Shamless Comedies That Don't Care If You're Offended

These shameless comedies don’t care if you’re offended — they just want to make you laugh. Dating from the 1970s to just this past year, they prove that a good laugh crosses all boundaries.

Not Another Teen Movie (2000)

A brutal but affectionate takedown of teen movies from Lucas to She’s All That to Fast Times at Ridgemont High to The Breakfast Club, Not Another Teen Movie is a blitzkrieg of offense filled with sex, bathroom jokes, insane violence and surprisingly acute social commentary.

Where else can you see Chris Evans misusing a banana, white kids who pretend to be Asian, and football players split in half?

Not Another Teen Movie could cut every offensive joke and still be very funny, but it gets extra points for the sheer audacity of keeping them in.

The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)

With wall-to-wall gratuitous flesh and racial humor, The Kentucky Fried Movie is the modern-day definition of problematic, but it’s also a perfect time capsule of the freewheeling 1970s: It spots and skewers genres from kung-fu to Blaxploitation to women-in-prison movies in quick-hit, take-it-or-leave it sketches that are perfect sendups of a whole slew of grindhouse classics.

It’s also an important movie, believe it or not — it was the breakthrough for its director, John Landis, and for its writers, the comedic team of David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker, who would soon go on to make Airplane.

White Chicks (2004)

Marlon and Shawn Wayans play Black FBI agents who impersonate rich white socialites to infiltrate a pompous Hamptons social scene — and break up a conspiracy. Along the way they learn how white people act when they think no one of other races are around, but also start to see the world from a woman’s perspective.

If you’re not offended by something in White Chicks, you aren’t paying attention. The Wayans take down privileged white people, but also everyone else, and make points about our weird racial and sexual hangups along the way. White Chicks always keeps you guessing about how far it will go, and it goes pretty far.

Airplane (1980)

June Cleaver speaking jive is deeply inappropriate — and one of the funniest things that has ever happened in a movie.

God bless Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker for coming up with the idea of Barbara Billingsley delivering the line, “Oh stewardess? I speak jive.” And also for the 7,000 other great jokes in Airplane, one of the all-time greatest comedies.

Borat (2006)

20th Century Fox

Sacha Baron Cohen impersonates a sexist, anti-Semitic, generally clueless Kazakh journalist who makes Americans feel free to say things they wouldn’t ordinarily say. He’s gloriously ignorant, but his guilelessness brings out the worst in people who should know better. (And also, very occasionally, the best.)

Borat’s behavior is wildly offensive, but he’s so demented that you can’t help but feel sorry for him, and Baron Cohen and his team manage to strike a perfect mix of revulsion and vulnerability. What’s most impressive is how much of it Baron Cohen had to improvise on the fly, in tense and often dangerous positions.

The 2020 sequel, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, is also terrific.

Coming to America (1988)


There’s something to offend everyone in the hilarious grotesquerie of Coming to America, in which Eddie Murphy and company takes potshots at royalty, the nouveau riche, and the scrappy underclass. But the movie is most focused on traditional gender roles, and finding mutual respect. There are a lot of dicey jokes along the way, and we’re fine with that.

Team America: World Police (2004)


It’s impossible to take any self-righteous actor seriously after watching this puppet-movie spy thriller that despises Kim Jong-Il, but hates Sean Penn even more.

Puppet love scenes, projectile vomiting that goes on much too long, unapologetic jingoism — Team America, from the creators of South Park, is a mockery of gung-ho nationalism, but also a compelling defense of American foreign policy at its best.

There’s also a fantastic metaphor involving three different body parts that we think about way more than we should.

Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)

Monty Python takes on the ultimate sacred cow: the story of Jesus. It looks as magnificent as Hollywood’s biggest Biblical epics, which makes its takedown of pomposity all the more subversive and hysterical.

A great many great bits and routines darkly culminate in the deranged cheeriness of the final musical number, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”

It’s all quite sacrilegious, and that’s the whole point.

The Jerk (1979)

Universal Pictures

“I was born a poor Black child,” Steve Martin’s Navin Johnson explains at the start of this absurdist masterpiece, and it all builds up into a righteous kung-fu takedown at his hideously tacky mansion that features maybe the only time in history it’s been totally OK for a white guy to scream the most offensive of all racial slurs.

No one else could have pulled of the balancing act except for Steve Martin, whose special purpose is to make us all laugh.

We won’t pretend to be objective here: This is maybe our favorite movie out of all comedies, ever.

Tropic Thunder (2008)

Tropic Thunder always walks a thin line, but especially with Ben Stiller’s Simple Jack character and Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Kirk Lazarus, an Australian actor who really, really commits to playing a Black character.

“I make no apologies for Tropic Thunder,” Stiller tweeted last year when someone erroneously said he had apologized for the film. “Don’t know who told you that. It’s always been a controversial movie since when we opened. Proud of it and the work everyone did on it.”

South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999)

South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut seeks out sympathy for the devil: We’re supposed to root for Satan himself as he tries to escape an abusive relationship with Saddam Hussein.

There’s also lots of violence against kids and flagrant anti-Canadian propaganda.

But of course, Canadians were too nice to get offended.

Bottoms (2023)

People who think younger generations can’t handle a joke should watch the hilarious Bottoms. Director and co-writer Emma Seligman describes it as a story of “teen girls who start a fight club so they can try to impress and hook up with cheerleaders.” 

It shrugs off the recent tradition of LGBTQ+ characters being portrayed as either martyrs or saints and presents its protagonists as lovable dirtbags. The most shocking scene is one in which a member of the fight club takes on a male kickboxer, and girl power definitely does not prevail. 

Bottoms shares an absurdist, unapologetic vibe with Not Another Teen Movie and we love it.

Blazing Saddles (1974)

Warner Bros.

Blazing Saddles is filled with gags big and small, some of which will work for you and some of which won’t. It has quite a few race-based jokes, but the film is very much on the side of Sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little), a Black sheriff trying to bring progress to the Wild West.

The American Film Institute ranks Blazing Saddles as the sixth-funniest movie of all time, but director and co-writer Mel Brooks disagrees: “I love Some Like It Hot, but we have the funniest movie ever made,” Brooks told Vanity Fair in 2016, not caring if you’re offended.

The five films that landed ahead of Blazing Saddles on AFI’s list were, from first to fifth, Some Like It Hot, Tootsie, Dr. Strangelove, Annie Hall, and Duck Soup.

Main image: The Kentucky Fried Movie.