Tag Archives: Michael J. Fox

Trailers for 37 New TV Shows…Yes, 37.

I come to you today a conflicted woman. Those pilots I so looked forward to and thought would find legs? Well it turns out there’s a reason I’m not a network executive. That reason being I don’t think like a network executive as evidenced by the fact that so few of those pilots I predicted would make it to air actually will. On one hand, I’m disappointed because there were some great ideas that are no longer and on the other hand there are some trailers for these new shoes that look very promising. See? Conflict. But enough chit chat – let’s watch some trailers for all the new TV shows…

**note: I did not include all mid-season shows. There will be plenty of time to look at those, these are mainly the fall premieres.**

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NBC cleaned house. Especially when it comes to their sitcoms. The only ones that were renewed were Parks and Recreation and (somewhat amazing) Community. The rest of them, including every new show they premiered this year? Gone. Sadly there have been murmurings that NBC is purposefully abandoning the style of shows they used to air, like 30 Rock and the freshman now canceled sitcom Go On, and are instead looking for things more broad reaching, family oriented, even going so far as to say they want shows more like those on CBS. That’s right folks… NBC is courting the lowest common denominator. Oh joy.

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http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n36728

Former government agent, current FBI Most Wanted, Raymond “Red” Reddington has been on the run for years but now is coming to the FBI with a proposition; he wants to help them hunt down another of their Most Wanted, terrorist Ranko Zamani. Of course, as the name implies, Zamani is not the only person on Red’s list.

Meh, I suppose it has potential but it seems a little like a combination between Law and Order and Fox’s The Following.

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http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n36763

Johnathan Rhys Meyers is discarding period garb to have sex with beautiful women. It seems as if we’ve seen this before. Oh, yea. At least this time he’s doing it as a vampire instead of as King. I’ll admit, this looks promising especially with the people involved behind the camera, and Meyers isn’t really a schlub, so things are in Dracula‘s favor.
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http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n36743

I do believe I said I’d eat my hat if this show made it to series so if someone really wants to see me do that I shall. This is exactly the type of show one might expect to see on CBS so congrats NBC!, you did exactly what you set out to.

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http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n36745

Before seeing this trailer I thought it was going to be crappy. I have since changed my tune. Out of all of NBC’s new shows, this looks to be the most intriguing. I’m hoping that the trailer isn’t hiding the triteness that so many family sitcoms fall victims to because it looks pretty decent based off this small glimpse.

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http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n36744

Not even the beautiful Blair Underwood can make me watch this. Sorry.

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http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n36742

I’ll admit, I liked Yes, Dear for a mindless afternoon of sitcom viewing. There is on way on earth I’m going to make sure I watch this drivel. I mean really NBC? This? I’m insulted. You are better than this. Come on.

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So yea, NBC? Not really hitting it out of the park this year. Of course in addition to these gems is the Chicago Fire spin-off Chicago PD. Are there more depressing words than “Chicago Fire spin-off”? I don’t think so. I’d love to come back to this in a year and be completely wrong about these shows but I think we all know, I won’t be.

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If you haven’t been to our site before you might not have heard, but we are really excited for ABC’s new show, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. We aren’t overly thrilled with having to type that out each time, but for the show itself there is definite excitement. You can catch up on all S.H.I.E.L.D. news here, here, here, here, and here but for right now let’s look at what else ABC has in store for this coming TV year.

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I want to like this. I want this to be good. I fear neither of those things will happen. This saddens me. Oh well, maybe I’ll be proven wrong.

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While this does look promising, how long can the premise last? It takes place in one night. 11 hours of one night in a bar? I don’t even want to be in a real bar in my real life for 11 hours in one night, much less in a TV bar for an entire television season. This just seems like it would get really old, really quick.

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Now we’re talking. I can actually see myself watching this and enjoying it. Granted much like Mixology, I do wonder how long they can keep the show going before telling us how exactly the kid is back from the dead, but that’s part of the fun with shows like this so I’m thinking it will be good.

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So, ummmm, I like it? I am a huge fan of Once Upon a Time and even though the Wonderland version doesn’t look quite as good, mainly because it’s just the one character, I’ll probably still watch it. I mean it’s got the same people behind it (Adam Horowitz especially) as OUAT and I imagine they won’t deviate too far from what makes that show successful so I’m guessing Wonderland will be around awhile.

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I’m can’t tell you how happy I am that this made it to series! Finally a show that I was looking forward to before series orders were announced that has help up to my expectations. You know how I feel about sibling relationships! And if you don’t… I like them!

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No.

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Extremely underwhelmed. Do we really want to relive to 80’s so soon? Nope.

However, I will have to resist the urge to burst into song each time REO Speedwagon comes on. It’s an impulse I just can’t control.

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This is a good example of a promising (if formulaic) premise that seemingly gets lost when making the jump from paper to screen. One can hope that it’s just one of those shows that has a crappy trailer but ends up being a good show.

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This was a better idea when it was called Bad News Bears or Little Giants. Enough said.

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I imagine if you watch and like Revenge, you will watch and like Betrayal. I won’t but I guess there are people out there that will.

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I’m going to hold out judgement on this one until it airs because it could go either way. My gut feeling is it’s going to go bad but my gut has been wrong before so who knows.

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An interesting group of pilots. ABC seems to be a fan of large ensemble cast shows this year. Combined with the “we are a dysfunctional family” sitcoms, well we’ll just have to wait and see who ends up still breathing come next May.

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It is no secret, I hate CBS. There have been very few shows on CBS in recent memory that I’ve watched and enjoyed but each year I think to myself, “this is it, this is the year I will be a CBS fan!” and not surprisingly that lasts only about a week. This year doesn’t seem like that will change, with the exception of maybe one show.

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Will Arnett, Margo Martindale, and Beau Bridges – what’s not to like? Well so far it looks like The Millers. I really expected more from those three fabulous actors signing on to something together but sadly this just does not look that good.

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In what seems like a common theme this year, I just can’t see this show having any longevity. Unless they are only giving us a glimpse of the first two episodes, I can’t imagine there is much of a story that can be told while the President is waiting for surgery. It’s a shame because Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott would be nice to watch together.

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I loved this show back when it was called Chuck. Yea, yea it’s a drama and it’s nothing like Chuck because that was a comedy and this is serious business but I think we can all agree, it’s Chuck. I’ll probably give it a shot because it’s Sawyer but that’s about it.

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Allison Janney does not need a laugh track. It is a crime that Allison Janney has a laugh track. Have I mentioned that Allison Janney is on a show with a laugh track? This saddens me. Add in Anna Faris and make this a Chuck Lorre show which means it will be very predictable and pedantic and this is probably one of the most depressing series orders of the year. So much wasted talent in yet another Chuck Lorre show on crappy CBS.

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I think it would be best if people don’t get attached to this one because I can’t even fathom it lasting more than a year if even that long.

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This is the only CBS show that I’m actually looking forward to and it has everything to do with Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar. I mean it’s Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar! The ad agency aspect seems a bit overplayed these days but I’ll still give it a shot.

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Outside of The Crazy Ones, I imagine my streak of hating CBS will not be threatened. It’s nice to know that there are some thing in life that remain constant. Thank you CBS.

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Fox has the distinction of having both the worst new show and, in my opinion, two of the best new shows of the year in their ranks. Way to go Fox, covering all the bases. I’m impressed.

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This show should never have made it this far, plain and simple. Sgt. Bilko was a great movie with a similar premise but Enlisted? Well it looks like that puppy that Bilko wanted to make him feel better just took a dump on the TV screen and called it a sitcom.

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I am the one person in the world that loved Kate & Leopold. The idea of a person from one time long ago somehow finding his way to modern day is one that I enjoy watching. I also really like treasure hunt/mystery types of things like National Treasure. It appears as if Sleepy Hollow has both of these elements so it’s not hard to imagine that I’ll be making sure I catch this show.

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I’m almost afraid to say this too loud in fear that an executive will hear it and retaliate with cancellation but, I like it. A lot. Very interested in seeing how this one plays out.

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I really expected more out of Christopher Meloni. Not only that but is there really a market for shows based in the 90’s? I feel like the first time I heard Prince on an “oldies” station. At least The Goldbergs is the 80’s which you can recognize by the clothes and decor right away.

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This is pretty much my middle of the road show of the year. If it makes it, that’s great; if it doesn’t, meh no big deal. Although I did really enjoy the moment where he tells the room full of people eating lunch that people really do taste like chicken. An entire show of moments like that? Yea, I’ll watch.

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How on earth does an actor like Giovanni Ribisi end up in crap like this? Seth Green I can see because he’s an odd duck that we all love and adore the more for it but Ribisi? Just doesn’t seem right.

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Very intriguing. I’ve watched every episode of Gangland so I consider myself somewhat of an expert on gang relations and this show looks like it captures them quite well. Must remember to set the dvr for this one.

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These next words are not ones you will see very often: This looks like someone has done a good job at remaking a British show. If you haven’t seen Gavin & Stacey, find a way to remedy that because it is a great show. When I first saw that they were remaking it I cringed because let’s be honest with ourselves here, as a rule Hollywood sucks at remakes. Yes, I know there are obvious exceptions to that rule but it doesn’t change the rule. We suck. With any luck, it appears as if Us and Them does not. Finger crossed!

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It should come as no surprise that just from trailers, my favorite new show is Andy Samberg’s really talented ensemble comedy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Andre Braugher in a comedy? Can not wait. Terry Crews, Joe Lo Truglio, and Chelsea Perretti? Seriously, I can’t wait for this show. Seems almost cruel to throw out a trailer and then be like, oh yea but you won’t see any more of this for another five months, hahahaha sucks to be you!

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Out of all the networks, I think Fox actually has the strongest prospects out of Us and Them and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Now it’s just the awful waiting game to see if the powers that be let the shows find their audience or if they act like whiny brats and cancel at the first sign of trouble. Here’s hoping for the former.

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Outside of a few exceptions, obviously one of those being Arrow, there isn’t much on The CW that I watch mainly because I’m almost 35 years old and don’t spend a lot of time writing fanfic on my favorite OTP ship of Dean and Castiel. That being said, some of these shows don’t look all that bad if you don’t expect them to be more than the angst filled pretty people vehicles that they are.

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This was actually one of the pilots I was hoping would get picked up because the whole idea of aliens being integrated into a “suburban high school” was so odd that I just had to see it. Of course as soon as I say I don’t watch CW shows because I’m ancient compared to their intended audience… well Star Crossed star Matt Lanter (also the voice of Anakin Skywalker in The Clone Wars) just turned 30 so perhaps the CW is aging? Or not – he plays a high schooler. One way to prolong your Hollywood career I suppose.

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Mark Pelligrino – that’s all the reason you need to watch. Oh and Oliver Queen/Stephen Amell’s cousin, Robbie Amell, is the lead but really, Mark Pelligrino.

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Vampires. If you like vampires, I’m sure you’d like this. If you don’t, then don’t even bother.

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I imagine this is not at all what the people behind The 100 were going for but with this clip all I could think of was the YouTube video that made the internet rounds awhile back of the chimps who were used for testing purposes and then released outdoors for the first time after they were “retired”. I’d rather watch that video (through the tears because that shit is sad) on repeat than watch this show.

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You know? It doesn’t seem like it’s going to be that bad and like I said when looking at the pilot orders, it’s got Anthony Head and anything with Anthony Head is something I’m going to watch.

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Nothing really that surprising or out of the ordinary for The CW but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing as they have rabid fans and whenever you can successfully create fandoms, you just keep doing what you’re doing.

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So there you have it! A look at the new shows coming up this year. Some, like Brooklyn Nine-Nine have definite promise while others, Back in the Game, really should have just sat this one out, but overall, not a bad… nope, that’s a lie. For the most part, these are some crappy shows. A few bright spots but as a whole this is a bad year for new shows. Back to the drawing board network execs! There’s always next year.

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2013 Pilot Watch: NBC Comedy

If you keep up with TV news, this time of year is the ultimate mind-f#ck. Every day news comes out about yet another awesome sounding pilot that you just can’t help but get your hopes up over and then come to realize it’ll never get past the pilot stage. It’s a lot like getting a puppy, realizing it has parvo, and trying not to get attached in case it dies. Hmmm… I think I just won an award for worst analogy ever.

Awful, but that’s pretty much how it works out.  Because this is an ever changing world, we here at Grizzly Bomb decided to do everyone a great service and round up the best looking puppies, I mean pilots, so you can be on the lookout for them. This has been a banner year for pilot orders (around 100 so far, up from last year) so we are going to break it down by network. Might as well start off with the basement dwellers… NBC.

Continue reading 2013 Pilot Watch: NBC Comedy

2012 Emmy Nominations Are Out, Who Got Snubbed?

It is that time of the year again where dreams get crushed, and the elite throw a party for themselves to give the obligatory ‘pat on the back’. The 2012 Emmy Nominations are in, and it’s time to fight for the snubbed and decry the undeserving. I have the list down there courtesy of EW, but let’s talk about what I think were great nominations and of course, the snubs.

Continue reading 2012 Emmy Nominations Are Out, Who Got Snubbed?

Curb Your Enthusiasm: 8.10 – “Larry Vs. Michael J. Fox” Review

It’s the end of another Curb season and I have to say I am deeply fulfilled from the entirety. Between the chat and cuts, car periscopes, Palestinian chicken and Bill Buckner it was a pretty memorable run. I think since watching the previews of this week’s show though, I’ve been anticipating this episode with Michael J. Fox the most. Even more than the Ricky Gervais episode. This episode will beg the question: Is it pissed or Parkinson’s?

Larry has a run in of sorts with Michael J. Fox at the apartment place where they both stay, as his current girlfriend Jennifer plays the background piano music in the lounge. Larry becomes a little irritated that people aren’t paying much attention to her playing including Fox and Fox has the opinion that it’s “just” background music. As Fox departs Larry can’t tell if the Back to the Future star is giving him a disapproving shake of the head or if it’s due to his condition. Things get really heated and hilarious as Larry has a couple more incidents with his new neighbor and adopts the theory that Fox is just using Parkinson’s as a shield in order to be an asshole to him.

We also get introduced to Jennifer’s son Greg, who is a little effeminate or as Larry calls him “flamboyant”. The gift the gets the kid doesn’t sit well with his mother, nor does the product that he makes from it.

The ending to the episode was brilliant as Larry proves that social assassination is international and can be applied even in France. I give the episode a five out of five bears. It was a great episode all around and a good finale to a great season. Plus Michael J. Fox will always be the shiznite in my book! I can’t wait to hear if Larry David signs on for another season of the show, but I think he will because at this point it looks like he’s having way too much fun. I suppose we’ll have Bored to Death and Eastbound and Down to hold us over until then. Till next time Mr. David.

The Best of the Genre (By Decade): Top 25 80’s Comedies

This is to be the 2nd piece of a new series here at Grizzly Bomb. For each feature we will examine an individual genre and the quality of its films produced within a specific decade, like, for example – the 25 Best Action Movies of the 90s! These lists will be compiled from a point system determined by votes from each member of the staff. It’s very scientific. We use Excel. So here it is…

25. Throw Mama From the Train (1987)Comedies
24. The Great Outdoors (1988)
23. Sixteen Candles (1984)
22. A Christmas Story (1983)
21. Family Vacation (1983)
20. Big (1988)
19. Spaceballs (1987)
18. Trading Places (1983)
17. Coming to America (1988)
16. The Goonies (1985)
15. The Breakfast Club (1985)
14. Stripes (1981)
13. Three Amigos! (1986)
12. The Naked Gun (1988)
11. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

10. Caddyshack

Comedies

I expect that we’ll get at least one email complaining this wasn’t number 1 on the list, but such is the interweb. That being said though, Caddyshack’s inclusion was obviously a no brainer to be on this list. This is a movie that really helped kick off the whole decade, and produced some of the most oft-impersonated quotes in film history.  From Chevy Chase to Rodney Dangerfield to Ted Knight, this movie was a classic the minute it came out. It also features what is arguably Bill Murray’s most memorable role ever as he engages in guerrilla warfare with a gopher. Here we are over 30 years later and still, everyone remembers that gopher dancing to Kenny Loggins…

US Release: July 25, 1980
Director: 
Harold Ramis
Notable Cast: Chevy ChaseRodney DangerfieldTed KnightMichael O’Keefe,
Brian Doyle-Murray, and Bill Murray.
Oscar Wins/Nominations0/0
US Box Office: $39,846,344
Best Quote: “Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac… It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! ”
Trivia: The noise the Gopher makes are actually vocalized by a dolphin, and the dolphin sound effects used are the same ones that were used for Flipper.

9. Better Off Dead…

ComediesThis is probably the least watched movie on the list, and one of the big reasons for that was the fact it opened against Teen Wolf, and Michael J. Fox was unstoppable. So the first lead role for the then mostly unknown John Cusack bombed, and was for years relegated to late night showings on Comedy Central. That is where I first discovered it and it didn’t take long for me to get sucked in. The Howard Cosell races are my favorite parts, but Roy Stalin was as good an 80’s High School villain as you could ask for. Plus, find me another movie with this many attempted suicides, that turned out this funny. For the 80’s factor, they had a claymation hamburger come to live and sing Van Halen. Check and mate.

US Release: August 23, 1985
Director: Savage Steve Holland
Notable Cast: John Cusack, Curtis Armstrong, Diane FranklinKim Darby, Amanda WyssSteven Williams, and David Ogden Stiers.
Oscar Wins/Nominations0/0
US Box Office: $10,297,601
Best Quote: “Truly a sight to behold. A man beaten. The once great champ, now, a study in moppishness. No longer the victory hungry stallion we’ve raced so many times before, but a pathetic, washed up, aged ex-champion.”
Trivia: When Beth (Amanda Wyss) shows up at the high school dance, the person standing behind her is wearing Freddy Krueger’s sweater. Wyss played Krueger’s first victim in A Nightmare on Elm Street.

8. Planes, Trains & Automobiles 

ComediesOpening against strong box office competition in 3 Men and a Baby, this movie still managed to become a hit, pairing 2 of comedies biggest names at the time – Steve Martin and John Candy. This movie is a Holiday staple at my house – Best. Thanksgiving. Movie. Ever. Not only was it hilarious, but actually heart warming at the same time without being to cheesy. Martin is great as the straight man to Candy’s over the top, outwardly friendly shower curtain ring salesman who soaks his underwear in the sink. The pair seemed to gel so well on-screen that one can only assume had Candy not passed, they would’ve done another film together eventually. And no, before you ask, those are not pillows.

US Release: November 25, 1987
Director: John Hughes
Notable Cast: Steve MartinJohn CandyMichael McKeanMatthew LawrenceDylan BakerEdie McClurg and Kevin Bacon.
Oscar Wins/Nominations 0/0
US Box Office: $49,530,280
Best Quote: “You know everything is not an anecdote. You have to discriminate. You choose things that are funny or mildly amusing or interesting. You’re a miracle! Your stories have NONE of that. They’re not even amusing ACCIDENTALLY! ‘Honey, I’d like you to meet Del Griffith, he’s got some amusing anecdotes for you. Oh and here’s a gun so you can blow your brains out. You’ll thank me for it.’ I could tolerate any insurance seminar. For days I could sit there and listen to them go on and on with a big smile on my face. They’d say, ‘How can you stand it?’ I’d say, ‘Cause I’ve been with Del Griffith. I can take ANYTHING.’ You know what they’d say? They’d say, ‘I know what you mean. The shower curtain ring guy. Woah.’ It’s like going on a date with a Chatty Cathy doll. I expect you have a little string on your chest, you know, that I pull out and have to snap back. Except I wouldn’t pull it out and snap it back – you would. Agh! Agh! Agh! Agh! And by the way, you know, when you’re telling these little stories? Here’s a good idea – have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting for the listener! ”
Triva: At the beginning of the movie when Steve Martin races Kevin Bacon, is a direct reference to the scene in the movie Quicksilver in which the character played by Bacon is racing someone on a bicycle. Later, Neal phones his wife to tell her that he has been delayed (again), in the background, you can hear the fight from She’s Having a Baby (also directed by John Hughes) between Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern, when she screams that she doesn’t like his friend’s girlfriend.

7.  Christmas Vacation

I can’t think of a more ultimate Christmas movie (Shut Christmas Story fans.) than this Chevy Chase classic. Even aside from that I can still watch this movie any time of the year as a comedy too. The story follows Clark Griswold, a guy struggling to be the ultimate family man but usually failing throughout the movie until the end. This is the same Clark Griswold from the movies Vacation, European Vacation and if you have the stomach to remember it – Vegas Vacation.

Anyways Clark and his wife decide to have their parents over at their home for the holidays which both are dreading yet they feel obligated to do. Things really get interesting when Clark’s red neck, RV driving cousin Eddie and his rambunctious family show up at the Griswold house. Eddie was played to perfection in this film by Randy Quaid by the way. This movie embraces the Christmas spirit in a big way and also shows us why we hate having over extended family for the holidays too.

US Release: December 1, 1989
Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik
Notable Cast: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’AngeloJuliette LewisJohnny GaleckiE.G. MarshallDoris RobertsRandy QuaidWilliam HickeyJohn RandolphDiane Ladd, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Oscar Wins/Nominations: 0/0
US Box Office:  $71,319,526
Best Quote: Hey, if any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I’d like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here, tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people, and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head. And, I want to look him straight in the eye and tell him: what a cheap, lying, no good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, bloodsucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-assed, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?”

Triva: The Griswold’s neighbor’s house is the same house Murtaugh and his family lived in all the Lethal Weapon movies. The houses on this street are on the Warner Brothers Studios back lot. Also, this was the final screen appearance of Mae Questel, whose film career began in 1930 as the voice of Betty Boop.

6. The Blues Brothers

Comedies

With a musical cast that includes Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Cab Calloway, and some of the best musicians to play on those artists’ albums, The Blues Brothers was an homage to all that was Rhythm and Blues through-out the 50s and 60s. Of course, it had an odd way of getting there: two white boys (Jake and Elwood Blues) are getting their band back together in order to raise money for the orphanage in which they grew up. They are on a mission from God. Hard to argue with that.

Along the way, the boys reassemble their band (an all-star cast of great studio musicians and Saturday Night Live Band members), are shot at repeatedly by a “mystery woman” (Carrie Fisher), piss off a country band called “Good Ol’ Boys” – AND Illinois Nazis are the catalysts to a record-breaking car chase into and through downtown Chicago.

What makes this a great comedy is a combination of the delivery of lines, the innuendo, and the simple ridiculousness of the plot. The mixture of audacity, satire, and love of music makes this John Landis film one of the best of the 1980s.  If you want to hear more of what Dan Aykroyd had to say about the incarnation of the film to the Chicago Tribune for the 30th anniversary of the film, click here.

Woman: Are you the police?
Elwood: No Maam, we’re musicians.

US Release: June 20, 1980
Director: John Landis
Notable Cast: John BelushiDan AykroydJames BrownCab CallowayRay CharlesAretha Franklin, Henry Gibson, John Candy, TwiggyFrank OzChaka KhanPaul ReubensSteven Spielberg, Steven Williams, Joe WalshJames AveryMr. T, and Carrie Fisher.
Oscar Wins/Nominations: 0/0
US/Total Box Office: $57,229,890/$115,229,890
Best Quote: “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.”
Trivia: At time of release, this film held the world record for the number of cars crashed. Also, Carrie Fisher guest-hosted the SNL episode the Blues Brothers debuted in.

5. Airplane!

ComediesIn modern times where so much of our comedies rely on alcohol, drugs, and grotesque imagery to achieve notoriety, it’s refreshing to re-watch Airplane! This is another of our top ten 80s comedies to have a simply brilliant and accomplished cast, but the humor it uses is much more sophist—er—high minded—no, wait—downright silly.

The basic premise of Airplane! is that a commercial jet’s crew becomes ill mid-flight. Typically, this would end in disaster, and would then be included on Grizzly Bomb’s “Holy-Jeez-that-was-a-Depressing Movie of the 80s list”. Thank goodness that a hero-in-waiting is aboard: former military pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays)! While he has a drinking problem, and an emotionally unstable relationship with stewardess Elaine Dickinson (Julie Haggerty), he might have what it takes to land the doomed plane safely. That is, if he can deal with control tower supervisor Steve McCroskey (Lloyd Bridges), Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen), and Striker’s former commander, Rex Kramer (Robert Stack). Oh, and by the way, the plane is filled with eccentrics and goofs. Good luck Striker!

What makes this flick deserving of the venerable five-spot on this list is its ability to satirize many of the conventions of proper social behavior. One way this shows itself is through simple puns (“Surely you can’t be serious.” “I am serious…and don’t call me Shirley). Another is by breaking down social barriers:

Young Boy with Coffee: Excuse me, I happened to be passing, and I thought you might like some coffee.
Little Girl: Oh, that’s very nice of you, thank you.
[takes coffee]
Little Girl: Oh, won’t you sit down?
Young Boy with Coffee: Cream?
Little Girl: No, thank you, I take it black, like my men.

And finally, you can’t beat a good old ridiculous moment:

Controller: Bad news. The fog’s getting thicker.
Johnny: [jumps to an overweight controller] And Leon is getting laaaaarrrrrger!

Take some time to acquaint (or re-acquaint) yourself with this classic 80s comedy.

US Release: June 27, 1980
Director: Jim AbrahamsDavid Zucker, & Jerry Zucker
Notable Cast: Leslie NielsenLloyd BridgesRobert StackRobert HaysKareem Abdul-JabbarBarbara BillingsleyPeter GravesOttoJonathan Banks, and Jimmie Walker.
Oscar Wins/Nominations: 0/0
US Box Office: $83,453,539
Best Quote: “There’s no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you’ll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?”
Triva: Lloyd Bridges spoofs his role as an airport manager  in the TV series San Francisco International Airport. Also, Robert Stack appeared as an airline pilot whose nerve fails him during an in-flight disaster in The High and the Mighty. Peter Graves appeared in a similar “airplane disaster” TV movie, SST: Death Flight.

4. The ‘burbs

Comedies

Perhaps one of the most under-rated movies of all time, this is truly Tom Hanks at his peak. Ignore the Academy, all those Oscars he later won were simply makeup calls for blowing it here. The ‘burbs, for those not in the know is a heroing story about 3 neighbors who ban together in an attempt to battle the evil that’s invaded their neighborhood, like Batman protects Gotham City, and Daredevil watches over Hell’s Kitchen – Ray, Art, and Rumsfield – they own their block. Well either it’s about that or it’s just a bunch of paranoid suburbanites who harass the new family on the block. The movie also features Corey Feldman at his best – in a Batman T-Shirt and Princess Leia maybe a few years past her prime…

US Release: February 17, 1989
Director: Joe Dante
Notable Cast: Tom HanksBruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Rick DucommunCorey Feldman, Henry Gibson, Courtney GainsDick MillerRobert Picardo, and Nicky Katt.
Oscar Wins/Nominations: 0/0
US/Total Box Office: $36,601,993/$49,101,993
Best Quote: “I’ve never seen that. I’ve never seen anybody drive their garbage down to the street and bang the hell out of it with a stick. I-I’ve never seen that.”
Triva: The Klopeks named the dog “Landru”, probably after Henri Landru, a notorious French serial killer. Also, At the very beginning of the movie, when the camera starts to pan down the street, a street sign appears, “Mayfield Place.” Mayfield was the town where the Cleavers lived in Leave It to Beaver. The movie was filmed on the same lot.

3. Uncle Buck

ComediesWhen Bob’s family has a medical emergency he and his wife desperately call around for someone to watch their kids while they are away. When all options fail the duty is passed from them (reluctantly) to Bob’s brother…Buck.

Buck is a real stand up guy. He’s a bachelor (sorta) with a lovely apartment, loves to smoke fine cigars and place wagers on various horse races. Buck is unable to say no to his brother and soon finds himself as a caretaker to three children, one of whom is ever moody teenager who relishes in making his life hell. From making stove sized pancakes, threatening an elementary school principal and knocking out a drunken birthday clown this movie has it all. Thank you John Candy for bringing us Uncle Buck.

US Release: August 18, 1989
Director: John Hughes
Notable Cast: John Candy, Macaulay CulkinAmy MadiganGaby HoffmannLaurie MetcalfPatricia Arquette, and Anna Chlumsky.
Oscar Wins/Nominations: 0/0
US/Total Box Office: $66,758,538/$79,258,538
Best Quote: “Take this quarter, go downtown, and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face! Good day to you, madam.”
Triva: Danny DeVito was considered for the role of Uncle Buck.

Haha. Just kidding. That was terrible. Couldn’t get a decent copy of the real trailer, so instead here is my favorite part…

2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Comedies

Who didn’t want to be Ferris Bueller in the 80s? Little did we know he’d grow up to marry that horse from Footloose, but in his youth, he was as cool as they come. I mean come on, hot girlfriend, his best friend has Gordie Howe jersey, and he can hack into the school’s computer from a mid 80s home pc. That’s impressive for a guy who doesn’t even have a car. Ferris inspired those around him. Women wanted him, men wanted to be him. And around every turn he is able to outwit his nemesis Principal Pederast. Plus, he could talk to the camera years before Zack Morris found the ability. He was a trailblazer, Abe Froman would be so proud.

US Release: June 13, 1986
Directors: John Hughes
Notable Cast: Matthew BroderickAlan RuckMia SaraJeffrey JonesJennifer Grey, Edie McClurg, Charlie SheenBen Stein, Louie Anderson, and Kristy Swanson.
Oscar Wins/Nominations: 0/0
US/Total Box Office: $70,136,369
Best Quote: “Cameron has never been in love – at least, nobody’s ever been in love with him. If things don’t change for him, he’s gonna marry the first girl he lays, and she’s gonna treat him like shit, because she will have given him what he has built up in his mind as the end-all, be-all of human existence. She won’t respect him, ’cause you can’t respect somebody who kisses your ass. It just doesn’t work.”
Trvia: Anthony Michael HallEmilio EstevezRob LoweJohn CusackJim CarreyJohnny DeppTom CruiseRobert Downey Jr. and Michael J. Fox were all considered for the role of Ferris Bueller.

1. Ghostbusters

Comedies

So if you haven’t seen this great piece of Americana, be ashamed of yourself. There are no excuses.

Basic plot: Three doctors of psychology and parapsychology start their own business capturing ghosts around the New York City area. There has been a spike in paranormal activity, and the Ghost Busters are there to investigate. When they find that Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) has found herself in the center of all the activity, hell breaks loose…almost literally.

With a screenplay written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, two Second City alumni, you know that this film had no chance BUT to be funny. Add to that director Ivan Reitman (who had done Meatballs and Stripes just before), a stellar cast (with the incourageable Bill Murray), and special effects that can still hold up today: the result is the top of the proverbial 1980s comedy mountain.

This has to be one of the most quoted movies of all time, and its re-watch value is through the roof. Here’s your challenge: Try walking up to someone and saying, “He slimed me.” Ask them what it’s from. If they don’t know, educate them by giving them a copy of the movie. If they do know, you just made a friend. Go watch the movie together.

US Release: June 8, 1984
Director: Ivan Reitman
Notable Cast: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie HudsonSigourney WeaverHarold RamisRick MoranisAnnie PottsWilliam Atherton, and Reginald VelJohnson.
Oscar Wins/Nominations: 0/2 (Visual Effects, Original Song)
US/Total Box Office: $238,632,124/$291,632,124
Best Quote: “Yes it is. This man has no dick.”
Triva: The role of Winston was originally written for Eddie Murphy., the role of Peter Venkman was originally written for John Belushi, and the role of Louis Tully was originally written for John Candy.

So that is our list, I hope you enjoyed it.

Here are a few fun facts about the results…

MOST APPEARANCES IN THE TOP 25
1. John Candy (7 Movies)
2. Chevy Chase/Dan Aykroyd/Brian Doyle-Murray (4 Movies Each)
3. Bill Murray/Eddie Murphy/Michael Anthony Hall/Harold Ramis (3 Movies Each)

MOST FREQUENT DIRECTOR
1. John Hughes (Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Uncle Buck)
2. John Landis (Coming to America, ¡Three Amigos!, Trading Places, The Blues Brothers)
3. Harold Ramis/Ivan Reitman/David Zucker (2 Each)

MOST POPULAR YEAR
1. 1988 (4 Movies)
2. 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989 (3 Movies Each)
3. 1986 (2 Movies)
4. 1981 (1 Movie)
5. 1982 (0 Movies)

Now, just take a minute and vote in the poll below. Thanks dude!

Also check out our other Best of the Genre (By Decade)