All I Want to Do Right Now Is Watch Bill Hader's List of 200 Essential Movies Everyone Should See

Sixty-six down, 134 to go!

Aug 27, 2014 at 9:00am | Leave a comment

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Bill Hader and Michael Sacks

I am a lists person. I am a movie person. I am a Bill Hader person.

So when my friend Mike Sacks released his new book called "Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations With Today's Top Comedy Writers," I was pretty psyched to read all of the interviews inside (there's some great ones with Amy Poehler, Mel Brooks, Adam McKay and Patton Oswalt). Then, when I went to Mike's reading for the book with Bill Hader, my excitement reached a whole new level of obsession. Not only was Hader totally hilarious and great at the reading (telling a lot of stories he had never shared before), but inside of Mike's new book, it turns out Hader actually lists "200 Essential Movies Every Comedy Writer Should See."

I would actually expand that to say it's 200 movies everyone should see.

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Mike Sacks' book is the bomb if you like comedy.

Hader has always been one of my favorites. Not only because of his Stefon character on "SNL" but also for his consistently joyful performances (to me his cop in "Superbad" makes the movie). I recorded a bunch of video at the reading and when I asked if I could list all 200 of Hader's favorite movies on xoJane, I was psyched that Mike gave me his blessing.

While I'm sure many of you will disagree with several of the movies on this list (so much Woody Allen), I'm also guessing there are a few in here that are amongst some of your top fives.

Now that I've looked at a lot of the Rotten Tomatoes reviews (which I've linked below), I've decided that my new completely neurotic goal is to see all of these 200 movies.

Oh, and the good news is that a lot of these movies are available on Netflix Instant ("Airplane," "Amarcord," "Animal Crackers," "Annie Hall," "Arsenic and Old Lace," "Back to the Future," "The Bad News Bears," "Being There," "Best in Show"...you get the idea).

So now, here is the list in all of its awesome Bill Hader's-excellent-taste-in-movies glory:

  1. 9 to 5 (1980)
  2. 1941 (1979)
  3. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
  4. Ace in the Hole (1951)
  5. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)
  6. After Hours (1985)
  7. Airplane! (1980)
  8. Amarcord (1973)
  9. American Graffiti (1973)
  10. An American in Paris (1951)
  11. Animal Crackers (1930)
  12. Annie Hall (1977)
  13. The Apartment (1960)
  14. Army of Darkness (1992)
  15. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
  16. Back to the Future (1985)
  17. The Bad News Bears (1976)
  18. Bananas (1971)
  19. The Band Wagon (1953)
  20. The Bank Dick (1940)
  21. Barton Fink (1991)
  22. Beetlejuice (1988)
  23. Being There (1979)
  24. Best in Show (2000)
  25. Better Off Dead (1985)
  26. Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958)
  27. The Big Lebowski (1998)
  28. The Birdcage (1996)
  29. Blazing Saddles (1974)
  30. The Blues Brothers (1980)
  31. Boogie Nights (1997)
  32. Born Yesterday (1950)
  33. Bottle Rocket (1996)
  34. Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932)
  35. Brazil (1985)
  36. Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
  37. Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
  38. The ‘Burbs (1989)
  39. Cabin in the Sky (1943)
  40. Caddyshack (1980)
  41. Catch-22 (1970)
  42. The Circus (1928)
  43. City Lights (1931)
  44. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  45. Closely Watched Trains (1966)
  46. The Cocoanuts (1929)
  47. Coming to America (1988)
  48. The Court Jester (1956)
  49. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
  50. Dames (1934)
  51. A Day at the Races (1937)
  52. Dazed and Confused (1993)
  53. Design for Living (1933)
  54. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
  55. Down by Law (1986)
  56. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
  57. Drag Me to Hell (2009)
  58. Duck Soup (1933)
  59. Ed Wood (1994)
  60. Election (1999)
  61. The Evil Dead (1981)
  62. Evil Dead 2 (1987)
  63. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
  64. Fargo (1996)
  65. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
  66. The Firemen’s Ball (1967)
  67. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
  68. The Foot Fist Way (2006)
  69. The Fortune (1975)
  70. Four Lions (2010)
  71. Gates of Heaven (1978)
  72. The General (1926)
  73. Get Shorty (1995)
  74. Ghostbusters (1984)
  75. The Gold Rush (1925)
  76. Good Morning (1959)
  77. The Goonies (1985)
  78. The Graduate (1967)
  79. Grand Illusion (1937)
  80. The Great Race (1965)
  81. The Groove Tube (1974)
  82. Groundhog Day (1993)
  83. Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)
  84. Heaven Can Wait (1943)
  85. His Girl Friday (1940)
  86. Horse Feathers (1932)
  87. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
  88. I Vitelloni (1953)
  89. I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978)
  90. I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988)
  91. The Incredibles (2004)
  92. It Happened One Night (1934)
  93. It’s a Gift (1934)
  94. It’s Always Fair Weather (1955)
  95. The Jerk (1979)
  96. Jules and Jim (1962)
  97. The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)
  98. The King of Comedy (1983)
  99. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
  100. L’Atalante (1934)
  101. The Ladykillers (1955)
  102. The Last Detail (1973)
  103. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
  104. Let It Ride (1989)
  105. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
  106. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
  107. Little Murders (1971)
  108. Lolita (1962)
  109. The Long Goodbye (1973)
  110. Lost in America (1985)
  111. Love and Death (1975)
  112. Loves of a Blonde (1965)
  113. M*A*S*H (1970)
  114. The Man in the White Suit (1951)
  115. The Man with Two Brains (1983)
  116. A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
  117. The Merry Widow (1934)
  118. Midnight Run (1988)
  119. The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944)
  120. Modern Romance (1981)
  121. Mon Oncle (1958)
  122. Monkey Business (1931)
  123. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
  124. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
  125. Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)
  126. Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (1953)
  127. Mr. Mom (1983)
  128. Mystery Train (1989)
  129. The Naked Gun (1988)
  130. Nashville (1975)
  131. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
  132. Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941)
  133. A Night at the Opera (1935)
  134. Noises Off (1992)
  135. One, Two, Three (1961)
  136. Orgazmo (1997)
  137. Our Hospitality (1923)
  138. Out of Sight (1998)
  139. The Palm Beach Story (1942)
  140. Parenthood (1989)
  141. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
  142. Play Time (1967)
  143. The Player (1992)
  144. The Princess Bride (1987)
  145. The Producers (1968)
  146. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
  147. Radio Days (1987)
  148. Raising Arizona (1987)
  149. Real Life (1979)
  150. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
  151. Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)
  152. Rushmore (1998)
  153. Safe Men (1998)
  154. Salesman (1968)
  155. Schizopolis (1996)
  156. A Serious Man (2009)
  157. Shaolin Soccer (2001)
  158. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
  159. Sherlock Jr. (1924)
  160. Shoot the Pianist (1960)
  161. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
  162. Short Cuts (1993)
  163. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
  164. Sixteen Candles (1984)
  165. Songs from the Second Floor (2000)
  166. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) 
  167. The Squid and the Whale (2005)
  168. Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
  169. Stripes (1981)
  170. Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
  171. Take the Money and Run (1969)
  172. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
  173. Team America: World Police (2004)
  174. This is Spinal Tap (1984)
  175. Three Amigos! (1986)
  176. Time Bandits (1981)
  177. To Be or Not to Be (1942)
  178. Toy Story (1995)
  179. Toy Story 2 (1999)
  180. Toy Story 3 (2010)
  181. Trading Places (1983)
  182. Trouble in Paradise (1932)
  183. Twentieth Century (1934)
  184. Unfaithfully Yours (1948)
  185. Up (2009)
  186. Used Cars (1980)
  187. Vernon, Florida (1981)
  188. Waiting for Guffman (1996)
  189. A Wedding (1978)
  190. Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
  191. What’s Up, Doc? (1972)
  192. What’s Up Tiger Lily? (1966)
  193. The White Sheik (1952)
  194. Withnail and I (1987)
  195. You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man (1939)
  196. You Can’t Take It with You (1938)
  197. You the Living (2007)
  198. Young Frankenstein (1974)
  199. Zelig (1983)
  200. Zero for Conduct (1933)

Turns out, I've only seen 66 of the 200 from the list so I have a ways to go. (And of those I've seen, I would say that "Nashville," "Annie Hall," "The Graduate" "Fargo" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" are my top five favorites). As for the five I'm probably the most embarrassed to admit I haven't seen, I would say: "Up," "Young Frankenstein," "Evil Dead," "Monsters, Inc." and "The Squid and the Whale."

My question for you: How do the movies on this list rank for you? If you want tell me your five favorites from this list and the five you kind of can't believe you still haven't seen yet, I'd be interested in that, too.

Oh, and are there any on here you absolutely can't stand? Do tell.