Top Five… jokes

Comedian pic‘Comedy’ is a term used all too loosely nowadays. Can you even count the number of films you’ve seen, purporting to be ‘the funniest film of the year’, which have just left you depressed/suicidal/in a blind frothing rage? Scriptwriters take note: none of the following films are comedies, but that doesn’t stop these haymaker punchlines…

5. Gran Torino – Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood)

Hollywood loves an old racist, and they don’t get any older or more racist than Walt Kowalski. Although I’m not sure how much of a right he’s got to be racist with a name like Kowalski. I get the feeling that the original draft of this joke mightn’t have been as PC as ‘Mexican’, ‘Jew’ and ‘coloured guy’.

4. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels – Soap (Dexter Fletcher)

A rendition of a restaurant menu in Soap’s cockney accent would be funny enough, but this moving tale of a disabled person overcoming natural obstacles is gold. Loses impact if you are not familiar with certain German car advertisements.

3. The Aristocrats – Gilbert Gottfried (himself)

We couldn’t have a ‘best jokes in movies’ list without including the movie entirely dedicated to a single joke. There are dozens of different comedians and dozens of different versions to choose from, each more profane than the last. This version comes courtesy of the soothing dulcet tones of Gilbert Gottfried – after making a 9/11 joke ‘too soon’, he makes reparations the only way he knows how: by cranking the offensiveness up to 11. Oh, in case you hadn’t guessed, this is NSFW. Those of a sensitive disposition look away now. However, if, like me, you find this sort of ground-scraping brow humour funny, try YouTubing his uncut version.

2. Desperado – Pick-up Guy (Quentin Tarantino)

This one’s all about the set-up. While Tarantino’s delivery is enjoyably and typically energetic, it’s his audience that make it – from his toothless mate who doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about to the disgruntled guy on the phone who clearly wants Quentin to ‘not check out’. Then of course there’s the less-than-enchanted Cheech Marin who, like all good barmen, responds with an amusing anecdote of his own.

1. Catch Me If You Can – Agent Hanratty (Tom Hanks)

A bolt out of the blue. The audience is as intrigued as Carl Hanratty’s colleagues when the straight and narrow agent submits to pressure and agrees to tell a joke. Superb.



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7 Responses to “Top Five… jokes”

  1. My favorite is a throw-a-way moment from WHAT ABOUT BOB…

    “The doctor draws two circles and says “What do you see?” the guy says “Sex.” So the doctor draws trees, “What do you see?” the guy says “sex”. The doctor draws a car, owl, “Sex, sex, sex”. The doctor says to him “You are obsessed with sex”, he replies “Well you’re the one drawing all the dirty pictures!”

  2. Funny Bones (1995)

    Tommy Fawkes (Oliver Platt) starts to break down on stage…

    “Guy in a bar says,

    I used to own this place. I built it up from nothing. But do they call me
    John the Bar Owner? No. I owned the biggest farm in the county for years. I looked after animals, crops. But do they call me John the Farmer? I ran for Congress. Sat in Washington representing the people. They call me John the Congressman? No, sir….

    You f**k one sheep…”

  3. Desperado is the quintessential choice I think, but my personal favorite is Rocko in the Boondock Saints. Not that the joke is all that hilarious, but the delivery is perfect and the actor is hilarious in the role.

  4. You know the rules Ahi: a link or a transcript, or it didn’t happen…

  5. I didn’t know! My bad. But it did happen, I tell you:

  6. Dear lord, forgot about Hanretti’s joke. Absolutely awesome line from a freakin’ great movie. Tom Hanks is the man. A god among men if you will.

  7. […] Steven Spielberg’s career is a strange one. When you hear his name mentioned, you automatically think of a shark munching Robert Shaw or a dinosaur chasing Jeff Goldblum or the little girl in the red coat who catches Liam Neeson’s eye. But you could easily make a case that Catch Me If You Can is his masterpiece. There isn’t a thing wrong with it. Proving that he can do comedy after the flawed-but-fun mess that was 1941, Spielberg injects just the right amount of drama to give things extra punch. John Williams’ music here rivals his more well-known work, the opening credits sequence is a marvel and Leonardo DiCaprio is on the form of his life. A timeless classic and it’s only nine years old. It even contains the best cinematic joke ever. […]

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