Keep Them Doggies Rollin’ With Comedy from the 70s, 80s and 90s

Keep Them Doggies Rollin With Comedy from the 70s, 80s and 90s

Marissa Glover

With a surplus of unnecessary “Rom-Coms” and downright awful comedy movies afoot in the world of film/cinema, it’s well past time to dive into the archives of 20th century comedy and take a look at the lates and greats of the comedy genre. While changing times have brought us new innovations in the genre such as the hit TV series “The Office” starring Steve Carrell, and “30 Rock” starring Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, the 70s, 80s, and 90s remain unsurpassed in authentic and quality comedic relief. After all, it was during these decades that actors such as John Candy, Chris Farley, John Belushi, and Dan Akroyd brought to life the masterpieces created by writers such as John Hughes, Dan Goldberg, and Harold Ramis–and it is because of their work that we now have movies such as “Tommy Boy” and “Uncle Buck” to give us a glimpse of the dignity and the quality that entertainment once retained.

“They’re not gonna catch us. We’re on a mission from God.” Written and directed by John Landis and Dan Akroyd, 1980’s “The Blues Brothers” starred Dan Akroyd and John Belushi as brothers Jake and Elwood Blues as they reunite their old band in order to raise $5000 to save their childhood Catholic boarding school, all the while trying–and failing– to stay away from trouble with the law. The film follows the brothers on a roller-coaster as they venture far and wide, meeting characters such as Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles, and providing audiences with laughter to last long after the movie reaches it’s hysterical conclusion. Complete with legendary ballads including “Theme From Rawhide,” “She Caught The Katy,” and many others, the soundtrack, casting, and script for “The Blues Brothers” are exemplars that writers, actors, and musicians of today could certainly take a few pointers from.

Despite their ridiculous nature and seemingly mindless and crude jokes, these movies are genuine masterpieces of film. From the absurd “Star Wars” parody “Spaceballs,” to the impossible adventures of Steve Martin and John Candy in 1987’s “Planes, Trains, And Automobiles,” writers such as Mel Brooks, John Hughes, and John Landis wrote scripts which were both witty and interesting, while meeting all of the necessary guidelines included in a quality script. 1989’s “Uncle Buck” starred the late John Candy as the slightly misguided but good-hearted uncle who is called in to watch his brother’s three rambunctious children. From bowling alleys and cigars to heroic scenes in the principal’s office, Uncle Buck grows closer and closer to his nieces and nephews, and in the end emerges a better man; oddly enough, his good intent, despite his somewhat crude and rough demeanor, his influence on the children in the end proves to be beneficial, as his brother’s eldest daughter comes to realize what is truly important and ditches her sleazy boyfriend Bug. Similiarly, movies such as “Tommy Boy” and “Black Sheep” feature sloppy but good-intentioned goof-balls who may at times seem a hindrance but in the end pull through with some great jokes and valuable lessons.

While the comedy genre today certainly still retains some resemblance of humor and a few gems of good-natured wit, such as “Due Date,” starring Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifanakis, the genre is not what it once was; “Due Date,” though a wonderfully hysterical movie, was a spinoff of 1987’s “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” with a few minutely different plot twists and scenes. Although good, intelligent humor is slowly dwindling in the world of comedy films, at least we can look back into the past and appreciate and respect what it once was; at least we can keep them doggies rollin’ with the comedy.