This week, I found four (!) movies that I'd recommend if you're looking to watch something humorous.
Starting on Kanopy, opens a new window, the film Mushrooms, opens a new window is a dark comedy in the vein of Arsenic and Old Lace. A couple of not so innocent old ladies who taken in a border who turns out to be a bank robber. When he suddenly dies, they concoct various schemes to try and hide his body.
And on Overdrive Video, opens a new window, three more movies:
Romantics Anonymous, opens a new window is a French film about two chocolatiers who would like to be in a relationship, but are too anxious. This movie was surprisingly fun and cute. It is also available on DVD, opens a new window .
Long Life, Happiness, and Prosperity, opens a new window is something I watched part of years ago on TV and always wanted to go back and watch from the beginning. I was pleasantly surprised to find out we have it available for streaming. It's enjoyable to watch the characters interact as they're brought together by Mindy's failed attempts at using magic to bring romance into her mom's life. We also have this movie on DVD, opens a new window .
The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared , opens a new window has been on my to-read list for a while. This was another movie that I was surprised to find we had online. This is an enjoyable film that had more action than I was expecting, but may make more sense if you've read the book first. You can also watch it on Blu-ray , opens a new window and DVD , opens a new window .
Remember when Rick-rolling was a thing? Well, the Rick-roll is back! (Or in my case, it never really went away.) The recently released “Brick Roll”, opens a new window recreates Rick Astley’s , opens a new window“Never Gonna Give You Up”, opens a new window video in Lego form withimpressively accurate and hilarious results, opens a new window. A Rick-roll Zoom service was bringing laughs to Zoom meetings before being shut down due to its violation of Zoom’s terms of service. And it turns out that even Rick Astley himself is not immune from the old bait-and-switch, with a fan on Reddit Rick-rolling Rick just last month.
Stream/download “Never Gonna Give You Up”, opens a new window and more Rick Astley, opens a new window tunes on Freegal, opens a new window. This includes Rick’s second hit “Together Forever”, opens a new windowwhich earns some chuckles for how ridiculously similar it sounds to his first hit “Never Gonna Give You Up”.
From Rick-roll to rock & roll...
The comedic film That Thing You Do! , opens a new windowtells the story of the one-hit Wonders, who like many rock & roll bands in 1964, were chasing the same success achieved by the likes of the Beatles. Tom Hanks wrote, directed, starred in, and even wrote music for the film. The soundtrack, opens a new window features original songs that could have legitimately originated in that era, with the title song “That Thing You Do!” becoming an actual hit on the charts for the Wonders in 1996 with the film’s release. The That Thing You Do! soundtrack, opens a new window is also available to stream/download on Freegal, opens a new window.
Speaking of the Fab Four...
The Beatles, opens a new window are funny! Watch John, Paul, George, and Ringo exercise their acting chops in A Hard Day’s Night, opens a new window, a magical mix of music and comedy. Then follow it up with a viewing of Help!, opens a new window for more of their hysterical shenanigans. The accompanying albums for A Hard Day’s Night, opens a new window and Help!, opens a new window include many of the songs featured or performed in the films.
"This patient has the worst case of the blues I've ever seen, but we're not going to lose him. No, not today. Nurse, I need 30 cc's of Comedy Bang! Bang!, opens a new window stat!"
"Yes doctor, here you are."
"I think the patient needs a double whammy dose, nurse get me the 2nd season of Comedy Bang! Bang!, opens a new window"
"C'mon buddy, get those blues out of your system. Laughter is the best medicine, give me a chuckle, a tiny giggle."
"Nurse I hear a titter! We saved the patient!"
THE DURRELLS IN CORFU, opens a new window
Watching this series and this strangely interesting family was often humorous and always such an enjoyable escape. It was hard to believe it was based on their real lives and the books, opens a new window written by the animal-loving youngest son, Gerald.
AND JUST FOR FUN...
I love to laugh.
There are plenty of comedies to choose from but which ones do I watch over and over?
The great filmmaker and actor Jacques Tati, opens a new window has a number of movie classics that are short on dialog and long on visual gags. Start with Mon Oncle, opens a new window or Mr. Hulot’s Holiday, opens a new window.
The multitalented comedian, musician, author and director Steve Martin, opens a new window has a deep catalog of humorous (and dramatic) films but the one I return to is The Jerk, opens a new window. The film he made with John Candy Planes Trains and Automobiles, opens a new window is also up there on the favorites list and I often watch it around Thanksgiving.
The Coen brothers, opens a new window, Ethan, opens a new window and Joel, opens a new window, have directed lots of movies, not all comedies but usually with quirky characters and twisted plotlines. I think I have watched and enjoyed O Brother Where Art Thou, opens a new window at least a dozen times.
Taika Waititi, opens a new window is a talented director. I really liked his earlier films Boy, opens a new window and Eagle vs Shark, opens a new window but he one that really makes me laugh is What We Do in the Shadows, opens a new window. It is a fake documentary about the every-night (after)lives of a group of vampires existing in the modern world. The original film was then used as a jumping off point for a television series also called What We Do in the Shadows, opens a new window which is equally hilarious.
I'm choosing 3 classic movies and 3 contemporary ones:
The screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby, opens a new window might be 80 years old, but never fails to make me laugh. With Katharine Hepburn, opens a new window, Cary Grant, opens a new window and some rapid-fire witty dialogue. Baby is a leopard.
Another favorite is Some Like It Hot, opens a new window. This hilarious Billy Wilder, opens a new window comedy classic features Marilyn Monroe, opens a new window as a singer in a girl band, while Tony Curtis, opens a new window and Jack Lemmon, opens a new window masquerade as women in the band to elude mobsters who saw them witness the St. Valentine's Day massacre.
Dr. Strangelove, opens a new window: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb is the only comedy by Stanley Kubrick. If you're old enough, like me, to remember hiding under your desk at school during nuclear bomb drills, you'll appreciate this wicked satire. If you're not, my guess is you'll still relate to the dark humor about impending nuclear war. Peter Sellers, opens a new window is brilliant in 3 roles.
Wild Tales, opens a new window, a Spanish-language film from Argentina. Wicked and hilariously deranged satire consisting of 6 stories around the theme of revenge. Best movie wedding scene ever. Don't miss the credits! Nominated for an Academy Award.
You probably never heard of the obscure movie "Untitled", opens a new window. If you've ever found yourself bewildered by avant-garde music and art, check out this satire of modern art and new music which at the same time makes you think about "what sells" vs "art", and is banging on some cans really music? What I like about this movie is that while it makes fun of this world, it isn't mean-spirited and is thought-provoking. Clever, sophisticated and really funny.
Booksmart, opens a new window sounds like a typical teen comedy about two overachiever best friends determined to go crazy making up for all the fun they missed while they were busy overachieving. But this feature debut by Olivia Wilde, opens a new window, with great acting by Beanie Feldstein, opens a new window and Kaitlyn Dever, opens a new window is different. It's female driven, fresh, funny and touching. And it has some great music!
Without a doubt, when I am in need of a dose of laughter to make me well, I grab my CD’s and listen to Mike Nichols and Elaine May. They started out as a comedy duo that made it big performing their comedy skits at night clubs in the 50’s. After they stopped performing their skits, they both became wonderful filmmakers. American Masters : Mike Nichols : The Career of a Legendary Filmmaker, opens a new window, found on Kanopy, opens a new window is a fascinating, funny and insightful look into his genius.
For your viewing pleasure Nichols and May : Classic Mother and Son Skit, opens a new window
In 1973 National Lampoon Lemmings, opens a new window was a live stage show that was spun out of National Lampoon Magazine. This stage show helped launch the careers of Chevy Chase, Christopher Guest, and John Belushi. Lemmings was a take-off of Woodstock and was billed as” three days of peace, love and death.” Lorne Michaels saw the show and scooped up the talent for a show he was going to launch, Saturday Night Live.
I first heard the album at 13, and absolutely loved it. It had music, it was funny, and even to-day will come to my aid when feeling down.
Highway Toes, opens a new window is one of the songs, sung by Christopher Guest, as James Taylor
An absolutely “must be seen” is video of John Belushi doing his Joe Cocker impression for the first time. Here he is singing Lonely at the Bottom, opens a new window. The video quality is a bit rough, but oh so funny!
When I'm feeling out of sorts, a good, solid dose of singing and dancing to silly songs with the kiddos always puts me right. One of my favorite children's music performers has created some of the silliest songs to get you moving and playing and smiling - Jim Gill, opens a new window!
You may have seen him perform at your library during our Free Family Concerts in the past or you may have joined in when one of our children's librarians shared his songs during storytime. Either way, I know I've missed getting to experience his music with you and your families and want to remind you all that you can check out his CDs, opens a new window or his books, opens a new window by placing a hold through our catalog.
Jim Gill Sings the Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes, opens a new window
Jim Gill Makes It Noisy in Boise, Idaho, opens a new window
Jim Gill Sings Do Re Me on His Toe Leg Knee, opens a new window
Jim Gill's Irrational Anthem and More Salutes to Nonsense, opens a new window
Jim Gill Sings Moving Rhymes for Modern Times, opens a new window
Jim Gill Presents Music Play for Folks of All Stripes, opens a new window
Vote for Jim Gill, opens a new window
Each album has so many great songs, I can't recommend just one - give 'em all a spin!
Here are a few picks that guarantee to elicit at least one guffaw from me and sometimes I end up rolling around on the floor laughing.
Making snarky comments during movies is usually annoying, especially when someone else is doing it! However, when that someone else is Joel Hodgson , Mike Nelson or Jonah Ray with some robots on Mystery Science Theater 3000, opens a new window, then the result actually makes bad movies into something hilarious and wonderful.
"Weird Al" Yankovic has been delivering first rate pop song parodies for since the eighties when he won a Grammy for "Eat It", opens a new window a parody of Michael Jackson's (also Grammy Award winning) "Beat It.", opens a new window
You can check out his incredible decades spanning career on Permanent Record: Al in the Box, opens a new window on Freegal , opens a new windowor at the library., opens a new window
Movies & Music - Question of the Week
Of the following teen comedy films, this one was NOT based on a classic Shakespeare work.
She’s the Man0
Just One of the Guys0
10 Things I Hate About You0
Get Over It0
Last week's trivia answer was: Bananarama