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12 Comedy Sequels That Might Actually Be Better Than The Originals

Updated April 23, 2021 25.5k votes 4.5k voters 182.5k views13 items

List RulesVote up the comedy sequels that out-joked their predecessors.

There's a preconceived notion that sequels are never as good as the original movie. While that may usually be the case, there are a select few comedy sequels that might actually be better than the originals. 

It may sound completely blasphemous to even think that National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is funnier than National Lampoon's Vacation. But one can surely make a case that Clark Griswold's Christmas decorations and overall bumbling-idiot sweetness are funnier in Christmas Vacation. Perhaps it should at least be considered that Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me generates more laughs than the original Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.

Vote up all the sequels you think are funnier than the original. 

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  • There are several National Lampoon's Vacation movies featuring the Griswold family. The first one, Vacation (1983), is a laugh-riot classic. However, it wouldn’t be considered total comedy blasphemy to call the third film in the series, Christmas Vacation (1989), written by John Hughes, the best of the best.

    Who doesn’t think of Clark Griswold when they see a ridiculously decorated house at Christmastime? The well-minded patriarch just wants to enjoy the best Christmas ever. But things like a really mean boss and all sorts of humorous bad luck get in the way. Interspersed with these comedy gems are true moments of sincerity and heart. Plus, is this rendition of the ever-changing Griswold kids, played by Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki, the most entertaining of the bunch?

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  • In the summer of 1999, everyone was eagerly anticipating the first prequel Star Wars film, The Phantom Menace. The geniuses behind the marketing for the Austin Powers sequel successfully used their competition in their ad campaign. “If you see one movie this summer, see Star Wars. If you see a second, see Austin Powers.” 

    Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me brought in more money in their opening weekend than the entire box-office run of the original movie. Not only was the film a gigantic financial success, but it was a comedic success, as well. The plot features the titular groovy hero Austin Powers (Mike Myers) traveling back in time to the 1960s to get his mojo back. Dr. Evil also travels back in time with his villainous plan to be king of the world.

    The sequel's harmless parody centers on Powers's endless sex puns and potty humor. The jokes do not get stale no matter how raunchy and naughty they may be. Rob Lowe (Number 2) is magnificent as young Robert Wagner and Verne Troyer as Mini-Me will always be funny. The movie is an endless parade of hilarious pop-culture references, from the obvious 007 rips to Busby Berkeley musicals. 

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  • The Addams Family is a funny movie - the 1993 sequel Addams Family Values is even funnier. In addition, the follow-up features more developed characters and a better story that revs up right from the beginning with the film's cold opening. Gomez (Raul Julia) and Morticia (Anjelica Huston) have a baby and they name it Pubert!

    What takes the sequel to the next level is Joan Cusack as Uncle Fester's (Christopher Lloyd) villainous black widow love interest named Debbie. Cusack plays a comic serial killer especially well and generates both laughs and terror. Debbie is a true femme fatale - a manipulative woman who is smarter than everyone else in the room (with the possible exception of Pubert).

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  • Topper Harley (Charlie Sheen), a parody of the character Rambo, has left his violent life and lives in a remote land among monks. Col. Denton Walters (Richard Crenna - yes, the actor from Rambo) seeks him out because Topper needs to rescue all of the Americans in "the jungles of Iraq" who failed on multiple rescue attempts. Yes, he's the best person left for the job because he's basically the only person left for the job. 

    The thing with parody movies is that the references either land or they don't. Will the audience think that Rambo/Commando action spoof gags are funny or merely just silly in a bad way? It's a fine line and Hot Shots! Part Deux does parody even better than the original Hot Shots!

    The sequel is inundated with Hollywood insider jokes. Perhaps the best is when Martin Sheen is in a boat floating down the river a la Apocalypse Now. He passes Topper, and the real-life father and son give a shoutout to the movie Wall Street, where they play a father and a son. 

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