10 Funny Movie Characters Of The 80′s

Sunday, December 5 by Tom Gordon

You can't assemble a list of 10 funny movie characters of the '80s without mentioning Bill Murray, who was to the '80s what Will Ferrell was to the 2000s. Check out this list of funny movie characters of the '80s and see how it matches up with the way you remember the decade of big hair, Ronald Reagan and early MTV.

  1. Axel Foley Eddie Murphy had turned in hilarious performances already in "48 Hours" and "Trading Places," but his role as the fast-talking Detroit detective in "Beverly Hills Cop" cemented his superstardom and remains one of the great comedic characters in movie history.
  2. Carl Spackler Bill Murray steals the movie "Caddyshack" with his demented groundskeeper. Any guy who grew up with the movie or even discovered as an adult has dropped Spackler lines on the golf course, whether it's "Cinderella story here at Augusta" or "It's in the hole!"
  3. Peter Venkman Murray returns, this tim fighting poltergeists in "Ghost Busters." He was ably assisted by two other funny men, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis in what may be the funniest movies of the decade.
  4. Arthur Bach Dudley Moore's turn as a millionaire drunk belongs on the list of all-time great comedic performances. Of course, what helped make Arthur such a treasure is the writing and directing of Steve Gordon, who provided Arthur and his butler Hobson (the wonderful John Gielgud) with such great lines that the movie works as well today as it did back in 1981.
  5. Clark Griswold Chevy Chase's movie career has far more clunkers than classics, but his role as the constantly befuddled dad and husband in "National Lampoon's Vacation" and its sequels grants him a special place among the truly funny movie characters of the '80s or any decade.
  6. Bill Blazejowski Michael Keaton burst onto the scene in "Night Shift," delivering an energetic and riotous performance as a fast-talking, ambitious, but clueless sidekick to Henry Winkler as the guys decide to run a call girl ring out of a New York City morgue. Keaton's non-stop chatter and excellent timing made "Billy Blaze" one of the great breakthrough performances ever in movie comedy.
  7. Spinal Tap Okay, there are technically three characters in the fictional title band in the movie "This is Spinal Tap," but they formed a unit that was much greater than the sum of its parts. Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer made loud music and long laughs in a movie that still stands today as a comedy classic.
  8. Jeff Spicoli Before Sean Penn got all serious and started winning Oscars, he was best known as the stoner/surfer from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." His every line reading was classic and the look of hurt and outrage when Mr. Hand lets everyone else in class eat his pizza was priceless.
  9. Dr. Rumack The late, great Leslie Nielsen as the out-to-lunch, yet immensely serious doctor helped make "Airplane" a landmark comedy and one of the funniest films of the decade. And, as always, please don't call him Shirley. Nielsen would essentially play the same role as Det. Frank Drebbin in the "Naked Gun" movies, which are a little weirder to watch these days since they co-starred O.J. Simpson.
  10. Ferris Bueller Matthew Broderick still hears lines from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" more than 25 years after the film's release. But it's no wonder! The movie about the greatest day of hooky ever is a hit with the generation who grew up with the movie and a new generation of kids who get a kick out of the concept of a kid turning the tables on his principal and the system.
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