The 1980s delivered several classic comedies that are still considered as a “must-see” today for those looking for a laugh! To celebrate the beloved 80s classic BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE receiving a stunning 4K restoration, we look back at this treasured time-travelling comedy alongside other comedy films that graced our screens more than 30 years ago…
10. ‘The Naked Gun’ (1988)
The team that made “Airplane!” (which makes its own appearance later in this list) brought their chaotic brand of humour to the small screen with Police Squad, but sadly the TV cop show satire lasted a measly six episodes. It did, however, amass a cult following, prompting the trio to give Leslie Nielsen’s accident-prone Lieutenant Frank Drebin his own big screen debut, as well as two sequels.
9. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
The 80’s were a golden era in the Eddie Murphy comedy genre, with him also starring in hit blockbusters Trading Places and Coming To America, but today we are taking a look back at Beverly Hills Cop. Murphy is at his motor-mouthed best as street smart cop Axel Foley, a Detroit officer who lands in Beverly Hills to try and avenge his friend’s death. There’s plenty of action in the mix as well but this is very much a display of Eddie and his comedic genius in all its’ glory.
8. ‘Airplane!’ (1980)
Another David Zucker classic, this spoof of all-star disaster movie sees Robert Hays play a traumatised former pilot risking it all by getting on a plane to win back his girlfriend. But when an unfortunate bout of food poisoning befalls the crew, he is forced to pilot the aircraft. The real stroke of genius comes in hiring veteran character actors Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, and Leslie Nielsen to spout absurd lines (“And don’t call me Shirley”) with dead seriousness.
7. ‘Beetlejuice’ (1988)
The ghost with the most gave us a guided tour of the netherworld, all the while introducing the world to the pleasure of a good calypso tune. Michael Keaton in some of his finest – and most unhinged – on-screen work, plays the titular bio-exorcist who agrees to help a pair of ghosts (none other than Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) to rid their marital home of its new occupants. With glaringly obvious contributions from the wacky dream team of Tim Burton and Danny Elfman, it is clear to see that they had a field day bringing the world of the dead to life.
6. ‘Big’ (1988)
A charming comedy-drama of a young boy named Josh Baskin who makes a wish “to be big” and is then aged to adulthood overnight (played by Tom Hanks). We see him hilariously navigate through “adulthood” and tackle adult themes, all with the mindset of a 13-year-old teenage boy.
5. ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ (1984)
Widely regarded as one of the best films of the mockumentary genre (if not the best), director Christopher Guest provides a hilarious look inside the world of the fictional British heavy metal band Spinal Tap. A full album of original material was written and performed for the film, with such hits as Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight and Gimme Some Money — not-so-subtle digs at the generic state of 80’s rock.
4. ‘Ghostbusters’ (1984)
As if a stellar cast of Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson isn’t enough to lure you into this 80s comedy classic, fear not – there’s also a catchy theme tune! Between Back to the Future and this sci-fi comedy classic, the ’80s were clearly the shining era of the mad scientist.
3. ‘Back to the Future’ (1985)
If you were ever in doubt as to when Back To The Future was set, it won’t take you very long into the film to figure it out. We see Pepsi Free, a suped-up DeLorean, and let’s not forget – HUEY LEWIS! Since most 80s comedies usually included a plot line of a teen trying to impress the girl of his dreams, this one takes it to the next level by making the hot babe the kid’s mother. That aside, the soundtrack to this film is also incredible and it has often made its way to the top of many a “Must-Watch” list.
2. ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ (1986)
Another classic coming-of-age tale here from John Hughes, who brought us this refreshing tale of friends skipping school on a Summers’ Day! There’s something so incredibly wholesome about Hughes’ vision, where the most scandalous thing he can conjure is teenagers skipping school to go to a museum, lip synching to “Danke Schoen” at a parade, or posing as The Sausage King of Chicago at an exclusive restaurant.
1. ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ (1989)
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure saw Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter become cult icons following their stint as a hopeless but lovable comedy duo more than 30 years ago. The film sees the pair jet through time in their phone booth time machine so they can collect famous historical figures like Abraham Lincoln and Socrates for their school report. Most excellent!!