Bill Hader Made an Epic List of Essential Movie Comedies; Here’s Where to Stream Them

We all know Bill Hader’s a funny guy; with the release this month of The Skeleton Twins and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, he’s proving himself a pretty damn fine actor as well. But your film editor was heretofore unaware that Mr. Hader is such a movie geek — at least, that’s the impression I’m left with from his epic list of “200 Essential Movies Every Comedy Writer Should See.” It’s part of the new book Poking a Dead Frog by Mike Sachs, shared in full over at xoJane, and it’s a pretty remarkable (and esoteric) gathering of comedies and seriocomic dramas from the 1920s up to the present day. (And, I might add, there’s a good deal of crossover with our own list of the 50 Funniest Movies Ever Made.) So, with an eye on adding to your holiday weekend viewing queue, we combed through Netflix and Hulu Plus to see how many of Hader’s picks are available for your streaming needs. Links, and a few thoughts on his selections, after the jump.


1941 (1979): Spielberg’s first comedy was also his first box-office disappointment, but it’s slowly found an audience, thanks in no small part to the performances of John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988): Terry Gilliam at his Terry Gilliam-est, with a very funny uncredited appearance by Robin Williams.

Annie Hall (1977): Or, Where All The Romantic Comedies Come From.

The Apartment (1960): Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine provide Billy Wilder with the only ending that matches Some Like It Hot.

The Bad News Bears (1976): Walter Matthau + beer + cursing children = comedy gold.

Barton Fink (1991); Fargo (1996): For your Coen Brothers needs.

Nathan Lane and Robin Williams in "The Birdcage"

The Birdcage (1996); The Graduate (1967): Two very different, and very funny, Mike Nichols movies from opposite sides of a remarkable career.

Coming to America (1988); Trading Places (1983): From back in the days when Hader’s fellow SNL alum Eddie Murphy was funny.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986): Pardon my French, but you’re an asshole!

Duck Soup (1933): Hader is apparently a bit of a “Marxist” — he lists the first seven Marx Brothers movies (which sounds about right), though this is sadly the only one that Netflix is streaming. Still, if you had to pick just one…