Evan Saathoff of IFC has a point that the 70s were remembered for other things than the comedies that came about throughout the decade, but all the same the funniest movies from the 70s still carry a lot of weight today. It’s fair to say that there are a lot of them that wouldn’t be able to appear on screen today as Stars points out, but this is only because the PC culture that came about after the 70s has kind of ruined the thick-skinned humor that we once found so endearing and altogether hilarious. Despite that however, some films still hold up for various reasons that even the most over-sensitive individuals can’t understand, and it’s likely because those of us that grew up watching them understand what satire is all about. It’s not about marginalizing anyone or singling people out, it’s about taking those negative aspects of life and satirizing them in a way that shows that they really only have as much power as you give them over your life. Folks on Reddit have come this conclusion in their own ways and have agreed that while suffering is not something we want to glorify in real life, it’s one of the fundamental ways that comedy is able to create that seemingly inexcusable need to laugh.
Here are some of the comedies from the 70s that are still able to hold up despite what people think.
5. The Jerk
The Jerk is probably one of the more innocent movies on this list since despite the fact that Steve Martin is playing the part of a ‘young black man’ he’s still hilarious since his character stumbles his way through life without having a clue about what he’s supposed to do. His whole quest is essentially a way for him to find himself and become the person he needs to be. In the meantime the people around him are wondering just what in the hell he’s doing and how to react to him since they’ve never met anyone quite this dim. It’s a spectacle of a movie that ended up making Steve Martin even more well-known than before.
4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Some styles of comedy are said to be kind of dry and hard to understand, but Monty Python has been a classic for so long that if you can’t see the humor in it then you might not be watching it with an open mind. Or it could be that you’re used to the humor of the modern era and never quite got the chance to get used to the material from the 70s that was, and is, still a laugh riot. But quite honestly a few of these, if not all of them in a sense, are the type of movies that some folks these days would pick apart simply because they use the wrong words, the wrong gestures, or somehow show a group of people in a poor light that others don’t appreciate. It’s humor, it’s supposed to be funny, which some folks don’t seem to get.
3. Blazing Saddles
Mel Brooks was likely one of the only people that could get away with a film like this since throughout the entirety of it there’s nothing but racism and thematic elements that are considered to be just flat out wrong by today’s standards. Of course you wouldn’t go around talking the way that some of the folks in this movie did back then and you certainly wouldn’t take the same views, but seeing it cast in this light is nothing but hilarious since it does make fun of a great number of stereotypes. In fact it’s kind of funny since it’s true that if anyone ever bothers to criticize Mel Brooks’ style of comedy there are at least a dozen people or more that will defend his comedies with their very next breath.
2. The Bad News Bears
You want to know why movies from the 70s were so great? Because like all movies they showed that they were a sign of the times and of how things changed no matter how much people tried to avoid it. Those in these movies that carried the most outdated and racial views were often seen as those that weren’t taken seriously or got their comeuppance at the end or at some point in the movie. The 70s was a decade that served as a transition period from the 60s to the 80s and still had a mix of what was to come and what had already been seen, so it was a perfect mix of old-style thinking mixed in with the new.
1. Animal House
This one was just a great deal of fun since it showed the college lifestyle in a way that’s not so outlandish that it couldn’t be true, but also in a way that was so bizarre and over the top that it couldn’t be anything other than a comedy. People can argue as much as they want, but this is THE college movie to watch no matter that it’s decades older than anything else and does carry some very heavy thematic elements that might seem a bit troubling to some folks. It’s still a classic, no matter what anyone says.
Sometimes the old comedies still trump the new ones.