Comedy can be difficult to appreciate during initial encounters. A lot of the comedy that is considered top class stuff today was dismissed as weird and sometimes irritating when it was first experimented with. You see this all the time: Will Ferrell’s comedy is still a point of annoyance for many, although Anchorman has established itself as enough of a comedy institution for this generation, this despite a preliminary cold reaction back in 2004, that it has a sequel set for release this winter. Other dated movies like Wet Hot American Summer are starting to take on new identities of comedy hits after their stars have endeared themselves to a wider audience.
The old adage states that comedy is tragedy plus time, but sometimes it feels more like comedy plus time. Comedy is one realm of culture in particular where boundary pushers take a while to catch on. Audiences need time to figure out what a performer is about, for lack of a better term. When someone is really different it’s tempting to just close the YouTube tab and dismiss them as being weird for weirdness’ sake. And sometimes comedy is downright polarizing, with no one able to agree on whether something is funny. Andy Kaufman is a good example of this, as is the huge variation across different cultures as to what constitutes humor.
My point is this: it’s normal for comedy to take a while to hit you. It’s like the moment it hits you that hey, what Steven Wright or Mitch Hedberg or Maria Bamford is doing is actually hilarious. And then suddenly everything clicks and the comedy washes over you. This is just as true with movies, and on that note, here are 7 underappreciated comedies that may be funnier the second time around.