Jewish World Review Nov 17, 2011 / 20 Mar-Cheshvan, 5772
The funniest comedy teams
By Barry Koltnow
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Rufus T. Firefly: Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot. I implore you; send him back to his father and brothers, who are waiting for him with open arms in the penitentiary. I suggest that we give him ten years in Leavenworth, or eleven years in Twelveworth.
Chicolini: I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll take five and ten in Woolworth.
That 78-year-old exchange between Groucho Marx and his brother Chico in the classic movie comedy "Duck Soup" is a gentle reminder that film comedy hasn't changed that much since the so-called "Golden Age" of comedy teams.
I'm not comparing Laurel and Hardy with the stoner guys in "A Very Harold&Kumar 3D Christmas," which opened Friday, but I am saying that John Cho and Kal Penn, the actors who now have played Harold and Kumar in three movies, are part of the same cinematic lineage that brought you this exchange:
Rufus T. Firefly: Hey, you want to be a public nuisance?
Chicolini: Sure! How much does the job pay?
OK, it's silly, but memorable. I'm still quoting it nearly eight decades later.
We remember movie moments like that because it was the Marx Brothers, just as we remember the comedy of Abbott&Costello, Hope and Crosby, the Three Stooges and Cheech and Chong. It also could be Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis and even Beavis and Butthead.
We love comedy teams, and we don't care who knows it.
They can be real brothers (Marx), fake brothers (Blues), married couples (Burns and Allen) or no relation at all (Monty Python). They even can be actors thrown together so memorably for a movie that they become an unexpected comedy team (Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor).
We ask only that they make us laugh, and here are our favorite comedy teams of all time. The list was compiled by a distinguished panel of laugh counters, who apparently aren't big fans of the Ritz Brothers.
1. The Marx Brothers - OK, one more classic Groucho line from "Duck Soup" as he addresses the troops: "Men, we're fighting for this woman's honor, which is probably more than she ever did."
2. Martin&Lewis - Dino and Jerry were the Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez of their day, except that they weren't teenagers, or singers or a couple. But they were comedic rock stars in every sense of the word.
3. Abbott&Costello - Who's on first?
4. Laurel and Hardy - This is another fine mess you've gotten us into.
5. Hope and Crosby - If Bob and Bing were making movies today, they'd be on the road to Vegas.
6. The Three Stooges - Hey Moe. Hey Larry. Hey Curly. N'yuk. N'yuk.
7. Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor - My favorite movie is "Stir Crazy," and my favorite scene is when they arrive in prison and are trying to act tough. "We're bad."
8. Cheech and Chong -- I wonder how funny "Up in Smoke" really is?
9. Monty Python - The Holy Grail was never in better hands.
10. Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau - Don't watch "Grumpy Old Men. Watch "The Odd Couple."
11. George Burns and Gracie Allen - Say goodnight, Gracie.
12. Tim Conway and Harvey Korman - There are too many sketches to mention, but let's just say "the dentist."
13. Jay and Silent Bob - It's such a pleasure not to hear Kevin Smith talk.
14. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover - The "Lethal Weapon" movies are not comedies, and Mel's character is psychotic, but as cop buddies go, they're hysterical.
15. Harold and Kumar - Sweet stoners.
16. Beavis&Butthead - Many people singled out these animated morons as symbolic of the dumbing down of America, but I think the joke was on us.
17. The Blues Brothers - They were on a mission from G0d.
18. Chris Farley and David Spade - I may be alone on this, but I think "Tommy Boy" is better than it seems.
19. Kid 'n Play - Nice hair.
20. Bill&Ted - Remember what I said about Beavis and Butthead? These guys really were stupid.
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