About this column:

(A few years ago, a comedian friend of mine told me that she wanted to see a Top 100 Comedy List from me.  Well, I LOVE making lists, even though it’s extremely hard.  I’ve always been obsessed with lists throughout my life, studying them and trying to watch everything on every list I could find.  While I have never thought lists were definitive, as every one is subjective, however I think they are great reference points and do a great job informing people about films they might not have known about, or maybe even get people to revisit a movie they love, or better yet, give a film a second chance because of someone else’s praise. 

Anyways, back to me creating a Top 100 Comedy list:  At the time, I decided not to work on the list until I see more films so it would be more complete.  Well, life is a little too short for that.  There are still several movies I need to see.  Classic comedies that I probably should see before I make this list (THE THIN MAN comes to mind), but I have decided to make a list anyway.  Because I want to.

Now, a little about this list:  These are films that I think are the funniest.  They have made me laugh more than any other.  Now, some of these films may not be the best movies ever made, but they have certainly made me laugh the most.  Also, some films that have made the AFI Funniest Film List won’t make mine because I don’t consider than straight up comedies.  Films like THE APARTMENT, FARGO, BACK TO THE FUTURE, TOOTSIE, etc.  While I love every one of those movies, and would certainly be contenders for my All-Time favorites films, I have seen films that made me laugh harder.  Does that make sense?

And finally, the big question:  How the heck am I going to rank these films?  Well, I don’t think I really can.  With the exception of one movie in particular, I don’t think I could rank these in any kind of order.  Most of these movies require me to be in a certain mood in order to watch them.  So I could like one film better than another on one day, but then the next day I could totally change my mind.  So I’m not going to do that.  Then I thought maybe I should just do them alphabetically, but that would eliminate the element of surprise.  Well, maybe I should do them chronologically, but that could get a little dull.  Ultimately, I decided to just do the list in a random order, pretty much like picking movies from a hat (I’m actually going to use the Random Number Generator). 

I would like to reveal my list one film at a time.  Ideally, I would love to reveal a film every day for the next 100 days, but with all of my “real life” stuff going on, that will probably be impossible.  I will promise this:  I will have my list done by the end of the year, and I will do my best to try to get one done every day. 

The selection of this list was very difficult.  I originally had over 300 movies.  I had to narrow that down to 100, so there are still several great comedies out there that didn’t make this list. 

One more thing: There is one movie that stands out as the funniest film I’ve ever seen, so I will reveal that one last. 

So, without further ado….. I present to you:



96. BEACH BLANKET BINGO (1965) – Directed by William Asher;  Starring Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Harvey Lembeck, Jody McCrea, Linda Evans, Don Rickles, Paul Lynde, Timothy Carey and Buster Keaton.

My dad was a big fan of the “Beach Movies”, so I got to see all of these growing up.  They’re all kind of cheesy fun, but most of them are interchangeable…… with the exception of BEACH BLANKET BINGO.  Not only is this the best of the series, it’s also one of my favorite musicals and comedies.

Okay, so this movie is dumb, dumb, dumb!  It’s even ridiculous, like most of the series is.  There’s not much of a plot.  Just the usual juvenile hijinks.  But what separates this from the rest of the series is its high energy, and infectiously fun vibe throughout the picture.  This movie is a blast!

It starts off with a bizarre pre-title sequence full of awkward freeze-frames, then BOOM!  We go right into the dynamite opening number, “Beach Blanket Bingo”!  What does it mean?  Who cares?!?  If you have to ask that question, well then this movie isn’t for you.  While most of the films on my list have mass appeal, I must admit that most people who view this movie will just write it off as embarrassingly campy.  And I can see that.  But every once in a while, a movie just strikes your funny bone for reasons you really can’t explain.  BEACH BLANET BINGO is definitely one of those kinds of movies for me.

This movie is all over the place!  There’s surfing, skydiving, , love triangles, mermaids, double entendres, motorcycle gangs, a giant car chase, and musical numbers for absolutely no reason.  It’s just nuts!  And the big finale with the Beach kids saving a bikini clad bombshell from being sawed in half…. well, there you have it!

But what makes it so funny for me?  Pretty much for all the reasons I stated above.  I always laugh through the whole thing at just how crazy-silly it all is.  Frankie and Annette make a great cheesy couple.  Harvey Lembeck is in top comic form as the goofy, dimwitted leader of the biker gang trying to ruin the kids’ fun.  I love Paul Lynde’s smug publicist.  Don Rickles gets to perform his standard “cutting-people-down” routine.  Then there’s an aging Buster Keaton chasing around a busty Swedish girl.  And finally, Timothy Carey as South Dakota Slim makes me laugh so hard until I hurt.  Just the way he talks, calling everyone “Boobie”.  Gold, I tell you!  Comedy gold!

The songs are so cheesy that they make me laugh every time!  The jokes are so obvious, that you have to just smack yourself clear in the face (as you’re laughing, of course).  This is probably the funniest, dumb movie I’ve ever seen.  Sure, the other Beach movies are amusing, but this one is downright hilarious!  And most importantly, it’s a very cheerful movie.  How anyone can be in a bad mood after they watch this would be beyond me.  A great cult classic!


Number 100

Number 99

Number 98

Number 97


Categories: Austin Kennedy, Special Reports and Rants, THE TOP 100 FUNNIEST MOVIES THAT AUSTIN KENNEDY HAS EVER SEEN

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