14 Hilarious Sketches and Scenes from Classic Comedies
A good comedy is more than the sum of its parts, but it certainly doesn’t hurt when every scene is just banger after banger. Here are some all-time classic comedies, and the stand-out scenes that have stood the test of time…
Wayne’s World: The Product Placement Scene
While getting lectured by Rob Lowe about sponsorships, Wayne takes the punk rock road and refuses to sell out (while he and Garth coincidentally enjoy snacks and apparel from some of America’s most trusted brands).
Waiting…: The Cardinal Rule
Long before the trope had a name, Ryan Reynolds, Dane Cook, Luis Guzmán and company had a plan for dealing with Karens.
Billy Madison: The Academic Decathlon
This is a rapid-fire fever dream of bizarre situations, each of which would feel at home on Saturday Night Live. It even ends with a Jeopardy! parody, where the button is a guy going nuts and whipping out a gun, which just screams sketch comedy.
Tommy Boy: Fat Guy in a Little Coat
There’s no shortage of bull-in-a-china-shop moments in Tommy Boy, and there are certainly more impressive feats of choreography and slapstick. But this one takes the cake because it’s authentic: This was an actual bit that Farley would pull backstage at SNL. Everyone thought Tommy Boy was going to bomb when they were making it, and some classic moments like this one were born out of a sense of “no one’s gonna watch this turd, let’s just have fun with it.”
Dumb and Dumber: The Gas Man Runner
There are plenty of well-executed pee-pee and poo-poo jokes to choose from, but the ongoing gag that they’re inadvertently torturing and ultimately killing an assassin hell-bent on taking them out gives us sophisticates an excuse to laugh, too.
Happy Gilmore’s Rube Goldbergian Triumph
Happy Gilmore is vintage goofball Adam Sandler, where a lot of the comedy comes from his rage and his weird little voices. But a freak accident turns the final hole into a mini-golf course, and suddenly the humor hinges on intricately-built props interspersed with crowd shots of gawking onlookers.
Office Space: The Printer Scene
An instant classic. Even back in the 20th century, printer glitches were enough to drive a cubicle dweller to the brink of madness. Printer companies have made unbelievable progress on the front of planned obsolescence in the intervening years, making this scene more cathartic than ever.
Austin Powers: Industrial Machinery
This franchise is packed with puns and stunts that set the standard of irreverent comedy for at least a decade. Unfortunately, not all of them hold up. But you know what never gets old? Austin pulling a one-million-point k-turn, and Michael McDonald screaming as a steamroller slowly bears down on him from across a huge warehouse.
Being John Malkovich: Malkovich Malkovich
Taking this newly-discovered Malkovich technology to its logical conclusion, John Malkovich enters the Malkovich door, and finds himself trapped in an endless Malkovichian horror.
Old School: The Kidnapping Scene
Grown men are abducted in front of their families so they can go party like college kids. This scene accidentally predicted — or perhaps inspired? — a 2021 incident where a man had his friends kidnap him at gunpoint, in front of his wife, so he could get a weekend with the boys.
Liar Liar: Royal Blue
Jim Carrey shows complete mastery over his body and his face by playing a man who has no control over his.
Bruce Almighty: Steve Carell’s Gibberish
This time it’s Carrell who speaks in tongues as if controlled by Jim Carrey’s invisible puppet strings. Ironically, this is also an impressive showing by Carrey, who has to mouth every unexpected syllable that dribbles out of Carell’s face.
Super Troopers: The Syrup Chug
Every bro’s instinct is to one-up his buds in a pointless, possibly lethal contest at every opportunity. This one stands out because the Broken Lizard guys actually chugged entire bottles of syrup, on multiple takes.
Superbad: The DVD Menu Screen
They made Michael Cera dance alone in front of a green screen for over an hour, all so the video playing on the menu screen wouldn’t loop.