“I was taught there that you should always make the other people look good.”
After all, they’re the experts.
Evil Roy Slade – 1972
In this made-for-TV cult classic, the meanest villain in the West (John Astin) falls for a pretty school teacher (Pamela Austin) and tries to change his ways, but a determined–and egomaniacal–singing sheriff is out to capture him. –John McNaughton, Faculty, Special Topics in Comedy
The Mary Tyler Moore Show – 1970
In the pilot episode, Mary moves to Minneapolis after breaking up with her longtime boyfriend. On her own for the first time, Mary finds a cool apartment and lands a job as an associate producer for the evening news at a local TV station. Starting fresh in the big city of Minneapolis, she has to navigate a new life as a thirty-something single female in the workplace whose primary focus in life is her job. The show is groundbreaking, inspirational, stylishly trendy (pants!) and extremely funny. –Jeff Griggs, Faculty Instructor, Episodic Narrative
Flirting with Disaster – 1996
David O. Russell’s first toe-dipping in the mainstream is the closest equivalent to a Feydeau farce yet offered in the American cinema. Mel (Ben Stiller) can’t restart his life–or even name his child–until he finds the biological parents who put him up for adoption. His journey of self-discovery encompasses everything from volleyball champion twin sisters and gay FBI agents to drug dealing 60s radicals who would love him even if he was Jeffrey Dahmer. Possibly the best second banana cast ever (George Segal, Mary Tyler Moore, Alan Alda, and Lily Tomlin) are outshone by a star-making turn from Richard Jenkins. –Ron Falzone, Faculty Instructor, Adaptation
Master of None, Season 2 – 2017
Comic Aziz Ansari and writer Alan Yang’s sophomore season features more misadventures of Dev as he navigates starting over in his love life and his professional life. He goes to Italy to get over his ex, make some great pasta, and then falls in love with his pasta-mentor’s daughter. Forbidden love rom com ensues as he grapples with a promising career as the host of food competition show, “Clash of the Cupcakes.” It’s an instant classic. –Kat O’Brien, Faculty Instructor, Screenwriting
Broken Flowers – 2005
The obvious choice is “Groundhog Day.” But I’ll pick a more obscure Bill Murray movie, a 2005 Jim Jarmusch tale about a middle-aged recluse who has obviously had a lifetime of romantic dysfunction. Bill Murray gets a note from a past flame that he has a child he never knew about. His quest leads him to reuniting with loves from his past, including Sharon Stone, Jessica Lange, and Tilda Swinton…with all the melancholy, humor, and insight you’d expect from a Jarmusch/Murray pairing. –Dale Chapman, Faculty Instructor, Filmmaker’s Laboratory 1 & 2 and Making the Short Film
Looking to make a fresh start yourself? The next application deadline for the Harold Ramis Film School is January 15th. Come make history with the world’s only film school dedicated to comedy.