Greatest Funniest Movie

Moments and Scenes


Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The General (1927)

  • the many spectacular train chases, ground-breaking pursuit sequences and acrobatic stuntwork as Southern Confederate locomotive engineer Johnnie Gray (Buster Keaton) pursued his own hijacked train (The General) and faced innumerable challenges
  • Johnnie's deadpan expressions and the perfectly timed and staged scene of Johnnie with a stumpy, snub-nosed howitzer cannon and his ride on the cowcatcher of the train as he flipped away cross-ties strewn across the tracks
  • the most expensive sight gag in silent film history (filmed in a single take with an actual train - not a miniature) when the pursuit train confidently moved half-way across a burned-through bridge and it fell downwards - both the train and collapsing bridge plunged into the river, a mass of hurtling metal, exhaling/hissing smokestack steam, burning bridge logs, and a geyser of belching smoke
  • the romantic relationship between Johnnie and lady-love Annabel (Marion Mack) - especially the scene when he found her stoking the locomotive with toothpick-sized wood and half-playfully grabbed for her by the neck, throttled and shook her and then swiftly planted a small, loving kiss on her lips
  • the almost-perfect image of his absent-minded ride on the General's driveshaft (alternately raising and lowering him)

Ghost Busters (1984)

  • Ray Parker Jr.'s catchy theme song tune and the catchphrase: "Who ya gonna call? - Ghostbusters!" and the film's logo: a red-lined "No Ghosts" sign
  • the unorthodox group of defrocked, eccentric Columbia University para-psychologists or self-described maverick "ghostbusters" in modern-day New York, introduced to the tune of the theme song: Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), who were in the offbeat business of supernatural extermination of poltergeists, spirits, ghosts, and other haunts, using proton pack weapons
  • the parody covers of various magazines proclaiming their heroic fame
  • the scene of Venkman conducting an ESP test (to identify symbols on 80 cards) with two paid student volunteers, and always accepting whatever answer the cute female (Jennifer Runyon) provides ("Incredible! Five for five. You can't see these, can you?...You're not cheating me, are you?"), but electrically shocking her male counterpart for every response
  • the image of Venkman covered in ectoplasm after being attacked by a green ghost, and sighing to his fellow Ghostbusters with the oft-quoted one-liner: "He slimed me!" after being covered in slime
  • Venkman's statement - a paraphrasing of the famous Latin phrase: "We came, we saw, we kicked its ass" - spoken to the Hotel Manager (Michael Ensign) about capturing their first ghost Slimer in a box: ("What you had there was what we refer to as a focused, non-terminal repeating phantasm, or a class-five full-roaming vapor. Real nasty one too") - however, the manager refused to pay a special offered price of $5,000 for entrapment and storage of the beast
  • two of the Ghostbusters' customers: demonically-possessed cellist musician Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) and her nerdy accountant neighbor Louis Tully (Rick Moranis), (possessed by the "Keymaster") who realized that their apartment building (and her refrigerator) had become a gateway for hell and the residence of ancient demi-god Zuul (the "Gatekeeper")
  • the City Hall scene of EPA lawyer Walter Peck (William Atherton) accusing the Ghostbusters in front of mayor Lenny Clotchof (David Margulies) of being con-men and of causing an explosion: ("These men are consummate snowball artists. They use sense and nerve gases to induce hallucinations. People think they're seeing ghosts, and they call these bozos who conveniently show up to deal with the problem with a fake electronic light show"); when Raymond retorted to Peck: ("Everything was fine with our system until the power grid was shut off by dickless here"), Venkman confirmed: ("Yes, it's true. This man has no dick")
  • Venkman's seduction by the possessed Dana, who proposed: "I want you inside me" - and when he refused ("I can't - it sounds like you got at least two people in there already"), her levitation above the bed - and his later description of her: "I find her interesting because she's a client and because she sleeps above her covers... four feet above her covers"
  • fourth Ghostbuster Winston Zeddmore's (Ernie Hudson) angry chastisement of Raymond after the Ghostbusters were blasted by god Gozer (supermodel Slavitza Jovan): "Ray, when someone asks you if you're a God, you say YES!", followed by Venkman's threat: "This chick is toast"
  • the stunning conclusion and appearance of an evil, gigantic mascot come to life - a 100 foot tall The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, selectively imagined as harmless by Raymond: ("I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never, ever possibly destroy us. Mr. Stay Puft")

The Girl Can't Help It (1956)

  • the main character - curvaceous blonde bimbo Jerri Jordan (Jayne Mansfield), the girlfriend/fiancee of retired ex-slot machine gangster Marty "Fats" Murdock (Edmond O'Brien), who wanted her to become a rock 'n' roll star in six weeks ("What we're talkin' about is already built!")
  • her spectacular hip-swinging walk down the street (wearing a tight-fitting dark blue dress and broad-rimmed hat) - and the racy reactions, causing ice in an iceman's (Henry Kulky) delivery truck to melt - and her swiveling moves up an apartment stoop's steps past a milk bottle delivery man (Richard Collier) - causing the milk in the bottle to overflow frothily from the top (an ejaculatory metaphor), and a downstairs apartment neighbor's eyeglasses shattering (accompanied by the film's title theme song sung by Little Richard)
  • the scene of Jerri's climbing to the second floor for her first meeting with recently-hired alcoholic press agent Tom Miller (Tom Ewell) when she held up two recently-delivered glass bottles with fresh milk to her gigantic, well-endowed chest - one in front of each breast - an obvious visual gag, and greeting him: "Good morning, Mr. Miller"
  • the scene at breakfast when she was cooking, and she provocatively leaned forward while pouring his coffee and serving the meal to tell Tom about how she was ready for domesticity and motherhood: "I'm domestic. I hope you like eggs souffle....It's not exactly a breakfast, but it's eggs. I figured you for strong coffee... It's one of my favorite house, you know, keeping everything neat. How's your souffle?...I'm glad you like it, Mr. Miller... You know, sometimes I think I'm mixed up...You should see me in the morning without makeup. I'll show you sometime. 'Pretty' is just how good you apply your base...I just want to be a wife and have kids. But everyone figures me for a sexpot. No one thinks I'm equipped for motherhood!"
  • the film's Porky Pig-like cartoonish ending in which male star Fats Murdock (Edmond O'Brien) stepped through the enclosing frame of the final shot, walked forward through the black, now-empty space to directly address the audience: "Don't listen to him, folks. I'll see ya outside in the lobby when you leave. I'll sing anything you want. I'm a Jim-Dandy singer."

The Gold Rush (1925)

  • the scene in which the Little Tramp/Lone Prospector (Charlie Chaplin) was marooned with another starving cabin mate Big Jim McKay (Mack Swain), daintily eating a boot like a gourmet meal of spaghetti (the shoe laces)
  • the brutish McKay hallucinating that the Tramp was a giant chicken and chasing him with a shotgun
  • also the scene of the precariously-positioned log cabin on the edge of a crevasse
  • and later the Tramp's "Dance of the Rolls" in which he made two bread rolls dance on a table-top

Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

  • the non-stop, on-air, improvised radio patter of Armed Forces Radio disc jockey Adrian Cronauer (Oscar-nominated Robin Williams) with his wake-up catchphrase: "Goooooooood mooooooorning, Vietnaaaahhm! Hey, this is not a test! This is rock and roll! Time to rock it from the Delta to the D.M.Z.!", with topics ranging from a description of Nixon's testicles: ("That they're soft and they're very shallow and they serve no purpose") to the DMZ's similarity to The Wizard of Oz: ("What's the demilitarized zone? It sounds like something from The Wizard of Oz -- 'Oh no, don't go in there!' 'Ohhh-wee-ohh, Ho Chi Minh...Follow the Ho Chi Minh trail!'") - and the Pope's bathsoap product: ("Also the Pope decided today to release Vatican-related bath products. An incredible thing, yes, it's the new Pope On A Rope. That's right. Pope On A Rope. Wash with it, go straight to heaven")
  • and during his first break - his off-mike question to his assistant Edward Garlick (Forest Whitaker): "Too much?"

The Graduate (1967)

  • the opening sequence in which passive recent college grad Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) was told at his materialistic parent's celebratory party - a famous one-word line of advice - to enter the career field of "Plastics!...there's a great future in plastics"
  • the scene of bumbling and bewildered Benjamin's reactions to neurotic, lecherous and cynical close family friend Mrs. Robinson's (Anne Bancroft) cool but firm sexual advances and brazen seduction as she lured him into her house, poured drinks, and left him flustered and confused; she perched with her left leg on a bar stool (with the camera shooting under her upraised leg) - and his befuddled reply-question: "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me! - Aren't you?"
  • and his attempts to be suave as he checked into the Taft Hotel for the first of their many trysts; signing himself in as "Mr. Gladstone" and feigning sleepiness, he assured the room desk clerk (Buck Henry) that he had his toothbrush
  • during the seduction scene in the bedroom, he prematurely kissed her while she was trying to exhale cigarette smoke; aggravating his bad case of nerves by her coolness, she asked before starting to undress: "I'll get undressed now, is that alright?" He queried: "Shall I just stand here? I mean, I don't know what you want me to do." He agreed to watch, and then clumsily retrieved a hanger for her clothes. He asked, ridiculously: "Wood or wire? They have both." Then, he spontaneously grabbed Mrs. Robinson's right breast and then banged his head against the wall in frustration, babbling moral platitudes ("I think you're the most attractive of all my parents' friends") and resolving to end the affair before it began. He could not believe that an older married woman, one of his parents' best friends, was seducing him

The Great Dictator (1940)

  • the scene of unnamed Jewish barber (Chaplin) shaving a customer in time to a radio broadcast of Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 5
  • the comically-tense scene in which he faced a suicidal mission if he found a coin in his pudding cake and his painful consumption of three coins (only to hiccup them out at the last moment, like winnings spit out from a slot machine)
  • the comedic scene of egomaniacal Hitler look-alike Tomanian dictator Adenoid Hynkel (Chaplin) and Mussolini-like Benzino Napaloni (Jack Oakie) seated adjacent to each other in adjustable barber's chairs as they competed to be higher
  • the sublime mock ballet sequence of Hynkel dancing with a balloon - a floating world globe of the earth - a visual, satirical metaphor of the world he hoped to dominate

Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)

  • the cameo scene in which Leonard Maltin (Himself) was attacked by angry gremlins and strangled for panning the original Gremlins (1984) ("I was just kidding! It's a ten!...a ten!") on a cable network broadcast from the Clamp Enterprises Tower
  • the scene of the discussion of flaws in the Gremlin rules regarding the prohibition of feeding the creatures after midnight
  • the funny parody sequence that poked fun at the "Why I Hate Christmas" dialog by Kate (Phoebe Cates) from the first film - but this time a fear of anything related to Abraham Lincoln
  • the many cameos, and rapid-fire movie and cultural references (Hulk Hogan, Rambo, "I'm melting" from The Wizard of Oz, Daffy Duck, The Phantom of the Opera, The Munsters, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and many more) - especially the Marathon Man (1976) spoof when Daffy the Gremlin reenacted the "Is it safe?" scene in a dentist's office
  • Brain Gremlin's (voice of Tony Randall) "what we want is civilization" speech and his belting out, Broadway-style "New York, New York" at the climax, joined by hundreds of Gremlins in the lobby

Groundhog Day (1993)

  • the fascinating, existentialist premise of the film: "What would you do if you were stuck in one place, and every day was exactly the same and nothing you did mattered?"
  • the innumerable times that grumpy, obnoxious Pittsburgh weather forecaster Phil Connors (Bill Murray) re-awakened on the "Groundhog Day" morning of February 2nd at 6 am in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (for the annual Groundhog Day festival) to the tune of his clock radio playing Sonny and Cher's I Got You, Babe and after each of them (Phil's reaction: "Aw, nuts")
  • the scenes of his annoyance, boredom, exhilaration, and self-destructive despair over the repetitive day
  • the 4th waking in which Connors again met annoying insurance salesman "Needlenose" Ned Ryerson (Stephen Tobolowsky) - also known as "Needlenose Ned" or "Ned the Head" on the street with an enthusiastic "Ned!" - and this time punched him to the ground with one sock; and later, Phil pretending to be gay and hitting on Ned to get him to leave: ("I don't know where you're headed, but can you call in (sick)?")
  • Phil's many successful rescues and repetitive daily chores (catching a boy falling out of a tree, saving the mayor from choking during dinner, and rescuing a homeless bum during a cold night)
  • his successful suicides and self-destructive behaviors (driving off a cliff into a deep rock quarry in a stolen pickup truck, electrocution with a toaster in a bathtub, stepping in front of a moving truck, swan-diving off a building, stuffing his face with food, robbing a bank's cash delivery, etc.) -- and his reawakening at 6:00 AM after each of them (Phil's reaction: "Aw, nuts")
  • Phil's line: "I'm a God. I'm not the God, I don't think..."
  • Phil's learning day after day about how to woo-seduce his lovely film producer Rita (Andie MacDowell) after learning her likes (19th century French poetry and a sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist) ("You're a sucker for French poetry and rhinestones, you're very generous, you're kind to strangers and children, and when you stand in the snow you look like an angel..." and "sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist") and dislikes to become her ideal man after repeated dates -- and her emphatic rejection of him when she realized he had rehearsed every part of the date

Greatest Funniest Movie Moments and Scenes
(alphabetical order, by film title)
Intro | A1 | A2 | B1 | B2 | C | D | E-F | G | H-I | J-K-L
M1 | M2 | N-O | P1 | P2 | Q-R | S1 | S2 | T | U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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