:

    Raising Arizona is one of my all time favorite movies, period. It is insanely original and hilarious. I have lost count of how many times I have seen it. And about Albert Brooks, I love his movie The Muse. I only know one other person who has seen it but I love it and have watched it multiple times. I own both on DVD.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. John Charet says:

    Great post 🙂 Raising Arizona is one of the greatest comedies of the 1980’s as well 🙂 I would have also added The Blues Brothers in there too 🙂 I love it though that you included an Albert Brooks directed film in the form of Lost in America 🙂 I still believe that Albert Brooks is highly underrated. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. John Greco says:

    Albert Brooks I think has always been under appreciated. His films, The Muse, Mother, Modern Romance and Real Life are all gems.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kirtthenerd says:

    Great post. So many memories…

    Liked by 1 person

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