At least, that’s what it feels like. I went through my teens in the 80s when the comedies were for many at their peak, what with SNL alum from the 70s finding a lot of great projects out there, all sorts of cross-genre projects that caught fire, and so forth. But if you go back and rewatch a lot of those, well, they do not hold up well in a lot of ways for a whole host of reasons. They are very much products of their time and while that doesn’t excuse anything it can certainly make you re-evaluate them and call into question things you found amusing. But that’s not limited to just then because it’s part and parcel of comedy, to push boundaries, make you feel uncomfortable, and to think. And that’s done throughout many other films, which is why I can still enjoy the American Pie films or a lot of Judd Apatow films but understand why they’re not great.
It does make it hard to go back and try and introduce them to one’s kids because you have such great nostalgia from so many, replaying those VHS tapes for years and years. Luckily, Airplane has held up well and still makes me laugh as does Hot Shots.
But the one that I’ll slide in here so that it forces people to choose something else is Blazing Saddles. Pick another Mel Brooks film, y’all!