Film's Greatest Comedy Cliques, From the Rat Pack to Team Apatow

More

10 of the most prolific comedy collectives in movie history

waiting-for-guffman-BANNER.jpg

It was just a couple of weeks ago that we were singing the praises of Kissing Jessica Stein, one of the rare modern romantic comedies that isn't terrible, and as if on cue, there's a new film from Stein writer/star (and now director) Jennifer Westfeldt in theaters tomorrow. There are several reasons to see Friends with Kids—it's funny, smart, warm, and more than a little dirty—but if it does well, it may very well be because Westfeldt had the good luck of casting about half the key players from Bridesmaids in major roles.

With Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Jon Hamm, and Chris O'Dowd reuniting for Friends with Kids, we may be witnessing the formation of a new (and thankfully estrogen-infused) cinematic comedy "clique." These groups have always been a part of the film comedy landscape, though there seem to be an awful lot of them these days—primarily because the DIY nature of the current comedy scene lends itself to working with friends and regular collaborators. (There's also a fair amount of cross-pollination between these groups, which makes classifying them a bit challenging. Crafty, these comedians.)

To be clear: We're not talking so much about actual declared comedy teams, like the Marx Brothers, the Bowery Boys, or Monty Python. We're more interested in loose collectives that come together in varying combinations yet still craft a distinctive and recognizable comic style. We'll take a look at a few of the biggest after the jump.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

Image credit: Sony Picture Classics

Jump to comments
Presented by

Jason Bailey is the film editor at Flavorwire, and has also written for Slate, Salon, and the Village Voice.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Saving Central: One High School's Struggle After Resegregation

Meet the students and staff at Tuscaloosa’s all-black Central High School in a short documentary film by Maisie Crow. 


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In