The 5 Stupid Comedies That Are Secretly Very Sad

DISCLAIMER: This is not a series dedicated to proving men shouldn’t cry, or to suggest ONLY women cry and are therefore inferior. The goal of this series is to dispel the pre-established (yet flawed) notion that being “manly” and being disconnected from your emotions go hand-in-hand. Even the most macho of men enjoy and even shed a tear at films, and the sooner we can admit that the sooner the concept that one sex is better than the other can go away. While the approach to these articles is one of light-hearted comedy, the emotional core is valid. While men might be more hesitant to admit it, movies often times have the potential to make us cry, for example:

“Stupid Comedies”

Just because something is stupid doesn’t mean it doesn’t hold value (just ask my wife what she thinks about me!) That being said, remember these are stupid comedies. Ghostbusters is not stupid, it’s perfect and will be on a different list. Stupid comedies are comedies that don’t necessarily rely on complicated set ups, rich characters or witty dialogue. Fart jokes are on the table and no taboo is off limits. HOWEVER, this list only focuses on those stupid comedies that are actually funny. Sorry Scary Movie, no dice Epic Movie. Collected here are the cream of the idiotic crop, the comedies that are as funny today as they were in theaters. I tried to pick films that don’t have a sizable hate-base, but I know there’ll be some who have different ideas of what films are the benchmarks of funny, while still having enough quality and heart to stick with pop culture after all these years. Are they perfect comedies? No. Are they worth watching? Yes. Do they make guys cry? Oddly enough, yes.

1. Wayne’s World
Based off an old “Saturday Night Live” sketch where two hairband stoners host a cable access show in their basement, most of this film doesn’t make sense when you describe it. Chock full of cutaways years before Seth McFarland stepped onto the scene, it’s a film with a bare-bones plot that gets filled with so many comedic tangents that there’s no way you can’t like it. It even has three different endings just so you can take your pick, breaking the fourth wall constantly. Robert Patrick plays the T-1000 for reasons!!

How could a movie this zany even come close to making guys cry? Well it’s a bit behind-the-scenes, but there’s a plot point where Garth, played by Dana Carvey, is upset at being upstaged by Wayne, played by Mike Myers. They end up resolving their issues fairly quickly and remain friends…on screen. Then we find out that in reality, Dana REALLY FELT THAT WAY, going so far as to accuse Mike of stealing his voice for Dr. Evil. The two had a falling out that really never recovered, despite filming a sequel. When art imitates life in this manner, it’s a sad day for us all.

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2. National Lampoon’s Vacation
How Chevy Chase continues to get work despite being a notorious jerk is mostly due to projects like this. He’s just that good at making us laugh. Granted, the closer to your own family the Grizwolds resemble, the less comedic their antics might seem. This was a film back when stamping “National Lampoon” on something meant quality, not straight-to-DVD schlock. A simple road trip with his family turns into a nightmare that not only ends with them finding their destination closed, but pretty much everything goes bad.

Therein lies the sadness to this movie. Sure it’s funny while you watch, but afterwards you realize a dog dies, an old woman dies, a man attempts to cheat on his wife, and that same man holds up an amusement park at gunpoint. It’s not a happy tale. This film sends the message that the entire world is against you, and you’re not that great a person to begin with. It’s just depressing really.

3. Dumb and Dumber
How could we have a dumb comedy list and not include the movie that basically marketed itself as “dumbest comedy”? Say what you will about Jeff Daniel’s amazing acting ability or Jim Carrey’s horrible ideas on vaccines, this film is the perfect “shut your brain off and laugh” product. Two adults that barely function as children go on a road trip to deliver a suitcase back to the woman they think is its owner. Everything else is either a joke or a set up to a joke. Even if you hate this movie due to being a soulless husk, you will still smile at least once during its running time.

The sad part is a strangely dark portion near the beginning. In order to get quick cash for their trip, they sell a dead bird to a blind child. The comedy is that it’s so horrible you wince and chuckle, but I’m never able to quite deal with the child slowly petting the bird-corpse and singing to it. The scene always felt out of place in an otherwise lighthearted movie.

4. Tommy Boy
I’m going to start with the sad part; We lost Chris Farley way too soon. That’s not the sad part of this movie, it’s just sad.

The movie is hilarious, and it’s rare to say that about a project with David Spade in it. The combo of those two was so perfect, all they needed was a plot about selling auto parts across the country and the movie was golden. Chris Farley somehow played a character as simple as Adam Sandler a la Billy Madison yet without the brain damage, as kind as John Candy without seeming too mature, and the physicality of…well Chris Farley. With straight-man Spade by his side, the two did wonders.

The sad part is that as much as we loved Chris’ character, we saw how much he loved his dad. The movie goes out of its way to show how much he’s a great father and has a great relationship with his son. Then he dies on his wedding day. Sure the now widow turns out to be the movie’s villain, but Chris’ father didn’t know that. For all he knew, he died dancing with his son on the best day of his life with many more to come. Right in the feels. Oh, and Rob Lowe is the villain just like in Wayne’s World, type-casting himself as a creep.

5. Spaceballs

Guys, girls, sentient piles of moss…this is a great comedy. Also, “Balls” is in the title, so you can’t tell me it’s not dumb. Half Star Wars, half Mel Brooks stand up, it’s the only other film I can think of with Bill Pullman at the helm. Do you have to have seen Star Wars to appreciate the jokes? No, but it helps. Do you have to enjoy testicle humor to enjoy the jokes? No, but it helps. Is Rick Moranis the best evil space dictator since the actual Darth Vader? Yes, just…just yes.

What’s sad? The fact that they heavily allude to a sequel that was never made. It’s one of the great tragedies of our history. All I’m saying is that Mel Brooks is still alive, and we’ve got a new Star Wars movie coming out pretty soon.
Just saying.

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Daniel Epstein
Father, filmmaker, and writer. Once he won an Emmy, but it wasn't for being a father or writing.