It came down to a very thin margin between Trading Places and The Meaning Of Life. Perhaps wafer thin.
Rupert Pupkin. Yes, Rupert Pupkin, is equally cringe-worthy as he is laugh-worthy. The reason why I love this film so much is because of the humanity that De Niro brings to this outlandish character. There are a million reasons to dismiss or dislike Pupkin, but Scorsese displays him as both damaged and genuine. He's a person that wants what we all want; for our dreams to come true. It's hard not to connect with that even after it's clear Pupkin has gone off the rails.
Though it isn't their best big screen work, I still have to give Meaning of Life my nod. Of the bunch it's the one I probably re-watched the most at the time and the one whose jokes my nerdy friends and I mangled in the retelling the next morning in homeroom. Trading Places was a pretty big deal at the time, but, unfortunately I have to admit it was for the Jaime Lee Curtis nudity more than the humour. Might be a good time for a rewatch... this time for the jokes. Honest.
Voted for A Christmas Story, but the actual funniest movie of the year is Mr. Mom. Written by John Hughes, it has aged surprisingly well, its flipping of gender roles speaks specifically to 2018 concerns, and it does all this with brains and heart. It's not too late to make an executive decision and overrule the actual poll results. I endorse this idea 220-221% Whatever it takes.
Worth mentioning that two of the funniest releases of 1983 have the opposite problem from Mr. Mom. It's not that they're not funny, it's that you cannot possibly endorse them because it's 2018 and the cultural context has dramatically changed: Woody Allen's Zelig and Bill Cosby Himself. Zelig is deadpan, visionary, and ahead of its time. Himself could be one of the 4 or 5 greatest standup routines ever. But, in both cases, GOOD LUCK trying to persuade people to dive in. Both men are completely radioactive and no matter how compelling the argument for, the argument against listing both is completely and totally understandable.
In April of 1984, for my twelfth birthday, I received a VHS video cassette player from my dear Korean grandmother who (clearly) spoiled me rotten as the first-born son. In its inaugural use, at my twelfth birthday party, my friends and I watched National Lampoon's Vacation and Trading Places. I loved both of these films and cannot count the number of times I have watched both of them over the intervening years. In the end, Trading Places, driven primarily by my childhood love of Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, gets the vote here both for twelve year old me and present me. The clincher being that a month ago I saw a car in front of me with the license plate "ESCARGO" and I found myself alone in my car, saying out loud to no one in particular, "Look at that S car go!" Clearly, I was fated to make this choice. https://www.instagram.com/p/BdVcXmsFEBV/
For me it's between Trading Places and A Christmas Story.
Meaning of Life isn't the most memorable Monty Python film, Vacation is probably the worst of this selection, Risky Business is... okay, and The King of Comedy is probably one of the best films of the year, but not going to get my vote here.
Honestly, I will always gravitate more towards A Christmas Story. It's Bob Clark's best film by a mile and one of those films you relate to differently as you age. As a kid, despite the difference in era, you relate to Ralphie. As an adult you relate to the parents (particularly Darren McGavin's dad for me). What kid raised in cold climates wasn't bundled up by their mom until they looked like a tick about to pop? Who didn't have that one toy they really wanted and obsessed over for Christmas? And I think many a parent can relate to the dinner scenes with the pouty kid playing with his food.
Let's face it: A Christmas Story is the best. It's hilarious and the most relateable. It is a classic, Christmas or otherwise.
Trading Places is where my heart goes - the entire group of scenes with Dan Ackroyd in the Santa suit being one of the funniest things I've ever seen in life. "I've got all the bad drugs here..."
Trading Places is not only the best comedy of 1983, it is the best comedy of all time. Merry New Year!!
Love Monty Python - but I can not make it through the vomit sequence in, "Meaning of Life." So vile. Makes me ill just thinking about it.
"A Christmas Story" is the real classic here. I catch it every Christmas on cable and it always does the trick. It has some of the purest, most creative and timeless laughs of any comedy ever, let alone those of 1983.
Trading Places is a watershed comedy for me that proved many things. Dan Ackroyd could be funny without John Belushi. Eddie Murphy was not a one and done comic talent with 48 Hours. Jamie Curtis was more than a scream queen. And John Landis was a comic Director to be reckoned witith. Unfortunately, for Ackroyd and Landis, it was also the beginning of the end. Plus, who knew what comedic gold frozen concentrated orange juice could be?
And, is The King of Comedy actually a comedy?
The Meaning of Life is hilarious...in places, but it’s uneven and overlong. I haven’t seen King of Comedy, but is it a good movie or a good comedy? Christmas Story is my pick for being consistently funny and a timeless (I don’t care if it is a period piece; many of the situations feel true today), delightful story that truly captures the Christmas experience in white, middle-class America. But Trading Places and Vacation are close behind.
Sorry, Meaning of life is the third best Monty Python film, Vacation hasn’t aged well.
Risky Business has some great moments.
I can’t get behind King of Comedy, it’s a riff on Taxi Driver as a Comedy with Pumpkin as a kinder gentler Travis.
To me it is down to Christmas Story and Trading Places.
Even though Christmas Stoey suffers from some over exposure, it’s greatness is without question.
Trading places is the only one to serve as a primer for commodity trading, sure the Gorilla gag is a little off
I love Monty Python - Life of Brian is top 5 all time, but the fanboys are upvoting Meaning of Life. King of Comedy is by far the best of this lot, although never seen Risky Business.
So I must choose between Clark Griswold accidentally killing Aunt Edna’s dog and the Live Organ Transplant? I’m really torn but Monty Python created all of the absurdist humor that all of the other movies came from. Gotta go with Mr Cresote! Remember EVERY SPERM IS SACRED...
On the list, King of Comedy is the best film, but Vacation is the funniest. Of the year, I'd be more inclined towards Local Hero or Mr. Mom. Terms of Endearment and The Big Chill also great dramedies of that year.