Now I know I'm jumping the gun here because Four Christmases hasn't opened yet and any movie that combines the humor of Jon Voight with the understated elegance of Vince Vaughan is sure to be a winner, but I thought I'd risk it and come out with my list of the funniest holiday movies of all time today.
10) Tadpole -- In this odd, Voltaire-ridden coming of age story, we follow a young man in his quest to sleep with his stepmother. It's not a perfect film, it's lacking visually and some of the dialogue falls flat, but it is hilarious when it wants to be and Bebe Neuwirth is awe-inspiring both in her comic timing and sex appeal.
9) The Muppet Christmas Carol -- My favorite part of these movies was always the lack of differentiation between people and muppets, and who better to throw into the mix than the stuffy and sweet Michael Caine. Both hilarious and delightful, the movie makes you feel better about a season so often characterized by greed.
8) Planes, Trains and Automobiles -- This movie teaches us an important lesson: You should always make sure you are reaching for a towel and not John Candy's underwear. Funnier than the film itself, is this mash-up of it and Brokeback Mountain:
7) Santa Clause: The Movie -- Yeah, this movie is awesome. Dudley Moore + evil John Lithgow + a sled that runs on candy canes and hope = unintentionally hilarious. Run, don't walk, to rent this-so-bad-it's-fabulous film.
5) The Ref -- Before Dennis Leary got on everyone's bad side with that autism garbage, he made this film about a dysfunctional Connecticut couple and their bat-shit crazy family, which will definitely make you feel better about your own. It's the funniest he's ever been, but he still gets upstaged by Judy Davis, Christine Baranski and some really mean old lady.
4) Bad Santa -- I never knew Christmas could be so dirty. I'm so glad I was wrong. Plus there's a midget involved.
3) Trading Places -- A revenge fantasy involving corporate greed and the stock exchange set around the holidays? Nice.
2) A Christmas Story -- This movie is the reason I never licked any frozen metal object growing up (yeah, I was a slow kid). It's hokey, and a little slow, but it's a staple of Christmas, in fact, I don't think TBS would have any programming in December without it.
1) Home for the Holidays -- Turns out Jodie Foster is funny, or at least she can direct funny. She gets help from Holly Hunter, Robert Downey, Jr and Anne Bancroft (who is so adorable in this film that I finally understand the urge old ladies have to pinch people's cheeks.)
Feel free to add your favorites below, or simply berate me for nondescript reasons.