The 24-Hour Terrible Comedies Marathon
The reviews have come trickling in, and people aren't really connecting with Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways To Die In The West. In fact, it just might be one of the worst film comedies ever made. Which means something special: it's not enough to be so unfunny that you make such a hypothetical list. You must also have a uniquely bad movie, a movie that's terrible in new and unusual ways. MacFarlane's latest, a goofy anachronistic western, certainly fits that criteria.
So we figured we'd sit down and compile some of the worst comedies ever made in order to see them all in an unforgettable 24 Hour Bad Comedies Marathon. This list will surely push your standards and test your limits, and it should come in neatly as a noon-to-noon full programming with no breaks. Are you ready for something awful? Feel free to remind us of any bad movies we may have missed.
Master Of Disguise
Sadly, a failed heart bypass surgery kept Dana Carvey out of the limelight in the prime years of his career. Only when he was healthy did he return to films, getting an assist from producer Adam Sandler for this paper-thin premise. Carvey stars as Pistachio Disguisey, the youngest in a long line of impersonators skilled enough to save the world. Master Of Disguise is very much a movie made for children, though it contains impersonations of people and characters like Scarface, Quint from Jaws and Bo Derek. Best to start mercifully, since this thing runs a measly 79 minutes even with endless credit outtakes.
Nothing But Trouble
Now's when we get to the truly punishing stuff. This extremely unpleasant oddity from writer-director-star Dan Aykroyd finds the comedian as a repulsive old man who takes a group of hostages and forces them to experience a series of unpleasant ordeals as his dinner guests. The attempt is to create a darkly comic live-action cartoon, but the results are a film tethered not to any sort of reality, but more like really terrible free-form jazz. See it once, and have your mind blown.
The Wayans Brothers brand dropped precipitously since I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, and the results were this desperate, dreadfully unfunny makeup stunt stretched to feature length. When two detectives (Shawn and Marlon Wayans) stumble upon the case of their careers, they soon realize they have to get in touch with their feminine sides by donning elaborate costumes to become the scariest-looking white girls on the planet. If you ever wanted to see a female version of Skeletor, White Chicks is the movie for you.
An American Carol
It should be a quarter to five by now. Get your political outrage out of the way with this dreadfully unfunny conservative spoof that takes a Michael Moore-type agit-prop filmmaker on a Christmas Carol-flavored journey in order to learn how to respect, and never question America. Surely the height of hilarity is a scene where George Washington stands over the rubble of 9/11 and lectures about Judgment Day.
There's something a bit transgressive about fulfilling nearly every stereotype imaginable. But what happens if the resulting movie is excessively loud, obnoxious, poorly made and almost Dadaist in its lunkheaded simplicity? You get this "urban comedy" about a man (Kevin Hart) who starts up his own airline powered by embarrassing black archetypes.
Nearly primetime, so nerds... it's time to look your new Batman in the eye and don't once blink. Martin Brest's romantic comedy finds Ben Affleck as the dimwitted gangster who must kidnap and then execute a mentally disabled boy. Except he gets cold feet, so another killer, a lesbian played by Jennifer Lopez, arrives to give him the added motivation. Somehow, love blooms. A movie with absolutely no relationship with how people actually behave, Gigli features a Christopher Walken scene so bizarre, it's worth catching the film on cable just for the moment Walken describes a delicious bowl of ice cream.
It's close to a quarter to ten, and now we get to watch another legendary comedian degrade himself. Eddie Murphy pushes his multiple-characters schtick to the breaking point with this broad joke-fest about a meek young man and the cartoonishly monstrous wife that tortures him. Naturally, both are played by Murphy, and while Norbit himself is something of a sweet, understated comic creation with nothing to do, his Rasputia is a borderline demonic mockery of black women.
I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell
At around 11:30, this Tucker Max adaptation should be hitting your screen. The failure of this comedy, about one wild and rapey night amongst a group of men at a strip club, isn't in its immortality. The failure is in the milquetoast nature of the film's style, as the flaccid staging and poor vanilla performances (including Matt Czuchry as a surprisingly dull Max) completely torpedo what's supposed to be an epic ode to bad behavior. Worth it to watch a film try and fail to be the world's most offensive movie.
The worst in the pretty dire filmography of walking cancer Larry The Cable Guy, this military comedy pivots on the spectacularly wrongheaded premise that a group of under-equipped soldiers would accidentally parachute into Mexico and think it's actually Iraq. Read that back again. Stew on it. Really consider what's going on here.
Leonard Part Six
It's a quarter to 3 AM, and you're not sure if you're awake or not. Allow Bill Cosby to make you think that yes, you're dreaming. This ersatz spy spoof finds Cosby as a former spy called out of retirement to fight an evil vegetarian by, in the action-packed climax, throwing magical meat at him and his henchmen. Though ostensibly a spy spoof, its really hard to tell what's being played straight in this film. I can't underplay this: this is seriously a strange movie, guys.
It was hard to select just one movie from the Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg oeuvre. Date Movie showed that these guys could pull off a movie consisting entirely of sub-YouTube movie parodies and gags. But it was Epic Movie where they discovered that they could do it annually, diminishing returns be damned. Look at the talent wasted in this film: Kal Penn, Jayma Mays, Jennifer Coolidge, Crispin Glover, Darrell Hammond, Jim Piddock, Kevin Hart, Fred Willard, David Carradine, Katt Williams and Kevin McDonald. You could actually make a really funny movie with that cast!
Grown Ups 2
Unusual that Adam Sandler got so much flack last week for setting his films in vacation spots to get more rest. After all, he did just make this sequel, which contemptuously spends about 50% of its time following some of the more popular comedians of their generation lazily walking around a supermarket. Sandler's lowbrow comedies are all terrible, but this film, with its unashamed product placement and grotesque misuse of female stars Maya Rudolph, Maria Bello and Salma Hayek, is something of a nadir.
The sun is up for one of the strangest movies in this entire lineup. An anthology film that feels like a peek into the nightmares of a crazy person, the narrative involves the vignettes bouncing around in certified crazy person Dennis Quaid's head. Amusingly, this fever dream eventually ditches its framing device in the end, giving way to all-out lunacy. None of the shorts are connected, all are pretty terrible, and none are made with the wit and mischief you'd expect from the industry's "top" comedy filmmakers.
An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn
Ah, that precious rarity: the comedy made for approximately zero people in the audience. This inside-baseball Hollywood comedy concerns a director so upset with his finished film that he wants to take his name off the movie. Back then, when a director wanted to avoid responsibility, they would just slap the name "Alan Smithee" on the film. The joke is that this filmmaker's actual name is Alan Smithee. Har, har – it's even less funny considering that the Smithee name has since been retired, and when a director takes his name off a picture, everyone hears about it. In real life, of course, veteran director Arthur Hiller was so displeased with the final result that he too requested his name be taken off the film, to be replaced by... you guessed it, Frank Stallone. No, actually Alan Smithee, duh.
The Love Guru
There's one common trait in most movie failures, and that's hubris. What else would lead Mike Myers to believe he had a breakout comic creation with Pitka, a mumbling Indian caricature who preaches New Age guidance and leadership? If there's anything funny about New Age philosophies, it can't be found in Myers' shtick-based sketch character. Extra credit goes to Justin Timberlake, in a truly terrible performance as a hockey-laying nemesis sporting a pretty dire French-Canadian accent.
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