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Top 5 Parodies

By special request of Patreon donor Travis Neeley, we’re happy to share our list of the best parody movies ever made. Whether born of love or pure hateful mockery, the desire to parody individual movies or whole genres has resulted in some of cinema’s funniest features, and we share our favorites this episode.

In Worth Mentioning, we all chat about The Florida Project, Tim discussed The Breadwinner and we all celebrate Patreon James Cooper’s selection of Some Like It Hot.


Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
Galaxy Quest
Spaceballs (1987)
Airplane! (1980)
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)


Spaceballs (1987)
What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
Airplane! (1980)
¡Three Amigos! (1986)
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)


Young Frankenstein (1974)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Airplane! (1980)
Hot Fuzz (2007)
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)

24 Responses so far.

  1. nitrateglow says:

    Young Frankenstein
    Blazing Saddles
    Hot Fuzz

  2. victor says:

    5. “UHF” (1989) – “Wheel of Fish”: Parody of game shows… with fish! You’re so STUPID!
    4. “UHF” (1989) – “Gandhi 2”: Parody of action movies… and “Gandhi”!
    3. “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” (1993) – Nominated purely for two things: for Cary Elwes’ broadly cartoony facial expressions (like when they’re wheeling away his castle) and for the excellent musical numbers.
    2. “UHF” (1989) – “Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies”: Still one of my favorite song/video parodies. “That little Clampett got his own cement pond / That little Clampett, he’s a millionaire!”
    1. “Young Frankenstein” (1974) – I have to admit that some of the scenes I found hilarious 20 years ago (i.e. “Putting on the Ritz”) I find utterly cringeworthy today, but the movie as a whole has held up amazingly well, both as a comedy and purely as a work of cinema.

    Why no “Spaceballs”, then? Because it’s obvious watching that movie (as funny as it is) that Mel Brooks has no particular affection for the “Star Wars” movies the way he does for “Frankenstein” and the old Errol Flynn movies and because while there are easily a dozen better Star Wars parodies out there, there ain’t no Frankenstein parody like a Mel Brooks Frankenstein parody (cuz a Mel Brooks Frankenstein parody don’t stopppp).

  3. WBTN says:

    Because this kind of list can get bogged down in the obvious classics – Mel Brooks, Monty Python, ZAZ, and Edgar Wright seem like the standard choices, not to make anyone feel like an asshole for picking them because they’ve all got some great movies – I’ll try to be broadminded about the definition of ‘parody’ (as opposed to a spoof, which lends itself to a much, much stricter definition)

    Best Parody Overall – Well, not to be a hypocrite, but I made this request only because I’ve been watching a lot of Mel Brooks movies recently (though weirdly enough, the non-parody The Producers is still my favorite). As far as his parodies, I go back and forth between Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein: the former is funnier and a better skewering of its genre; the latter is a better, more sophisticated movie and it has a sweeter edge. Tough call, but I go with Young Frankenstein.

    Best Mockumentary – I’m stuck between Waiting for Guffman or Real Life, but in the end, the latter strikes me as satire more than parody, and the former less so, so Waiting for Guffman it is.*

    Best Horror Parody – Shaun of the Dead is damned great. So is De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise, buuuut I think I’ll go with Joe Dante’s Piranha, a trashy Jaws rip-off that ended up becoming its own beautiful thing.

    Best Broadway Musical Parody – It’s gotta be South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut

    Best Sci-Fi Parody – Mars Attacks! I’m also tempted to go with Sleeper, but it seems more like a ‘funny sci-fi movie’ than a parody. To some degree.

    Just to push my Mel Brooks love, I give Honorable Mention to High Anxiety, a terribly underrated tribute to Alfred Hitchcock.

    *Says someone who very badly needs to rewatch This is Spinal Tap

    • victor says:

      Awesome list! Now I feel bad for not considering Mockumentaries for my list (they’re a different genre for me than straight up parodies), because “Spinal Tap” and “What We Do In The Shadows” should have been my numbers 1 and 2 respectively.

  4. Nathan says:

    Limiting myself to one movie per director/comedy team:

    5. Hot Fuzz
    4. Blazing Saddles
    3. Airplane!
    2. This Is Spinal Tap
    1. Monty Python’s Life of Brian

  5. Cannon Kruk says:

    5. What We Do in the Shadows
    “I’m bidding on a table.”

    4. Team America: World Police
    “Matt Daaamon.”

    3. Galaxy Quest
    “By Grabthar’s Hammer…..what a savings.”

    2. Mars Attacks!
    “Do the Martians have two sexes, like we do?”

    1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
    “Very small rocks!”

  6. Rick Beck says:

    This is an incredibly biased opinion, seeing as these are mostly movies I grew up with (save for my number one). I absolutely love parody, and when it’s done right, it not only makes me laugh myself into a coma, it actually gives me more respect for the original. Honorable mentions go to Austin Powers, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Shaun of the Dead, Spaceballs, and Scary Movie 3.

    5.) Galaxy Quest
    4.) Blazing Saddles
    3.) Airplane!
    2.) Young Frankenstein
    1.) Hot Fuzz

    Watching Spaceballs when I was 11 years old inspired me to make my own movie, and so I did with my little brother and sister. Now I’m a struggling filmmaker! So, thanks I guess, Spaceballs.

  7. 1. Luke’s Change – An Inside Job. You have to hunt for this 7-minute film (the version on YouTube was altered and harmed to avoid some copyright issue), but it beautifully parodies videos promoting conspiracy theories.
    2. Hot Shots Part Deux. Richard Crenna and Charlie Sheen are perfect choices to parody gung ho warriors, and the Three Bears scene alone would rank this among the top parodies.
    3. This is Spinal Tap. More a parody of music than of film, but I’m counting it.
    4. Balls of Fury. A little known gem that parodies martial arts films and sports films.
    5. Student Bodies. The opening scene especially nails early 80’s slasher films.

  8. pumpy says:

    Uh… Black Dynamite! Ya dig?

  9. Stevie says:

    Given that many would struggle to make a Top 10 list that will satisfy even themselves, my own list is basically a list of long-time favourites. I concede I have not watched Blazing Saddles or Spaceballs.

    Honorable mentions: I disqualified What’s Opera, Doc? on account of it being a short film (though I don’t think that will stop it from being someone’s No. 1) as well as This Is Spinal Tap on account of it being a mockumentary.

    5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    4. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

    3. Hot Fuzz

    2. Airplane!

    1. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

  10. Aaron says:

    Several episodes of Community. If I were to pick one, maybe Basic Lupine Urology, a parody of Law & Order.

  11. Diane Wolfe says:

    Singing in the Rain
    Young Frankenstein
    Galaxy Quest
    Kung Fu Hustle

    Honorable Mentions: Murder by Death, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Blazing Saddles, Hot Fuzz, Life of Brian, Top Secret! and Hot Shots Part Deux

  12. Damian says:

    1. Blazing Saddles
    2. Hot Fuzz
    3. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
    4. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
    5. Not Another Teen Movie

    And… uhh… that image of Tim. I get the reference but… *snickers*

    • Damian says:

      Shit! I totally spaced on Black Dynamite! Revising…

      1. Blazing Saddles
      2. Black Dynamite
      3. Hot Fuzz
      4. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
      5. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

  13. Alex Frith says:

    5. Carry on Cleo
    4. Team America
    3. Beat the Devil
    2. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
    1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

  14. Alex Frith says:

    Ooh, I forgot to make space for Stab, or at least, the 10 second clip of Stab we see in Scream 2.
    And indeed the trailer for Arnie as Hamlet embedded within Last Action Hero (itself a parody film, but a not very good one).

  15. The Big-Footed Ancient Greek says:

    Trying to limit myself to one per genre/filmmaker

    5. “Galaxy Quest”, the film that loves Star Trek more than JJ Abrams does.

    4. “Blazing Saddles”, my favorite of Mel Brook’s movies, and probably the only one that killed a genre

    3. “Airplane!”, this movie’s endlessly quotable, what else is there to say?

    2. “Black Dynamite”, also quotable start-to-finish, and the attention to period detail is incredible

    1. “The Cornetto Trilogy”, of which “Hot Fuzz” is my favorite but “Shaun of the Dead” is probably the better genre parody.

  16. Blazing Saddles (Few lines made me initially laugh harder than “How did he do such fantastic stunts with such little feet?”)
    Shaun of the Dead
    Young Frankenstein
    Galaxy Quest
    Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

  17. Grant Hagey says:

    1. MMMystery on the Friendship Express – Doesn’t just parody Orient Express but Sherlock Holmes, silent movie villainy, James Bond, martial arts, and Seven.
    2. Honest Apple
    3. 28 Pranks Later – Can’t go wrong with a zombie parody.
    4. Rarity Investigates! – Could have been higher ranked but the black and white wasn’t good. Like I was watching a regular ep on a black and white tv.
    5. Read It and Weep – Though honestly, the Indiana Jones parody takes a back seat to Rainbow Dash coming to grips with the shape of her head.

    Honorable mentions to Johnny English, Johnny English Reborn, and my fanfic Wotcha, Johnny English.

  18. Yourself says:

    After some pretty divergent categories looks like we’re back to another small pool. My boring picks:

    1.) Monty Python’s Life of Brian
    2.) The Princess Bride
    3.) Airplane!
    4.) The Naked Gun
    5.) What We Do in the Shadows… although maybe UHF

    I guess people don’t consider Princess Bride parody? I’m not sure exactly where to draw the line between “funny fairy tale” and “fairy tale parody”, but we’re certainly not meant to take the fantasy elements seriously, even if the film does.

  19. Andrew Milne says:

    All my favourites have already been mentioned – not much else to do but put them in my particular order!

    1: Hot Fuzz
    2: Black Dynamite
    3: Young Frankenstein
    4: Airplane!
    5: Kung Fu Hustle

  20. 1. Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail
    2. Team America: World Police
    3. Young Frankenstein
    4. The Naked Gun
    5. The Man With Two Brains

    Oh, and Airplane!, Hot Fuzz, High Anxiety, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid…

    There were a couple of real funny bits in Amazon Women On The Moon too.

  21. Conrado Falco says:

    Outside of the Mel Brooks classics, I would like to throw in an underrated movie from a couple years ago: David Wain’s “They Came Together”, starring Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd in the best parody of a romantic comedy I have ever seen.


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