5 Terrible Jokes Stinking Up Beloved Classic Comedies
We have previously brought up how some godawful, Jack and Jill-levels of bad Hollywood “comedies” still miraculously contain a single redeeming joke. Sadly, it turns out that the opposite is true as well. Some universally beloved comedy classics also contain a joke that, in retrospect, would be better suited to Rob Schneider movies immediately released straight to the bottom of a Walgreens discount DVD bin, avoided even by the most kleptomaniacal of shoplifters, like…
‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’ Seth Rogen Randomly Takes a Bath With a Drunk Stranger
Neck and neck with The Last Temptation of Christ for the crown of Greatest Virgin-Based Movie of All Time, The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a modern comedy classic and perhaps the only Judd Apatow film that doesn’t feel like its runtime can be measured in weeks. But as great as it may be, the 18-year-old movie isn’t devoid of flaws. While Seth Rogen has publicly expressed his regret over the whole “you’re gay– no, you’re gay” sequence, another joke that doesn’t quite land (or lands, but in some kind of prison) is when Rogen’s character Cal and his friends rush to save Andy from the clutches of the ultra-amorous Beth, who is in the middle of masturbating in a bathtub.
After Andy leaves, Cal decides to stick around and begins stripping off his clothes before the movie quickly cuts to the next scene. We get that Beth is supposed to be “freaky,” but she is a literal (intoxicated) stranger who never gave this rando consent to suddenly get naked in her bathroom. Out of context, this one scene could be the cold open of several Law & Order: SVU episodes that end with Cal in jail or shot by Mariska Hargitay and/or Ice-T.
‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ Inexplicably Turns into a Cartoon for 30 Seconds
Planes, Trains and Automobiles is one of John Hughes’ best movies, pairing the great Steve Martin with the legendary John Candy while also giving American families a way to spend 90 minutes of Thanksgiving weekend without screaming obscenities at each other.
In a weird contrast to its tearjerker ending, the otherwise realistic movie randomly turns into a cartoon midway through the film when the mismatched duo inadvertently cheat death by driving through two tractor-trailers, briefly turning into skeletons and, in Candy’s case, Satan himself.
While it might have worked if the rest of the movie was even slightly zanier, shoehorning Looney Tunes’ logic into what is otherwise a grounded dramedy for, like, 30 seconds of gags ends up feeling more confusing than funny.
‘Mean Girls’ Shows the Lighter Side of Statutory Rape
Everybody who watched it as a full-length movie — and not 23 videos on TikTok — seemed to enjoy Mean Girls, aka the finest Lindsay Lohan movie that doesn’t involve Christmasy brain damage. But despite its reputation, there is at least one horribly off-putting joke: the revelation that Coach Carr is having sexual relationships with several students.
A teacher committing statutory rape seems like a significantly horrific revelation for the movie to casually shrug off. (The only follow-up info is a quick comment about him fleeing the school and the state.) Hopefully, the upcoming musical version of Mean Girls won’t turn this sequence into a full-blown song and dance number performed by the new Coach Carr: Jon Hamm.
Bill and Ted Can’t Hug Without Saying Homophobic Slurs in ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’
Part of what makes Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (and its two sequels) so great is that the titular dopes are so completely guileless, which is also presumably why they’re able to help forge the utopian future society that should be coming any day now. But one joke completely undercuts that sentiment. After believing that his best friend was violently killed, Bill is thrilled to find that Ted is, in fact, alive. Understandably, they hug, but then, the pair quickly pull back and simultaneously utter the homophobic F-slur.
This isn’t all that surprising since gay panic was to 1980s comedies what Stan Lee’s cameos were to Marvel movies. Still, it’s a jarringly bogus moment coming from inherently kind dudes in an otherwise sweet movie. Most heinous.
Dan Aykroyd Dons Blackface in ‘Trading Places’ for No Good Reason
Combining the comic stylings of Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd with confusing economic schemes involving orange juice and pork bellies, Trading Places is still one of the funniest movies ever made… except for that one scene. You know the one.
As part of their effort to bamboozle the villains’ chief henchmen, Aykroyd and Murphy don disguises, and for some reason, like many a garbage fratboy, Aykroyd’s character Louis opts to wear blackface and speak in a wildly offensive accent. Seriously, how is the movie where he has a dong for a nose not Aykroyd’s most embarrassing performance?
This isn’t just crazy racist and horrifically unfunny; it also makes no sense within the context of the movie since the bad guy sees right through his conspicuous, unconvincing disguise. Why not just throw on a fake beard and some sunglasses, Louis?! It’s the second worst scene John Landis has filmed.
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