It’s Labor Day weekend here in the United States, but with the economy continuing to drag its feet unemployment remains high and perhaps a better title would be Not Enough Labor Day. With that in mind, we thought everyone could use a laugh, so we put together a Top 7 List of the best worker comedies.
7.) Night Shift (1982)
Ron Howard’s breakthrough film as a director launched Michael Keaton as a screen comic. In this film, he is teamed with a hangdog Henry Winkler as a pair of night attendants at a city morgue. Thinking entrepreneurially, Keaton (as the flakier half of the team) convinces a reluctant Winkler that they could kill two birds with one stone and use their quiet surroundings to start a call-girl business.
6.) Clerks. (1994)
Before Kevin Smith became a Hollywood darling with Chasing Amy, a film he wrote and directed, he made this $27,000 comedy about real-life experiences working for chump change at a New Jersey convenience store. A rude, foul-mouthed collection of anecdotes about the responsibilities that go with being on the wrong side of the till, the film is also a relationship story that takes some hilarious turns once the lovers start revealing their sexual histories to one another.
5.) The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
In the The Coen brothers salute/reworking of the fast-talking comedies of the ’40s, we follow Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins) and his amazing rise to the top. But he’s only a puppet for the evil Sidney J. Mussburger (Paul Newman), who wants the company for himself.
4.) The Big Kahuna (1999)
On the last evening of a convention two seen-it-all industrial lubricant salesmen and a youngster from the research department gather in the hotel’s hospitality suite to host a delegates party. The main aim is to get the business of one particular big fish. When it becomes apparent that it is the lad who has developed a direct line to the guy, his strong religious beliefs bring him into sharp conflict with his older and more cynical colleagues.
3.) Trading Places (1983)
Trading Places is a film directed by John Landis, starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. It tells the story of an upper class commodities broker and a homeless street hustler whose lives cross paths when they are unknowingly made part of an elaborate bet. The storyline has been commented upon as a modern take on Mark Twain’s classic 19th century novel The Prince and the Pauper.
2.) Modern Times (1936)
Modern Times is a 1936 comedy film by Charlie Chaplin that has his iconic Little Tramp character struggling to survive in the modern, industrialized world. The film is a comment on the desperate employment and fiscal conditions many people faced during the Great Depression, conditions created, in Chaplin’s view, by the efficiencies of modern industrialization.
1.) Office Space (1999)
Office Space is a 1999 comedy written and directed by Mike Judge. It satirizes work life in a typical 1990s software company, focusing on a handful of individuals who are fed up with their jobs. The film’s sympathetic portrayal of ordinary IT workers garnered it a cult following among those in that profession, but the film also addresses themes familiar to office workers and white collar employees in general.