The Best 3 Back-to-Back Years for American Comedy Films

I love a good comedy. Sometimes a few great comedies come out in a single year, like 1994, 1974, 1963, and so on. But rarely do we see a three-year stretch full of seemingly nonstop comedy gems.

So I would like to present the best three back-to-back years for American comedy films – the ones where so many creative ideas collided to create comedy films beyond compare. Those years are 1984, 1985, and 1986.


Chris Columbus wrote and Joe Dante directed 1984's Gremlins.This was the year when Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Guttenberg, Steve Martin, and many other comedy legends were really getting into their stride. Just take a look at the comedies that came out this year:

  • All of Me
  • Beverly Hills Cop
  • Ghostbusters
  • Gremlins
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan
  • Police Academy
  • Revenge of the Nerds
  • Romancing the Stone
  • Sixteen Candles
  • Splash
  • This Is Spinal Tap
  • Top Secret!

Of course, 1984 also offered such comedy duds as Rhinestone, Cannonball Run II, and Best Defense, but Ghostbusters, Gremlins, Beverly Hills Cop, and all the rest more than make up for those weaker entries.


Chevy Chase as Fletch contributed to making 1985 a great year for American comedy.It seemed like 1984 would be impossible to top, but then along came 1985. Filmmakers Robert Zemeckis, John Hughes, Tim Burton, Chris Columbus, John Landis, and Walter Hill showed off their tremendous talent for humor, bringing us such classics as:

  • Back to the Future
  • Better Off Dead
  • The Breakfast Club
  • Brewster’s Millions
  • Clue
  • Fletch
  • The Goonies
  • Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
  • Real Genius
  • Spies Like Us
  • Teen Wolf
  • Weird Science

I would also classify Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Commando in the category of comedy because it’s just so hilarious. Don’t believe me? Just watch the Nostalgia Critic’s take on it.


Ferris Bueller's Day Off is one of the great comedies from 1986.The last year ends this trifecta on a high note. Amazing comedies came from such unexpected sources as Australia, the Star Trek series, and Francis Ford Coppola:

  • Back to School
  • Big Trouble in Little China
  • “Crocodile” Dundee
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • The Golden Child
  • Gung Ho
  • Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • The Money Pit
  • Peggy Sue Got Married
  • Ruthless People
  • Short Circuit
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  • Three Amigos!

Of course, I’m not saying that there haven’t been other stretches of years with good comedy films. I’m just saying that these three years in the mid-1980s were the pinnacle. So many talented actors, writers, and directors came together at that point in time to create a concentrated burst of brilliantly funny movies.

With the direction comedies have been going in recent years, I don’t think we’re likely to ever see something like this happen again. But we can hope.

This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.

All images are the copyright of their owners.

About Robert Lockard, the Deja Reviewer

Robert Lockard has been a lover of writing since he was very young. He studied public relations in college, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 2006. His skills and knowledge have helped him to become a sought-after copywriter in the business world. He has written blogs, articles, and Web content on subjects such as real estate, online marketing and inventory management. His talent for making even boring topics interesting to read about has come in handy. But what he really loves to write about is movies. His favorite movies include: Fiddler on the Roof, Superman: The Movie, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Back to the Future, Beauty and the Beast, The Fugitive, The Incredibles, and The Dark Knight. Check out his website: Deja Reviewer. Robert lives in Utah with his wife and four children. He loves running, biking, reading, and watching movies with his family.
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3 Responses to The Best 3 Back-to-Back Years for American Comedy Films

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