Laughing during an alien invasion movie is nothing new. I mean, my sides are still hurting from "Battleship." But laughing intentionally during an alien invasion has its place in the annals of movie history, as well.
Upon reflection, the aliens should bring with them the full spectrum of emotion. (Along with those dry ice cream squares.) Beings from distant stars may be just like us. Some of us are scary and evil, but some of us are funny and fun. (And some of us have horrendous scales that secrete an acid that can chew through steel – but let's leave former Secretary of State Dean Rusk out of this.)
This weekend, three of your favorite comic actors (and one British dude you've been meaning to learn more about) are serving up some interstellar hilarity in "The Watch." The movie is a hoot but, unfortunately, the aliens themselves aren't the source of the LOLz.
Luckily, film history does provide some other examples.
"The Watch" was co-written by Seth Rogen, yet his sometime alter ego Jonah Hill dons the uniform to defend Earth in the film. Probably a good thing, too, since it wasn't that long ago that Rogen lent his voice to the funnier-than-its-given-credit-for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost road movie "Paul."
He smoked cigars, was openly bisexual and could expand your mind to the complexities of grand unified thinking with just a mere whisper. I'd tell you more but, to quote the best moment in the movie, "No spoilers!!"
Also check out: Get to Know Richard Ayoade of "The Watch"
His return home (in a ship fueled by rainbows!) didn't break our hearts for no reason. His departure hurt because he was SO MUCH FUN.
Remember when he drank beer and bumped into walls? Remember when he wore a wig? Remember how he extended his vowels when saying "phone hoooooooome"? That wasn't by accident. Listen, if this guy came from a place that could figure out faster-than-light travel, he knew a little bit about showmanship!
E.T. was all about schtick and getting a laugh. Trust me, if he had more time he wouldn't have just told Gertie to "be good," he would have also reminded her to use words with Ks in them.
Edsel and Zeke
Before John Candy played Barf the Mawg in "Spaceballs," he and a number of other SCTV alumni were voice talent in one of the greatest midnight movies ever made, "Heavy Metal."
In one of the sequences, the action zooms up to spacecraft shaped like a giant smiley face where a robot tries to bed a busty Jewess stenographer who works at the Pentagon. (Hey, just go with it, trust me.)
Piloting the ship are a pink and green alien duo whose faces contort – especially when the sniff down massive lines of Plutonium Nyborg. Since Cheech and Chong weren't available, the laid back, "hey, man" voice-overs are provided by Eugene Levy and Harold Ramis. This is doubly funny, because these are two guys who made a career of not being cool, trying to be cool. But, also trying to be blue collar aliens with elephant trunk appendages as they stare out onto a cosmic sound and light show to the music of Don Felder from the Eagles. If you haven't seen "Heavy Metal," you really are missing something.
Mork from Ork
Hey, we don't normally talk about television here, but when an opportunity arises to enlighten young minds I can't pass it up. Gather ye round, children, and I'll tell you a tale. Ya ready? Robin Williams wasn't always terrible. Robin Williams, in fact, used to be awesome.
We first met him as Mork from Ork, a spazzed out alien who first visited "Happy Days" then jumped ahead to the late 1970s and a mysterious land called Colorado for four seasons of "Mork and Mindy." He was despatched to Earth partially because humor was not allowed on his home planet, so instead he hung around Pam Dawber who was second only to Mr. Kotter's wife on my list of understanding, brunette, quasi-hippie crushes.
The episodes were a string of hijinks, but with predetermined spaces for Mork to improv and act like a lunatic. At the time, it was the funniest thing I ever saw. I was, also, 5.
R2-D2 isn't an alien!
R2-D2 lives on another planet. He's an alien. Don't believe me, try getting him through customs.
He isn't just an alien, he's a jokester. His blurts and beeps are universally accepted as wisenheimer comebacks to stuck-up C-3PO. Being short, I suppose, he had to rely on his wit to combat bullying. (Even though his ability to open any door or stop any trash compressor simply by sticking his pinky in a socket is a pretty nifty trick.) Comparisons to Harpo Marx, I feel, are inadequate. His comedy is rooted in pain; he's more of a Louis C.K. And his motivator is in tip-top shape.
Surely there are some other funny aliens I left off the list. Who are some of your favorites?
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