Over the past ten years, we’ve seen innumerable films on the big screen that cover a wide array of genres. But when it comes to comedy, the past decade has brought the silver screen some of the most questionable, hilarious, offensive and downright outrageous films that we’ve ever seen. This week, shock-comedian Sacha Baron Cohen looks to add to that with The Brothers Grimsby, which is already courting controversy.
From slapstick to satire, Hollywood has always brought laughs with its countless comedies, but the past decade has revealed a more risqué side of comedy. While there are far too many comedies to possibly cover every “outrageous” one in this list, here are some of the most talked about that fit the bill.
Here are the 14 Most Outrageous Comedies of the Past Decade.
14 Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)
Better known simply as Borat, this faux documentary film follows Kazakh TV reporter, Borat Sagdiyev, as he tours America (at the request of his government) to learn about the society of "the US and A," the "greatest country in the world." However, while watching Baywatch, he becomes enamored by Pamela Anderson and consequently undertakes a cross-country trip to Malibu, California to marry her and bring her back to his country.
The film is best described as offensive, and has even been banned in some countries because of the satirical nature of the humor and the vulgarity. However, the film actually increased tourism in the country of Kazakhstan and sparked the acting career of Sacha Baron Cohen, resulting in two comedies very similar in nature: Bruno (2009) and The Dictator (2012).
13 Bridesmaids (2011)
The film brought to us by Saturday Night Live alums Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, Bridesmaids showed everyone just how funny a female ensemble cast can be in this raunchy, undeniably hilarious 2011 comedy. The rivalry between Lillian’s (Rudolph) maid-of-honor (Wiig) and bridesmaid (Rose Byrne) causes a downward spiral for the entire wedding party.
Also starring Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Melissa McCarthy, this comedy had audiences in tears, also sparking the comedic career of actresses McCarthy and Rebel Wilson. With a food poisoning scene you have to see to believe and hilarious chemistry from the SNL alums, this film changed everyone’s perception of what it’s like to be a female in the world of comedy.
12 Bruno (2009)
The second big-time, offensive comedy from Sacha Baron Cohen tells the story of a flamboyantly gay, Austrian fashion guru, Bruno, as he seeks the spotlight in America after disgracing himself on his German fashion-based TV show, Funkyzeit. And yes, the film is as offensive as it sounds.
With innumerable, cringe-worthy scenes and glaringly offensive cultural insights, though the film received mixed reviews, the comedy undoubtedly got its point across. And for those that have seen it, there are scenes that you’ll never be able to get out of your head, making this one of the most outrageous comedies of the past decade.
11 Deadpool (2016)
The recently released smash hit shouldn’t even be described as a superhero movie. Instead, this vulgar anti-hero deserves much more of an introduction. The (deservedly) R-rated film stars Ryan Reynolds as a former Special Forces operative turned mercenary, Wade Wilson, who adopts the alter-ego "Deadpool"after he’s subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with supercharged healing capabilities.
Reynolds was the perfect choice for the part, as the self-aware, fourth wall breaking anti-hero that exudes charm while also maintaining a dark sense of humor, perfect for Reynolds’ snarky delivery. It’s safe to say this isn’t your average superhero movie and, though brilliant, it’s one of the most outrageous yet.
10 Dirty Grandpa (2016)
Starring the unlikely duo of Zac Efron and Robert De Niro, Dirty Grandpa follows an uptight, soon-to-be-married man (Efron) as he is tricked into driving his widower grandfather (De Niro) to Florida for Spring Break. Along the way, they both learn a bit more about each other in the midst of some unexpected surprises.
Though comedy certainly isn’t new to De Niro, the vulgar comedy paints a picture of the actor that we never thought we wanted to see. Though the film received scathing reviews almost across the board, the outrageousness of the plot, propelled by the unorthodox casting decisions, earn this film it’s spot on this list.
9 The Hangover Part II (2011)
Following the success of 2009’s The Hangover, the trilogy’s second part upped the ante in a self-aware, higher stakes comedy that left audiences roaring. With Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha and Ken Jeong reprising their roles in the sequel, it would’ve been super easy to make a mediocre, repetitious film that did nothing more than reiterate the first film’s plot.
But while the film was, quite literally, just a second version of the first, it’s ability to rejuvenate the original story and expand into a whole new world of vulgar humor won over audiences and even went so far as to surpass the antics of the first film. By relocating the plot to Bangkok, rather than Las Vegas, they were able to capitalize on that city's reputation for seedy tourist activities and make into something gloriously bizarre.
8 The Interview (2014)
This extremely controversial film created by the comedic duo of Seth Rogen and James Franco earned its spot in headlines for quite some time, though for the wrong reasons. The story follows a TV show producer (Rogen) and host (Franco) as they secure guest Kim Jong-un on their show. However, when the CIA catches wind of the newest guest, they recruit the men to assassinate him.
Understandably, the film sparked major controversy and resulted in threats to Sony from a mysterious hacker group, should they release the film in theaters. Still, the satirical comedy was eventually seen by audiences, with an online only release, and its outrageous plot as well as the societal response earn it this spot as one of the most outrageous in the past decade.
7 Knocked Up (2007)
This Judd Apatow film starring Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl is raunchy, without a doubt, and has become a comedy classic over the past few years. The film follows Ben Stone (Rogen), a pot-smoking man-child that lives his life as one, carefree party and Alison Scott (Heigl), a newly promoted E! employee that is finally moving forward in her career. However, both lives are turned upside down as a one-night stand between them leaves Alison pregnant and Ben completely lost.
The film is a realization of a “what would you do” scenario that packs in plenty of humor that we’ve come to love from Rogen and company. And the film’s all-star cast, including Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel and Jonah Hill, successfully deliver every scene with comedic perfection.
6 Neighbors (2014)
This recent release starring Zac Efron and Seth Rogen didn’t disappoint audiences, and even resulted in a sequel, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (to be released May 20 of this year). The premise involves a young couple with a newborn baby who must deal with the new neighbors: a fraternity.
The film, also starring Rose Byrne and Dave Franco, includes tons of vulgarity, drugs, Batman jokes, De Niro impersonations and an absolutely hilarious battle between the new parents and the fraternity president that escalates from a few simple pranks to an all out turf war. In other words, it’s a perfectly outrageous comedy.
5 Step Brothers (2008)
Easily one of the most quoted comedies of the past decade, Step Brothers gives audiences another taste of Will Ferrell comedy, earning itself a spot as one of his best. Also starring John C. Reilly, the film follows two, directionless adult males who are still living at home. When their parents decide to get married, the two are forced to live together, resulting in a series of events that lead to their eventual friendship and a whole lot of trouble for their parents.
The film is largely dumb humor, but it works. Brennan (Ferrell) and Dale (Reilly) are exactly what one would expect a comedy to make of stay-at-home sons, and you can’t help but laugh along as the duo undergoes their journey of newly found brotherhood. Even funnier is that co-writer and director Adam McKay recently won an Academy Award for his writing on The Big Short.
4 Superbad (2007)
With the simple premise of a group of nerdy, teenage boys tasked with retrieving alcohol for a couple of popular females, the film has plenty of room for things to go wrong and, as in most comedies, they most certainly do. When one friend is stuck with the police, the other two must adapt and develop a new plan so they can impress the girls and leave for college experienced.
The ensemble comedy cast, including Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen and Emma Stone, is spot-on earning Superbad its spot in the outrageous comedy hall of fame.
3 Ted (2012)
When Seth MacFarlane is involved, you can bet the film is going to be outrageous, but a vulgar, talking teddy bear? This time, he’s outdone himself. Voicing the bear alongside superstar Mark Wahlberg, Ted is a story of friendship above all else, as a childhood teddy bear magically comes to life, sparking a lifelong friendship between him and his owner.
With enough sexually suggestive content to earn this film its “outrageous” title all on its own, there’s also countless drug related scenes, an extremely offensive mental illness joke, a dialogue-free appearance from Ryan Reynolds and much, much more. Ted breaks all boundaries without apology, and really, that’s all we ask from a comedy.
2 This is the End (2013)
It’s an apocalyptic film where the entire cast plays themselves, making jokes at each other’s (and their own) expense. Enough said, right? With a cast involving real-life friends Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill and Danny McBride, the film couldn’t possibly fail.
While it’s certainly not everyone’s taste, those that are fans of Rogen’s will appreciate the self-deprecating nature of the comedy. With guest appearances including, but not limited to, Emma Watson, Rihanna, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, Kevin Hart and Channing Tatum, the film pulls out all the stops, and with one vulgar joke after another, it never lets up on the comedy.
1 Tropic Thunder (2008)
While we’re on the topic of offensive, Tropic Thunder certainly has its fair share of offensive content - including Robert Downey Jr. dressed in blackface for a majority of the movie. Still, the film, following a group of actors on site of a big-budget war movie, is surprisingly hilarious, especially in its ability to poke fun at Hollywood without falling flat.
The cast, including Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Cruise, to name a few, covers controversial topics of race and mental illness while also delving deep into the superficial nature of Hollywood and the actors within it. It’s a thoughtful commentary that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that’s what makes it so great.
Can you think of other outrageous comedies? Let us know in the comments!