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Greatest Modern Comedic Characters: 5 Roles That Live on Through the Big Screen

By    |   Monday, 27 Apr 2015 10:29 AM

Ever since the silent film era and stars like Buster Keaton, American filmgoers have had an insatiable appetite for movie comedies. From Peter Sellers's Jacques Clouseau to Charlie Chaplin's Tramp, the most memorable comedic films feature unforgettable characters.

Hollywood has continued that tradition in recent times. Here are five of the greatest modern comedic characters of the last 30 years.

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1. Ron Burgundy ("Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" and "Anchorman 2: "The Legend Continues")

Will Ferrell's bumbling TV newsman first graced the silver screen in "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" in 2004, according to Splitsider. The movie was a smash hit, earning $85 million at the box office and prompting a 2013 sequel, "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," that exceeded the original, making $125 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

2. Ferris Buehler ("Ferris Buehler's Day Off)

"Ferris Buehler's Day Off" was the quintessential teen comedy of the 1980s by the king of 1980s teen comedies, John Hughes, according to Screen Rant. The 1986 film propelled Matthew Broderick to stardom for his performance as the sardonic suburban Chicago high school slacker who just needed a 24-hour break from life.

3. Clark Griswold ("National Lampoon's Vacation" series)

Starting in 1983, the "National Lampoon's Vacation" franchise was led by Chevy Chase's beloved performance as Griswold, the hapless family man with the infamous station wagon, according to the Boston Globe. Griswold's unbridled optimism in the face of an unrelenting comedy of errors helped spur the production of four "Vacation" movies that raised a combined total of $218 million in box office sales, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

4. Peter Venkman ("Ghostbusters" and "Ghostbusters 2")

"Ghostbusters" captured the imagination of 1980s audiences to the tune of $238 million in 1984, triggering a successful sequel in 1989 that earned $112 million and making the Ivan Reitman-directed horror comedy the sixth-highest grossing movie of the decade, according to Filmsite. The character who drove the "Ghostbusters" franchise's popularity was Dr. Peter Venkman, brilliantly played for maximum laughs by Bill Murray. Empire magazine cleverly summed up the leader of the Ghostbusters unit: "Venkman is the ultimate New York hero: cynical, sarcastic and secretly sweet-natured."

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5. Forrest Gump ("Forrest Gump")

The 1994 comedy-drama drew critical praise and public adoration to the tune of $677 million in worldwide box office sales, according to Box Office Mojo. Driving the movie's global approval was Tom Hanks in the iconic lead role, according to Screen Rant. Hanks secured his second straight Best Actor Oscar, regaling moviegoers with a combination of comedic charm and poignant innocence that made Gump perhaps Hanks' most endearing character.

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Ever since the silent film era and stars like Buster Keaton, American filmgoers have had an insatiable appetite for movie comedies. Here are five of the greatest modern comedic characters of the last 30 years.
modern, comedies, characters, films, movies
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2015-29-27
Monday, 27 Apr 2015 10:29 AM
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