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SNAP, CRACKLE, & POP CULTURE: 2000's Comedy Films

Updated: Jun 16

WANTED: New Comedy Films

Remember the 2000's when comedy films were the talk of the town? They dominated the box office, received rave reviews, and were, genuinely, hilarious. Let's call this time America's "comedy renaissance."

2000's comedy films including mean girls, juno, wedding crashers, I love you man, old school, knocked up, hangover, super bad, anchorman

I'm talking about "The 40-Year-Old Virgin", "Anchorman", "Superbad", "Knocked Up" and, perhaps the best and most influential of them all, "The Hangover." These movies immediately solidified themselves in America's zeitgeist and are still referenced with a belly laugh today. A "Hangover" reference comes up nearly every Vegas trip, a spontaneous a capella "Afternoon Delight" could erupt amongst friends out of nowhere, and screaming "OH KELLY CLARKSON" when mentioning getting a body wax are not out of the ordinary.

And as I thought about it, I can't think of a comedy movie like the ones listed above that came out in the last 10 years. The closest example that came to mind was "Bridesmaids" but that was in 2011. I really can't think of a comedy film in the last 10 years that cemented itself into our world, and that's a damn shame.

This theory is only furthered by taking a look at the Golden Globes' recent nominees for "Best Musical or Comedy": "The Banshees of Inisherin" (it's about a man going through a mid-life crisis and cuts his fingers off to rid himself of an old friend...yeah real funny), "Everything Everywhere All at Once" (making two jokes does not qualify as a comedy), "Jojo Rabbit" (holocaust movies are hilarious), and "Get Out" (just because it was directed by comedian Jordan Peele does not make this funny).

This leads me to a fear that I have: movie theaters will be exclusively for big budget action movies like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Avatar. Let's take a look at the top 5 grossing movies of the 2020's:

  1. Avatar: The Way of Water $2.9B

  2. Spider-Man: No Way Home $1.9B

  3. Top Gun: Maverick $1.5M

  4. The Super Mario Bros. Movie $1.3M

  5. Jurassic World: Dominion $1B

MArvel's Cinematic Universe character poster, all the characters are included from Phase one to 3

I'm not saying that these movies aren't great. They're so much fun to see on the big screen, but I wish that we had a more diverse menu to choose from at the theater. The trend is leading towards comedy being exclusively for direct-to-streaming and television which brought us masterpieces like "Bo Burnham's INSIDE" and "Ted Lasso." Both of these categories have seen a surge in popularity proving that there is a demand for laughter-based entertainment, but without the marketing budget and lure of theatrical run, the ceiling is only so high for our beloved comedies.

With this, I see a huge opportunity for new, undiscovered filmmakers. Comedy has a lower barrier to entry than big budget action movies and funny is funny; you can't argue with knee-jerk laughing responses.

Here's your call to action: Audiences want to laugh. Filmmakers want to create. Let's give it to them...on the big screen. Make a comedy that rattles our culture and the rewards could be enormous.

(**this is the shameless plug for Best Worst Cantina and Letterpress Films' upcoming comedy special "Ben and Gary: STREAMING" which is currently filming**)

Additional Iconic Comedy Films from the 2000's (circa):


Napoleon Dynamite


Step Brothers

Mean Girls


Tropic Thunder


Pineapple Express Role Models

Forgetting Sarah Marshall



Meet the Parents


Office Space

Old School

Talladega Nights

School of Rock

Super Troopers

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle

Shaun of the Dead

Austin Powers


Ben Hilzer (@Benhilzer) is a Denver-based comedian, actor, singer, and filmmaker. He performs with Best Worst Cantina's THE DADS and is co-founder of Letterpress Films alongside partner Jayme Cole. He lives with his wife and dog who he owes everything to.

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