Editor’s note: Brien is a well-traveled Houstonian and Army Combat Veteran with an extremely wide range of talents and interests including the NFL (Packers), Irish History, and writing. Follow him on twitter @ODonalsVanguard
By BRIEN O’DONAL
I think back to yesterday’s conversation on The Blitz with Fred and A.J. about great 80’s comedies. I looked at my collection of nearly 500 DVD’s and started looking at the multitude of titles from that era I have on the shelves. My youth is in those movies and I’ve watched them over and over never ceasing to laugh at some of the great humor that I may not have understood as a child but surely do now. I’ve often considered the 80’s to be one of the great eras for comedic movies simply because of the transition of media that occurred and changing attitudes of family friendly comedies.
Consider how many great comedians were huge stars back then. It seems like there were too many to even count. John Candy, Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, Dan Akroyd, Richard Pryor, Bill Murray and the list goes on. Many of these comedians began their careers on “Saturday Night Live,” which had only started in the latter part of the 70’s. That late night show was able to be edgy when TV wasn’t and the transition to 80’s comedy was born. These movies still hold up well because the humor is more adult than I thought when I was young. I used to think that comedians like John Candy and Chevy Chase were wholesome in movies like “Uncle Buck” and “Vacation.” As an adult I realize that Buck Russell was a chain smoking degenerate gambler and Clark Griswold was a pervert. This humor wasn’t lost on adults, but the ability of studios to package these films as an uncle coming back into the family and a good old fashioned vacation made kids like me want to watch them a hundred times over.
Now I’m ready to talk about some of my favorites. There will always be a debate about which of these movies are the best but I know that I used to watch “Spies Like Us” and “Stripes” every chance I could. I’ll never forget watching “The Golden Child” and telling my friends “I. I. I want the knife. Please!” I daydreamed about a long lost relative giving me 30 million dollars to spend in 30 days and believing I could do it like Montgomery Brewster did. It’s these memories that make me collect DVD’s of all the classic 80’s comedies and anticipate the time when my wife sleeps in or is off running errands without me so that I can watch what she likes to ignore.
But I digress. Yesterday’s conversation had me thinking about my top 10 favorite movies from that decade and while Fred and A.J. and the audience probably listed every movie made in that time I figured I would open it up to the Houston Sports and Stuff community to debate. Let me know what your list is in the comments section.
Brien’s Top 10 80’s Movies:
- Spies Like Us
- Who’s Harry Crumb?
- Fletch/ Fletch Lives
- Coming to America
- Trading Places
- Major League