Everybody needs a good laugh, and that’s definitely one of the main things many of us hope for when we sit down to watch a movie. Comedy has long been a staple of cinema, having been the focal point some of the early film pioneers: Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy and more besides. By the 80s, the form and content of comedy had moved forward in a big way, but the core tenet remained the same: make ’em laugh.
As with so much else, comedy was an art form which took on a whole new life as mainstream culture grew more permissive in line with the social movements of the 60s. The controversial but hugely influential Lenny Bruce paved the way for a new generation of stand-up comics who stunned audiences with their no-holds-barred language and subject matter. For some, such as Richard Pryor, stand-up success paved the way to fame and fortune in movies, although Pryor’s big screen roles tended to be far milder than his stage persona.
1975 saw the launch of Saturday Night Live, a hugely influential comedy show still running to this day. SNL has long been famed for launching their careers of numerous comedy superstars, and the show’s first run of performers – among them John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy – would also achieve big screen success in the 80s. However, the comedy hits of the 80s were by no means the domain of SNL alumni alone.
Which of these 80s comedy classics made you laugh the hardest? Scroll on down to vote up your favourites, and if you think we’ve missed any then feel free to add them at the bottom of the page.