Dean Clough

July 30, 2021

Portico Darwin: Comedies

Today, and for a refreshing change, I'll keep it light.  I can feel America's and the world's problems disappearing, as I simply choose not to pay any attention to them!  Plus, it's the weekend.

There have been a lot of great comedic movies.  There are classics from the earliest days of film, and throughout movie history, funny movies have been integral to the Hollywood (and beyond) story.

But I feel there is a subset of the general category.  My subset of comedies is a certain type of movie with a certain type of vibe from a certain (broad) era.  Let's dub this sub-genre "Feasible Nonsense".

There are no Monty Python or Mel Brooks movies on my list.  Shoot me.  Also no rom-coms.  You're welcome. 

So, yep, it's just another silly Portico Darwin list, and of course, there's no accounting for taste (which also explains a lot about life in general).

But enjoy anyhow - and if perhaps you haven't seen one or more of these (doubtful, except for a couple), maybe this list will have some value.  Links are to the IMDB page for each movie.

48 Hours
After Hours
Animal House
Austin Powers
Beverly Hills Cop
Deconstructing Harry
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Meet The Parents
Office Space
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
The Hangover
The Sure Thing
Throw Momma From The Train
Trading Places (Ed. note:  it's a great Christmas movie, too)
Tropic Thunder

I know some of you will be appalled at the omission of "Life of Brian" or "Blazing Saddles", but I don't feel they fit the spirit of this list.  Another candidate, "Kingpin" is not consistent enough.  And "Young Frankenstein" and "Princess Bride" are too fantasy-driven for my comedic tastes, and the latter is kind of a rom-com anyhow.  As is "Mr. Mom".  And "Stripes" is overrated.

I'm on the fence re:  "Big Lebowski".  I know not including it is sacrilege to some.   

I'd love to hear what movie(s) you think I've overlooked and belongs on this list.  And what movie(s) on the list above doesn't belong? 

(FYI I count some real, legit movie buffs among this blog's thousands and thousands of subscribers, so this particular ask is not my typical pitiful quest for attention.)

It was good hearing from the veteran Chicagoan (and also Albanian) Steven Simon.  He had thoughts on a couple of recent blog topics:

"A story from a few years ago that relates to your post today...

And on another topic...speaking of Darwin, we seem to be experiencing a version of Darwin's theory of natural selection play out right before our eyes."

Steven will recall hearing this many times when we were children:  Steven, you're right.  Have we seen stupidity and conspiracy theories at this scale in American history before?  I don't think so.

I would be remiss if I didn't thank the retired banking executive Lauren Ryder for the QA/QC on my Front Range Guide.  It turns out Lauren has a nephew who recently graduated from The University of Colorado, and is still living in Boulder.  Lauren, a 6 Sigma kind of gal, didn't mess around with fact-checking:

"After reading this post, I shared it with my nephew and recent Boulder grad.  Here is his suggested add:

‘He is definitely right about the weather being too hot (95 today) and the smoke and just about everything else. The food here is really great and healthy, but he should mention that if you come here you have to chug water or else you will get dehydrated.’"

Or chug weissbier?  Thanks to water-bottle toting Nick the Nephew for his spot-on advice.  Seriously, though:  thanks, to Lauren and her nephew.  I really appreciate when this blog is shared.

And there's little doubt everyone wants to know the historic roots of Hunter Deuce's supposed musical knowledge, or at least a part of it:  Hunter's Smokin' Dave period.

"So I discovered Smokin Dave & The Premo Dopes when I was an intern at SPIN magazine in college.  Record labels were always sending the magazine CD's, in the hopes they'd get reviewed.  There was a big box full of them, and they let the interns take home whatever we found.  

I saw the band name and thought 'Oh, I GOTTA check these guys out.'  They're not bad - they toured with a bunch of indie acts back in the 80's - R.E.M., Husker Du, The db's, etc."

Frankly, I see this as a bit of a humble brag by Hunter - SPIN magazine!  But, yo, Jann Wenner, for the record (ha!) it's "The dB's", not "The db's".

Thank you to any one that is reading this blog.

Such an easy one today!  And what a great album.  Here are The New Pornographers with their mid-aughts treat "Twin Cinema".

(Fun fact:  a song on this album, "These Are The Fables" has such an impressive dynamic range that I used it for many years as the ultimate test of the sound systems I was installing.  The memories!  That link is to Spotify so anyone can hear it, but use the CD-res track at the album link for best results.  You'll find it puts even the best audio gear through its paces - acoustic guitar and piano, Neko Case's multi-dimensioned vocals, and extraordinary thunder from the drums.  A flat-out great song, too.)

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