Sequels suck.

I know, I know. Everyone’s got an example of a sequel that doesn’t (The Empire Strikes Back, The Two Towers, Casablanca 2: Rick’s Revenge), but for the most part, the phrase “Sequels Suck” is in the same boat as “The Book Was Better” as it is usually true. And it is especially true with comedies. For whatever reason, every time a comedy hits, there is undoubtedly a follow-up in the works that will miss. But comedies have been around as long as Hollywood, and some comedies have a tradition of having hilarious “sequels”. The Marx Brothers, Abbot and Costello, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, Peter Sellers, etc. So what happened to the modern funny picture? Let’s see why these particular sequels suck. I shall only mention actual sequels; otherwise we’d be here all day making fun of Police Academy. Of course, at least MAYBE someone would be laughing at them. Therefore, may I present…

10 Worst Sequels to 10 Great Comedies (a.k.a. It Was Funny Once) *And for the remainder of this article I shall remind you, faithful reader, of exactly how awesome the originals were, and in doing so, demonstrate how bad the films to follow ended up.

1. The Blues Brothers (1980)/ The Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)

One of the greatest comedies of all time, marred by one of the greatest money grabs of all time. Using the Blues Brothers names to open rock clubs is one thing, but to shamelessly market the “new” Blues Brothers for a new millennium is tacky at best, and horrible at worst. Note: Anytime you see a kid in sunglasses on the movie poster, and it’s supposed to be funny/cool, it isn’t and don’t bother.


2. Caddyshack (1980) / Caddyshack II (1988)

Caddyshack was an irreverent comedy along the lines of Meatballs and Animal House, where it’s a no-holes-barred (get it?) attack by the blue-collar slobs vs. the white-collar snobs. Brilliant. So Caddyshack 2 should be a surefire hit, right? Unless you decide to take the iconic characters we love from the first movie (Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield), and do cheap imitations of them in the second. And the fact that known actors are doing the horrible impersonations (Dan Ackroyd, Jackie Gleason) just adds insult to injury.

3. Vacation (1983) / European Vacation (1985)

Ah the tale of Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase), the last great family man. In the first movie, it’s a hilarious road trip gone awry. In the sequel, it’s a movie gone awry, with off-kilter, unfunny observances about the difference between stuffy Europeans and bumbling Americans. Skip European and go straight to Christmas Vacation if you actually want to laugh and not have to haggle with the Netflix people about a refund.

4. Ghostbusters (1984) / Ghostbusters 2 (1989)

A group of academic charlatans actually end up saving New York from ghosts. And then, after they are washed up, they have to save New York again from ghosts. But instead of using the awesome proton packs and one-liners from the first movie, they use pink sludge and the “positive emotions” of the people of the Big Apple to defeat the Big Bad. Really? Watch the first movie twice instead.


5. Police Academy (1984) / Police Academy 2 (1985)

This example might be the end-all-say-all of what is wrong with comedy sequels. The first was a refreshing take on the concept of the bungling losers who come together and make something out of nothing (or a bunch of gags strung together by 80s awesomeness). The second was the polar opposite of funny, taking characters defined in the first movie and turning them into caricatures in the second, and third, and fourth, and… well, Jesus tap dancing Christ on a pogo stick, there are just too many terrible movies to list. How they got made, only God knows (and I don’t think He is laughing either).

6. Revenge of the Nerds (1984) / Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise (1987)

Nerds get Revenge on the Jocks. Well done, every screenwriters dream. And once again, there’s the sequel. A completely unnecessary venture into the realm of Jocks trying to get back at the Nerds (while on a vacation of sort “in paradise) who eventually get back at the Jocks again. Are we sensing a pattern here? Yes.

7. Wayne’s World (1992) / Wayne’s World 2 (1993)

One of the few skits from SNL to actually make it onto the silver screen in a watchable form. Sadly, the sequel took a talented actor and Dana Carvey on another pointless adventure, where the only reason it was made was to extend those catchphrases and bankrolls. Shaaa!


8. Clerks (1994) / Clerks II (2006)

Clerks – A brilliant, low-budget, perfectly adept tirade at the nonsense of the working class struggles circa the 1990’s. Clerks II – a sappy, over-the-top grab that proved to DVD buyers everywhere that twelve years did nothing to change the ability to push sentimental buttons to generate sales.

9. Friday (1995) / Next Friday (2000)

Not received well by the critics, but a great flick. The sequel, not well received by those who liked the original, but it’s a staple of blah blah blah. I’m guessing the original didn’t go over well with most critics due to their ethnicity/age-influenced make up, and I’m guessing the sequel didn’t go over well do to its extreme horribleness.

The Hangover Part II

10. The Hangover (2009) / The Hangover Part II (2011)

A fresh, spastic comedy with heart and soul about a bachelor party gone bonkers! And by bonkers, I mean pay-per-view, girls-gone-wild, what-stays-in-Vegas nastiness! Thus, the sequel has to trump the original right? Nice try, IT’S THE SAME GODDAMN MOVIE! They simply changed the setting. No lie! Watch it, plot it out, and tell me I’m wrong. I dare you. FAIL!

I think the last example is the best one to end this article with. Not because it’s in chronological order, but because it goes to prove that sequels are dubious at best. Action movies tend to take the same characters and put them in new situations with different outcomes. Comedies tend to take the same characters and put them in the same scenarios, expecting different laughs. When will they learn?

*Special thanks to Ian Murphy’s brother, Tim, for suggesting he write this article. Here are some movies we’re both glad never had sequels: Blazing Saddles, Animal House, Spaceballs, and Bad Santa. Can you imagine? Don’t, seriously, it’s scary…