90s comedies had a lot of edge to them but thankfully had enough substance to back it up and cushion the blow a lot of times. Of course what that substance was made of is something that a few people might have questioned since the 90s was also a decade in which gross-outs were popular and carried a lot of weight when it came to comedy. Physical and toilet humor were a big thing but honestly some movies still got by without it as they went down a path that seemed to mirror what people were feeling and thinking in their everyday lives. In some cases comedy in this decade was very raw and on point when it came to describing the average person and their interactions within society. On the other hand, it went all out and became as ridiculous as it could possibly get in order to get the laughs that were desired.
Here are some of the all-time best comedies from the 90s.
5. There’s Something About Mary
This movie thrived on physical and gross-out humor without any doubt. From start to finish it became a movie that was able to make people cringe and try to cover their eyes just so certain images weren’t burned into their memory for years to come. Of course that wasn’t entirely possible with some images since some of us likely remember the zipper incident and the moment that Magda was peeped upon in all her lack of glory. But despite how cringe-worthy the movie got in certain areas it was still one of the favorite movies of the year simply because it was so insanely funny.
Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter actually alluded to this being a toned down Boyz N the Hood, which might make a little bit of sense considering that it was at this point that Ice Cube was starting to become more of a people person in terms of his movies and less into the whole hardass routine. But Friday was pure comic genius since it took something that a lot of folks either don’t want to talk about or won’t stop talking about and made it a kind of ‘day in the life’ movie that showed something that’s probably not entirely realistic but at the same time felt like it could happen on any given day if the right circumstances arose.
3. Tommy Boy
For a while the comic duo of Farley and Spade was untouchable since even their B movies were awesome, as Black Sheep proved. This movie is exceedingly simple and doesn’t really challenge anyone when it comes to the plot and the overall development between Tommy and his new responsibilities as the company president once his father dies, but it does show a lot of heart and feeling and, of course, a great deal of physical comedy. On thing a lot of Farley fans came to realize during his career was that he modeled himself after John Belushi, who was also a very physical actor at times.
2. Dumb and Dumber
It’s interesting to note that, as Sean Hutchinson from Mental Floss has pointed out, that the studio that ended up making this movie didn’t want to have anything to do with it in the first place. Well, to be more exact, the CEO of the studio didn’t want anything to do with it. The only reason it ended up being made is because they managed to get the right actors for the job, otherwise it sounds like it would have been a no-go. But one can only hope that there aren’t that many people out there as dim as Harry and Lloyd, though the reality is that there may very well be a few and we just don’t know it.
1. Office Space
As Susan King of Variety states this movie was indeed a box office flop but once it came to DVD it became a cult classic that people immediately latched onto. Not only did it show the life of an office worker, from a different perspective to be certain, but it also highlighted the life of restaurant server in some ways as well. Both are pretty thankless jobs at times and can be grueling to endure, but the thought of taking back one’s freedom and sticking it to their former employers is a dream that many people harbor even if they don’t want to admit it. In essence this was a movie that allowed a lot of people to laugh at their own plight.
The 90s was an awesome decade for comedy since the idea of ‘anything goes’ was still very much alive and the PC culture we live with today, despite being present back then, wasn’t quite as strong. Comedies are still funny today, but there’s a marked difference between then and now.