Over time, the idea of what is funny and what goes too far changes drastically. My grandpa loves the movie “Young Frankenstein,” but I doubt he would even smirk while watching “Team America: World Police.”
But some comedic movies are so timeless, generation after generation can watch them and laugh all the same. Two movies I love to watch with my parents are no different: “Animal House” and “Caddyshack.”
While “Caddyshack” has memorable conflicts and quotes, “Animal House” has characters to whom anyone can relate: the douche-bag frat guys, the laid-back, suave ladies’ men, power-hungry higher-ups, and quiet-but-well-intentioned freshmen.
The battle between rich daddies’ boys and the Delta Tau Chi house is classic. Good versus evil at its finest. The plot is simple: Dean Wormer and the Omegas try to kick the Deltas off campus just for trying to have a good time with a frat party or two. And throughout this conflict there are timeless dirty jokes and college moments. What more could one ask for?
I can’t count the number of times my parents and I could not stop laughing after watching the romance scene with Greg and Mandy in the car, where Mandy asks one of the greatest questions ever asked: “Greg, is it supposed to be this soft?”
A bit dirty, yes, but how many movies can you watch with your parents during which you are laughing as hard as your dad is? Poppa Kennedy is glued to the screen every time John Belushi sneaks gracefully across campus to break into the administration building, or when you hear that Larry “Pinto” Kroger is about to lose his virginity to the 13-year-old daughter of the mayor.
Many movies try to copy the “Animal House” concept of college life and frat guys, but they won’t run on futuristic cable in 30 years. Somehow, “Animal House” just keeps attracting new generations of viewers, while maintaining its loyal following, most of which is adults who saw the movie multiple times when it came out.
When I come back for the 100th anniversary of my fraternity’s presence at K-State in 13 years, I look forward to seeing a pledge brother’s name with the words “whereabouts unknown” next to it.
When I watch this classic, I know my little sister and mom and dad are falling over laughing when they hear Pinto needs to be set up with a girl with a “morally casual attitude.”
“Animal House” wasn’t supposed to be that great. A few low-key actors and John Landis’ and Harold Ramis’ genius make a movie that should have been awful a masterpiece.
In 22 years, Animal House will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its release, and I know there will be showings all over the country to watch and re-watch such a work of art. And outside the theaters will be lines, miles long, with four or five generations of fans.
I’ll be there, and so will people twice my age, and we all will be wearing our togas. I’ll see you there.
Owen Kennedy is a junior in management. Please send comments to email@example.com.