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Bill Hader lists the 200 movies every comedy writer must see

Aug. 29, 2014by: Alex Maidy

Bill Hader has begun to stretch himself as an actor since leaving SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE last year. Sure, he has worked steadily in films like SUPERBAD, ADVENTURELAND and CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS amongst numerous other parts, but he has also begun taking lead roles in movies like THE SKELETON TWINS. He has begun earning more and more acclaim as an actor rather than the funny guy who did impressions on SNL.

In the upcoming book "Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations With Today's Top Comedy Writers" by Mike Sacks, Hader shares lots of stories about being a writer and a performer, but also lists out a comprehensive list of the 200 films every comedy writer must see. The list is pretty impressive and runs the gamut from classic screwball comedies of the early 20th century to more recent films like BEST IN SHOW, THE INCREDIBLES, and KUNG FU HUSTLE.

The list is good enough that you could call it a list that any movie fan should see since there are numerous movies here that should be required viewing for anyone who likes cinema. Check out the full list below. How many have you seen?

1. 9 to 5 (1980)
2. 1941 (1979)
3. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
4. Ace in the Hole (1951)
5. TheAdventures ofBaron Munchausen (1988)
6. After Hours (1985)
7. Airplane! (1980)
8. Amarcord (1973)
9. American Graffiti (1973)
10. An American in Paris (1951)
11.Animal Crackers (1930)
12. Annie Hall (1977)
13. The Apartment (1960)
14. Army of Darkness (1992)
15. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
16. Back to the Future (1985)
17. The Bad News Bears (1976)
18. Bananas (1971)
19. The Band Wagon (1953)
20. The Bank Dick (1940)
21. Barton Fink (1991)
22. Beetlejuice (1988)
23. Being There (1979)
24. Best in Show (2000)
25. Better Off Dead (1985)
26. Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958)
27. The Big Lebowski (1998)
28. The Birdcage (1996)
29. Blazing Saddles (1974)
30. The Blues Brothers (1980)
31. Boogie Nights (1997)
32. Born Yesterday (1950)
33. Bottle Rocket (1996)
34. Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932)
35. Brazil (1985)
36. Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
37. Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
38. The Burbs (1989)
39. Cabin in the Sky (1943)
40. Caddyshack (1980)
41. Catch-22 (1970)
42. The Circus (1928)
43. City Lights (1931)
44. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
45. Closely Watched Trains (1966)
46. The Cocoanuts (1929)
47. Coming to America (1988)
48. The Court Jester (1956)
49. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
50. Dames (1934)
51. A Day at the Races (1937)
52. Dazed and Confused (1993)
53. Design for Living (1933)
54. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
55. Down by Law (1986)
56. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
57. Drag Me to Hell (2009)
58. Duck Soup (1933)
59. Ed Wood (1994)
60. Election (1999)
61. The Evil Dead (1981)
62. Evil Dead 2 (1987)
63. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
64. Fargo (1996)
65. Ferris Buellers Day Off (1986)
66. The Firemens Ball (1967)
67. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
68. The Foot Fist Way (2006)
69. The Fortune (1975)
70. Four Lions (2010)
71. Gates of Heaven (1978)
72. The General (1926)
73. Get Shorty (1995)
74. Ghostbusters (1984)
75. The Gold Rush (1925)
76. Good Morning (1959)
77. The Goonies (1985)
78. The Graduate (1967)
79. Grand Illusion (1937)
80. The Great Race (1965)
81. The Groove Tube (1974)
82. Groundhog Day (1993)
83. Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)
84. Heaven Can Wait (1943)
85. His Girl Friday (1940)
86. Horse Feathers (1932)
87. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
88. I Vitelloni (1953)
89. I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978)
90. Im Gonna Git You Sucka (1988)
91. The Incredibles (2004)
92. It Happened One Night (1934)
93. Its a Gift (1934)
94. Its Always Fair Weather (1955)
95. The Jerk (1979)
96. Jules and Jim (1962)
97. The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)
98. The King of Comedy (1983)
99. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
100. LAtalante (1934)
101. The Ladykillers (1955)
102. The Last Detail (1973)
103. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
104. Let It Ride (1989)
105. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
106. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
107. Little Murders (1971)
108. Lolita (1962)
109. The Long Goodbye (1973)
110. Lost in America (1985)
111. Love and Death (1975)
112. Loves of a Blonde (1965)
113. M*A*S*H (1970)
114. The Man in the White Suit (1951)
115. The Man with Two Brains (1983)
116. A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
117. The Merry Widow (1934)
118. Midnight Run (1988)
119. The Miracle of Morgans Creek (1944)
120. Modern Romance (1981)
121. Mon Oncle (1958)
122. Monkey Business (1931)
123. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
124. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
125. Monty Pythons Life of Brian (1979)
126. Mr. Hulots Holiday (1953)
127. Mr. Mom (1983)
128. Mystery Train (1989)
129. The Naked Gun (1988)
130. Nashville (1975)
131. National Lampoons Animal House (1978)
132. Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941)
133. A Night at the Opera (1935)
134. Noises Off (1992)
135. One, Two, Three (1961)
136. Orgazmo (1997)
137. Our Hospitality (1923)
138. Out of Sight (1998)
139. The Palm Beach Story (1942)
140. Parenthood (1989)
141. Pee-wees Big Adventure (1985)
142. Play Time (1967)
143. The Player (1992)
144. The Princess Bride (1987)
145. The Producers (1968)
146. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
147. Radio Days (1987)
148. Raising Arizona (1987)
149. Real Life (1979)
150. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
151. Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)
152. Rushmore (1998)
153. Safe Men (1998)
154. Salesman (1968)
155. Schizopolis (1996)
156. A Serious Man (2009)
157. Shaolin Soccer (2001)
158. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
159. Sherlock Jr. (1924)
160. Shoot the Pianist (1960)
161. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
162. Short Cuts (1993)
163. Singin in the Rain (1952)
164. Sixteen Candles (1984)
165. Songs from the Second Floor (2000)
166. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
167. The Squid and the Whale (2005)
168. Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
169. Stripes (1981)
170. Sullivans Travels (1941)
171. Take the Money and Run (1969)
172. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
173. Team America: World Police (2004)
174. This is Spinal Tap (1984)
175. Three Amigos! (1986)
176. Time Bandits (1981)
177. To Be or Not to Be (1942)
178. Toy Story (1995)
179. Toy Story 2 (1999)
180. Toy Story 3 (2010)
181. Trading Places (1983)
182. Trouble in Paradise (1932)
183. Twentieth Century (1934)
184. Unfaithfully Yours (1948)
185. Up (2009)
186. Used Cars (1980)
187. Vernon, Florida (1981)
188. Waiting for Guffman (1996)
189. A Wedding (1978)
190. Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
191. Whats Up, Doc? (1972)
192. Whats Up Tiger Lily? (1966)
193. The White Sheik (1952)
194. Withnail and I (1987)
195. You Cant Cheat an Honest Man (1939)
196. You Cant Take It with You (1938)
197. You the Living (2007)
198. Young Frankenstein (1974)
199. Zelig (1983)
200. Zero for Conduct (1933)

Extra Tidbit: I have seen 119 of them.
Source: XO Jane

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10:13AM on 09/01/2014
I lost count, but somewhere between 91 and 93. Some definite patterns in here though. Bill Hader has always impressed me for being a true cinephile. I keep hoping he'll put that knowledge to good use one of these days with his own feature.
I lost count, but somewhere between 91 and 93. Some definite patterns in here though. Bill Hader has always impressed me for being a true cinephile. I keep hoping he'll put that knowledge to good use one of these days with his own feature.
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2:51PM on 08/31/2014

Great Book

This list--like the rest of the book--is fantastic. However, it's not "upcoming." It's been out for several weeks.
This list--like the rest of the book--is fantastic. However, it's not "upcoming." It's been out for several weeks.
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11:06AM on 08/31/2014
I like Bill Hader even more for this list. The man knows good comedy
I like Bill Hader even more for this list. The man knows good comedy
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5:48AM on 08/31/2014
Kinda weird that he didn't include Vacation. I mean from a writing perspective it's a huge progression from other National Lampoon style movies like Animal House and Caddyshack.
Kinda weird that he didn't include Vacation. I mean from a writing perspective it's a huge progression from other National Lampoon style movies like Animal House and Caddyshack.
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+0
4:55AM on 08/31/2014

Hmmm...

78... Not as many as I'd hoped.
78... Not as many as I'd hoped.
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+0
2:41AM on 08/30/2014
Love the list. Great list. I'm just confused as to what a lot of these films have to do with comedy.
Love the list. Great list. I'm just confused as to what a lot of these films have to do with comedy.
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10:18AM on 09/01/2014
A lot of comedy is poking fun at the absurd aspects of something not inherently funny. Also, storytelling.
A lot of comedy is poking fun at the absurd aspects of something not inherently funny. Also, storytelling.
+0
9:35PM on 08/29/2014
Only 62.
Only 62.
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8:54PM on 08/29/2014
Man that's a great list. Gotta love the inclusion of Pixar and Stephen Chow movies.
Man that's a great list. Gotta love the inclusion of Pixar and Stephen Chow movies.
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7:48PM on 08/29/2014
Glad to see Beetlejuice, Ghostbusters, Midnight Run, Shaolin Soccer, Shaun of the Dead and Stripes made the list.
Glad to see Beetlejuice, Ghostbusters, Midnight Run, Shaolin Soccer, Shaun of the Dead and Stripes made the list.
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7:45PM on 08/29/2014
I like how he's a fan of Wes Anderson.
I like how he's a fan of Wes Anderson.
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6:27PM on 08/29/2014
Between 97-100 (if I am counting having seen it vs remembering it).I'm slacking.
Between 97-100 (if I am counting having seen it vs remembering it).I'm slacking.
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5:00PM on 08/29/2014
The Burbs!
The Burbs!
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4:50PM on 08/29/2014
141 for me. I either watch too many movies or I have impeccable taste.
141 for me. I either watch too many movies or I have impeccable taste.
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4:40PM on 08/29/2014
127 for me.
127 for me.
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4:21PM on 08/29/2014
Good to see him give some love to Better Off Dead, lord knows it doesn't get enough even from the actor who started in it. I've always dig Bill Hader and would really like to see him in more stuff stretching out.
Good to see him give some love to Better Off Dead, lord knows it doesn't get enough even from the actor who started in it. I've always dig Bill Hader and would really like to see him in more stuff stretching out.
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+0
4:18PM on 08/29/2014
I've seen 75.
I've seen 75.
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3:55PM on 08/29/2014
Interesting things. Drag me to hell. Eyes wide shut. No step bros or walk hard. Hardly any of the Judd Apatow/ Adam McKay/ Will Ferrell/ Seth Rogen stuff
Interesting things. Drag me to hell. Eyes wide shut. No step bros or walk hard. Hardly any of the Judd Apatow/ Adam McKay/ Will Ferrell/ Seth Rogen stuff
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3:56PM on 08/29/2014
I'd also are MADE
I'd also are MADE
4:21PM on 08/29/2014
That's probably because so much of their brand of comedy is improvisation rather than structured comedy writing. If this was a list of "200 Movies Every Comedy Actor/Comedian Must See", those guys would be all over the place.
That's probably because so much of their brand of comedy is improvisation rather than structured comedy writing. If this was a list of "200 Movies Every Comedy Actor/Comedian Must See", those guys would be all over the place.
5:51AM on 08/31/2014
Yeah, that improvisation vs. structured comedy writing theory doesn't work when you realize that there are a few Christopher Guest movies on the list.
Yeah, that improvisation vs. structured comedy writing theory doesn't work when you realize that there are a few Christopher Guest movies on the list.
10:16AM on 09/01/2014
He was in a lot of the Apatow stuff. I don't think he sees it as inspirational to himself.
He was in a lot of the Apatow stuff. I don't think he sees it as inspirational to himself.
3:52PM on 08/29/2014
Eyes Wide Shut?
Eyes Wide Shut?
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4:36PM on 08/29/2014
You have to know what not to do before you go and do it....
You have to know what not to do before you go and do it....
10:20AM on 09/01/2014
Wait, you DON'T think Eyes Wide Shut is funny?
Wait, you DON'T think Eyes Wide Shut is funny?
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