This summer brings, what I hope to be, a really great rom-com parody, They Came Together. So in celebration of the return of true parody comedy, here is a list of classic parody wizards who made making fun of stuff a true art form.
5) Christopher Guest
My first pick is everyones best friend C. Guest. He’s directed all the gems including, Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003) and the great new TV show Family Tree. Though all you purists will be arguing with me that his films are more comedy than parody, you can just zip it. His films are like parodies of your mom’s friend and your neighbour and totally weird things like dog shows. His slow and steady style gets me every time.
4) Rob Reiner
Though our good pal Robbie has made a lot more movies (including my personal fave rom-com When Harry Met Sally) other than parodies, he gets my number four spot because he made two of the best parodies of all time: Princess Bride (1987) and This is Spinal Tap (1984). Some might argue with me about Bride, but it reigns supreme in my heart as the best parody rom-com/fantasy love story out there. And of course, Spinal Tap is the rock god of all music-doc parodies.
3) Leslie Nielsen
Okay fine, my man Leslie is an actor not a director but he gets a spot all his own for being the purest of pure parody actors. His movies, no matter the director, always ends up being a Nielsen movie. His legacy includes Airplane! (1980), Airplane II: The Sequel (1982), Police Squad! (1982), Naked Gun I, II, III (1988/1991/1994), Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), and even Scary Movie 3 and 4 (2003/2006). He dominated the parody scene (is there a parody scene?) his whole life. RIP Canadian gold.
2) Monty Python
The kings of British parody is all the way up here at number two because they are the weirdest and the greatest. With movies like Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Life of Brian (1979) and The Meaning of Life (1983), these lads take parody and sketch comedy to a strange level… in a good way.
1) Mel Brooks
Our undisputed king of parody film, because duh its Mel Brooks. Here are all the reasons: Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein (1974), Spaceballs (1987), Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) and Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995). He’s all old time-y parody: classic one liners, PG jokes, great casts and just all around a good time.