“Alrighty, then!” became the catchphrase of the 90s after the hit comedy film “Ace Ventura, Pet Detective” came out in 1994. A very young Jim Carrey made audiences cry with laughter for a full hour and a half alongside co-stars Courteney Cox and Sean Young.
It’s also the movie that made famous comedy director Tom Shadyac’s career, being the first in a string of very successful 90s and 2000s films like “Liar, Liar,” “The Nutty Professor,” “Bruce Almighty,” “Patch Adams,” and more. Few 90s comedies compare to the insane antics that Carrey pulls off as Ace Ventura, a crazy animal lover with the attention span of a 3-year-old.
The Cable Guy
Another masterful performance by comedy genius Jim Carey, “The Cable Guy,” will make you laugh and put you on edge in almost equal amounts. Carrey plays an absolutely insane cable guy who manages to weasel his way into a customer’s life and slowly destroy it. The customer, played by Matthew Broderick, is happy to have the cable guy as a friend, at first, but he slowly starts to suspect something is seriously wrong.
Directed by Ben Stiller and produced by Judd Apatow, 1996’s “The Cable Guy” features Leslie Mann, Jack Black, Carrey, and Broderick in hilariously funny and unsettling, performances that will make you bowl over with laughter and cringe at the same time.
Actor and writer Jon Favreau tried his hand at a screenplay based on his real-life friendship with fellow actor Vince Vaughn, and he succeeded in all respects. “Swingers” features both actors playing themselves and how their very different personalities somehow manage to create a perfect balance.
The film was made with a budget of $200,000, and it made over $4 million at the box office. More importantly, it launched the careers of Ron Livingston, Heather Graham, Favreau, Vaughn, and even the director, Doug Liman. It’s a light, highly enjoyable comedy with a great script and interesting conversations about life that we all have at one point or another.
There’s Something About Mary
A gem by the Farrelly brothers, “There’s Something About Mary,” was a massive commercial success when it came out in 1998. The hilarious romantic comedy made over $360 million at the box office and became a cult comedy classic of the decade.
With top-notch performances by Ben Stiller, Chris Elliott, Matt Dillon, and Cameron Diaz, the film follows the beautiful Mary (played by Diaz) and the entourage of men that are hopelessly in love with her and try to get her attention with crazy hilarious antics. The chemistry of the actors is undeniable, and certain scenes are still referenced to this day.
This 1996 gem of a film directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly follows the story of an Amish bowling virtuoso and his begrudging, narrow-minded teacher as they travel across the United States for bowling championships. The Amish bowler is played by comedy genius Randy Quaid and his mentor by none other than Woody Harrelson, who is haunted by his disgustingly inappropriate landlady, played by another comedy master – Lin Shaye.
Featuring other big-screen legends like Bill Murray, Chris Elliott, and Vanessa Angel, the film was an unfairly overlooked comedy masterpiece of the 90s. Coming out at a time when top-notch comedy films seemed to be coming out like hotcakes, “Kingpin” didn’t get as much recognition as its contemporaries, such as “Jerry Maguire” or “The Nutty Professor”.