Bill Hader's List of the 200 Comedies You Need to Watch

Bill Hader's List of the 200 Comedies You Need to Watch

Sep 01, 2014

If you regularly watch TCM, you already know that Bill Hader is a total cinephile, and he wants to share his love for movies with the world, particularly the younger set. That's why he's been host of Essentials, Jr. on Turner Classic Movies for the past few years, introducing relatively kid-friendly classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, the original Godzilla, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton shorts, and Shane, which he programmed this past weekend.

Not enough? Well, aside from putting movie lovers in stitches with his classic-film-star impressions -- including those of Vincent Price, John Barrymore, James Mason, Peter O'Toole and many more seen during his run on Saturday Night Live (he's even mimicked fellow TCM host Ben Mankiewicz) -- he now has a whopping list of 200 movies he recommends as necessary viewing for all comedy writers. Ranging from as early as Keaton's 1923 silent film Our Hospitality to Four Lions and Toy Story 3 in 2010, the selections cover the entire history of feature-length comedy. 

Plus a few noncomedies (i.e. Eyes Wide Shut; L'Atalante; Salesman), but apparently he finds them all funny and "it's a personal list," as he notes in his intro found in the book Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers by Mike Sacks. None of it is too obscure, either, as he says he tried to limit himself to stuff readily available, especially via Netflix as much as possible. I'm having trouble finding favorites that aren't in this bunch -- save for maybe Superbad, since he seems to have avoided stuff he's in -- and you will too. If you think he overlooked anything, let us know.

  1. 9 to 5 (1980)
  2. 1941 (1979)
  3. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
  4. Ace in the Hole (1951)
  5. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)
  6. After Hours (1985)
  7. Airplane! (1980)
  8. Amarcord (1973)
  9. American Graffiti (1973)
  10. An American in Paris (1951)
  11. Animal Crackers (1930)
  12. Annie Hall (1977)
  13. The Apartment (1960)
  14. Army of Darkness (1992)
  15. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
  16. Back to the Future (1985)
  17. The Bad News Bears (1976)
  18. Bananas (1971)
  19. The Band Wagon (1953)
  20. The Bank Dick (1940)
  21. Barton Fink (1991)
  22. Beetlejuice (1988)
  23. Being There (1979)
  24. Best in Show (2000)
  25. Better Off Dead (1985)
  26. Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958)
  27. The Big Lebowski (1998)
  28. The Birdcage (1996)
  29. Blazing Saddles (1974)
  30. The Blues Brothers (1980)
  31. Boogie Nights (1997)
  32. Born Yesterday (1950)
  33. Bottle Rocket (1996)
  34. Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932)
  35. Brazil (1985)
  36. Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
  37. Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
  38. The ‘Burbs (1989)
  39. Cabin in the Sky (1943)
  40. Caddyshack (1980)
  41. Catch-22 (1970)
  42. The Circus (1928)
  43. City Lights (1931)
  44. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  45. Closely Watched Trains (1966)
  46. The Cocoanuts (1929)
  47. Coming to America (1988)
  48. The Court Jester (1956)
  49. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
  50. Dames (1934)
  51. A Day at the Races (1937)
  52. Dazed and Confused (1993)
  53. Design for Living (1933)
  54. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
  55. Down by Law (1986)
  56. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
  57. Drag Me to Hell (2009)
  58. Duck Soup (1933)
  59. Ed Wood (1994)
  60. Election (1999)
  61. The Evil Dead (1981)
  62. Evil Dead 2 (1987)
  63. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
  64. Fargo (1996)
  65. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
  66. The Firemen’s Ball (1967)
  67. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
  68. The Foot Fist Way (2006)
  69. The Fortune (1975)
  70. Four Lions (2010)
  71. Gates of Heaven (1978)
  72. The General (1926)
  73. Get Shorty (1995)
  74. Ghostbusters (1984)
  75. The Gold Rush (1925)
  76. Good Morning (1959)
  77. The Goonies (1985)
  78. The Graduate (1967)
  79. Grand Illusion (1937)
  80. The Great Race (1965)
  81. The Groove Tube (1974)
  82. Groundhog Day (1993)
  83. Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)
  84. Heaven Can Wait (1943)
  85. His Girl Friday (1940)
  86. Horse Feathers (1932)
  87. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
  88. I Vitelloni (1953)
  89. I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978)
  90. I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988)
  91. The Incredibles (2004)
  92. It Happened One Night (1934)
  93. It’s a Gift (1934)
  94. It’s Always Fair Weather (1955)
  95. The Jerk (1979)
  96. Jules and Jim (1962)
  97. The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)
  98. The King of Comedy (1983)
  99. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
  100. L’Atalante (1934)
  101. The Ladykillers (1955)
  102. The Last Detail (1973)
  103. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
  104. Let It Ride (1989)
  105. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
  106. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
  107. Little Murders (1971)
  108. Lolita (1962)
  109. The Long Goodbye (1973)
  110. Lost in America (1985)
  111. Love and Death (1975)
  112. Loves of a Blonde (1965)
  113. M*A*S*H (1970)
  114. The Man in the White Suit (1951)
  115. The Man with Two Brains (1983)
  116. A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
  117. The Merry Widow (1934)
  118. Midnight Run (1988)
  119. The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944)
  120. Modern Romance (1981)
  121. Mon Oncle (1958)
  122. Monkey Business (1931)
  123. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
  124. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
  125. Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)
  126. Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (1953)
  127. Mr. Mom (1983)
  128. Mystery Train (1989)
  129. The Naked Gun (1988)
  130. Nashville (1975)
  131. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
  132. Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941)
  133. A Night at the Opera (1935)
  134. Noises Off (1992)
  135. One, Two, Three (1961)
  136. Orgazmo (1997)
  137. Our Hospitality (1923)
  138. Out of Sight (1998)
  139. The Palm Beach Story (1942)
  140. Parenthood (1989)
  141. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
  142. Play Time (1967)
  143. The Player (1992)
  144. The Princess Bride (1987)
  145. The Producers (1968)
  146. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
  147. Radio Days (1987)
  148. Raising Arizona (1987)
  149. Real Life (1979)
  150. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
  151. Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)
  152. Rushmore (1998)
  153. Safe Men (1998)
  154. Salesman (1968)
  155. Schizopolis (1996)
  156. A Serious Man (2009)
  157. Shaolin Soccer (2001)
  158. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
  159. Sherlock Jr. (1924)
  160. Shoot the Pianist (1960)
  161. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
  162. Short Cuts (1993)
  163. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
  164. Sixteen Candles (1984)
  165. Songs from the Second Floor (2000)
  166. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
  167. The Squid and the Whale (2005)
  168. Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
  169. Stripes (1981)
  170. Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
  171. Take the Money and Run (1969)
  172. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
  173. Team America: World Police (2004)
  174. This is Spinal Tap (1984)
  175. Three Amigos! (1986)
  176. Time Bandits (1981)
  177. To Be or Not to Be (1942)
  178. Toy Story (1995)
  179. Toy Story 2 (1999)
  180. Toy Story 3 (2010)
  181. Trading Places (1983)
  182. Trouble in Paradise (1932)
  183. Twentieth Century (1934)
  184. Unfaithfully Yours (1948)
  185. Up (2009)
  186. Used Cars (1980)
  187. Vernon, Florida (1981)
  188. Waiting for Guffman (1996)
  189. A Wedding (1978)
  190. Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
  191. What’s Up, Doc? (1972)
  192. What’s Up Tiger Lily? (1966)
  193. The White Sheik (1952)
  194. Withnail and I (1987)
  195. You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man (1939)
  196. You Can’t Take It with You (1938)
  197. You the Living (2007)
  198. Young Frankenstein (1974)
  199. Zelig (1983)
  200. Zero for Conduct (1933)   

 

[via XOJane]

 

 

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