Christmas comedies are probably the most popular Christmas movies or at least tied with the Romantic Comedies. There are hundreds of comedies focusing on the Christmas season. Some are good, some not so good, but all try to capture the holidays in a lighthearted, joyful manner. And then there are some that go beyond good and are simply great, so great they must be watched yearly. Below is my list of five Christmas comedies that I watch year after year and they never get old.
#5 Jingle All The Way (1996)
If you’re a parent you know the pain and suffering trying to find the hot toy your kids Christmas present. Whether it’s Cabbage Patch Kids, Teddy Ruxpin or Turbo Man you want Christmas to be special. Today with 2-day, heck, 2-hour delivery service it’s hard to imagine running around town to find the last present. The last time I tried getting a gift I sat outside of Best Buy at 5 am waiting to buy a Nintendo Wii. Only to find out the five people in front of me bought them all! I was lucky and found one at Wal-Mart on the way home. But I’ll never do that again.
Jingle All The Way captures the frustration, chaos and hilarity that comes with Christmas shopping. Arnold is always good in a comedic role and has a great supporting cast with Phil Hartman, Sinbad and Jim Belushi. It also stars Jake Llyod, who would go on to play a young Anakin Skywlaker in 1999. Arnold fighting the Mall Santas is a particular favorite scene.
#4 A Christmas Story (1983)
Most people would rate this movie higher in their list. But I have a deep, dark secret, the first time I saw this movie was three years ago…Oh fudge! But the fact that it comes in at number four should tell you how good it is. The movie is full of iconic quotes and scenes. Who here hasn’t tried licking a frozen flag pole!
The movie was release a week before Thanksgiving in 1983 and by Christmas 1983 it was only playing in a handful of theaters across the country. I know it never made it to my hometown. I watched it on the 24 hours of A Christmas Story marathon that takes place every year on TBS. This movie should be on everyone’s watch list at Christmas.
#3 Trading Places (1983)
Christmas is about putting aside differences and coming together and when a commodity broker, a homeless con artist and a prostitute come together to bring down a multi-million dollar brokerage firm nothing could be funnier. Commodity broker Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) is framed for dealing drugs and cast out of the Duke Brothers firm, while Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy), a homeless con artist is hired by the firm to turn his life around. Down and out with no where to go, Louis meets a prostitute, Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis) who takes him in. The three eventually come together to down the Duke Brothers.
Seeing Louis in a nasty, filthy Santa suit and trying to eat a smoked salmon through an equal disgusting fake beard makes me laugh every time. Aykroyd and Murphy are at their prime in this movie. 1980’s Eddie Murphy is pure comedy gold and he showcases it well.
Since 1997 TV Channel Italia 1 in Italy shows this movie every year on Christmas Eve. Italia 1 starts with the Grinch, then Trading Places and end the season with Gremlins! That’s what I call Christmas programming.
#2 Home Alone (1990)
I saw this in the theater while in high school and enjoyed the slapstick, physical comedy. Before kids I would watch it whenever it was on TV. But I started enjoying the movie more when I let my kids watch it. Let me tell you what, letting an 8 year old boy watch Home Alone is awesome! He laughed the entire time and then, for weeks after the movie our house was full of booby traps.
We sit down every year and watch Home Alone. It still gets the same laughs. It’s a Christmas classic in every sense. The opening scenes show the typical pandemonium of Christmas, ordering pizza instead of cooking, kids running amok and the mad scramble to get out the door. The reflection on family bonds and how the season can bring families back together. All of that tempered with building new friendships and a mom’s sacrifice to get back to her child on Christmas.
and the Number 1 Christmas Comedy movie is….
#1 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
This is one of the best Christmas movies of all time! I saw this in the theater as well, lot of times. Christmas Vacation was written by John Hughes, arguably the best film writer and producer in the 1980’s, certainly for teenage moviegoers. Christmas Vacation embodies everything that is Christmas; family fights, crushed expectations, ruined food, it’s the threshold of hell. But, despite all the calamities everything comes together in the end for a happy holiday season.
What is there to say about Christmas Vacation that hasn’t already been said? Jeff summed it up well in his great post on the 30th Anniversary of the movie. Jason and Mickey covered more detail than I could imagine in the Christmas Vacation TRN Drive-In episode.
I think Clark sums up Christmas best with his touching, heart felt speech…
Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f*cking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.
Well said Clark, well said.
And if you’ve only seen the ‘Edited-for-TV’ version of this movie do yourself a favor and watch the theatrical version. You’ll discover a much funnier movie, the edits take away from a lot of the jokes.
If I could only watch one Christmas movie for the rest of my life it would be, well, Die Hard, don’t get carried away. But, if I could watch two, this would be it.
What is your favorite Christmas comedy? Let us know in the comments below.