The 1980s produced some of the best comedy movies ever made — iconic films that have withstood the test of time and that fans still love to watch over and over again. And, in case you forgot how great the laughs were back then, here are 10 of the greatest comedy movies from the 1980s that will still have you rolling in the aisles.
The Blues Brothers (1980)
The Blues Brothers is a 1980 musical comedy film directed by John Landis and starring Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Carrie Fisher, Charles Napier as “Illinois Nazis,” Aretha Franklin and James Brown. The story features Jake (Aykroyd) and Elwood Blues (Belushi), who are on a mission from God to save the Catholic orphanage in which they grew up from foreclosure. To do so they must reunite their singing group ‘the Blues brothers’ with its original members: pianist Ray (McDonald), harmonica player Billy Preston(Brown).
Caddyshack, directed by Harold Ramis, is a 1980 American comedy film written by Brian Doyle-Murray, Ramis, and Douglas Kenney. It stars Chevy Chase as Ty Webb, Rodney Dangerfield as Al Czervik, Ted Knight as Judge Elihu Smails (aka “Judge Smails”), Michael O’Keefe as Danny Noonan—who gets to spend the entire summer caddying for golf legend Ty Webb after being sentenced to community service–and Bill Murray in one of his early roles.
Airplane! is a 1980 American comedy film written and directed by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker. It spoofed the disaster film genre of that era—particularly 1970s films such as Airport (1970) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972)—as well as referencing other Hollywood-produced air travel safety movies in its jokes about airplane cabin crew procedures for dealing with passengers who have taken ill on an aircraft or lost their sanity due to altitude changes.
National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
National Lampoon’s Vacation, starring Chevy Chase, is a 1983 American comedy film directed by Harold Ramis. It was written by John Hughes, based on his short story “Vacation ’58” which appeared in the December 1979 issue of National Lampoon magazine.
Ghostbusters, produced and directed by Ivan Reitman, is a 1984 American supernatural comedy film. The story was written by Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and the director Reitman. It stars Bill Murray as Peter Venkman (one of the Ghostbusters), Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett, Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore (another Ghostbuster), Rick Moranis as Louis Tully, Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz (the third Ghostbuster), William Atherton in an “Egon Spengler” role that he played again later in Screamers and David Margulies playing Mayor Jock Mulligan.
Mr. Mom (1983)
Mr. Mom is a 1983 American comedy film directed by Stan Dragoti, starring Michael Keaton and Teri Garr.” The story was written by John Hughes, who also wrote “National Lampoon’s Vacation”, which this movie has been compared to.
Coming to America (1988)
Coming to America starring Eddie Murphy is a 1988 American romantic comedy film co-written and directed by John Landis. The story was written by Murphy himself with an uncredited Rick Pitts, along with Neil Gaiman.” It tells the fictional life of wealthy prince Akeem Joffer (Murphy), from Africa who travels to New York City in search for his true love, Lisa McDowell (Shari Headley).
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High, directed by Amy Heckerling, is a 1982 American coming-of-age comedy film written by Cameron Crowe. It stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates. “It tells the story of high school student Stacy Hamilton (Leigh), who tries to get through her senior year unscathed while dealing with issues such as sex, drugs, peer pressure and teenage angst.”
Porky’s, directed by Bob Clark, is a 1982 American coming-of-age comedy film. “It tells the story of four high school seniors who plot to get their young, mean and hated gym teacher fired.” It stars Kim Cattrall, Daniel Kash, Scott Colomby and Kaki Hunter.
The Great Outdoors (1988)
The Great Outdoors, directed by Howard Deutch, is a 1988 American comedy film. “It tells the story of an upper-middle class suburban family whose planned summer vacation turns into a battle with nature and each other.” It stars John Candy, Rick Moranis, Catherine O’Hara and Bronson Pinchot.
(Like Comedy Movies of the 1980s? Then you might like our article about 1970s Comedy Movies, click here.)