A Mind-Boggling Omission: Premiere Magazine's "50 Greatest Comedies" List Somehow Omits "Life of Brian"

Back in early-July I sent a letter to the editors of Premiere Magazine and they've just printed it in the issue that came out this week (October 2006 - the one with Cate Blanchett on the cover). However, they edited it down to almost nothing. I would've liked them to use the final three paragraphs, where I was actually saying something, but I guess they wouldn't want anything too critical - or even slightly political - to appear in print. It was worth a try anyway. Below you'll find a) My letter that I sent to them on July 7th, and b) What they actually printed. I still can't believe they made a list of "The 50 Greatest Comedies" without including The Greatest Comedy Ever.

Mike Cowie (Oredakedo)
Thursday, September 21st, 2006

To the PREMIERE letters editor:

Being a huge fan of comedy, and of your magazine, I was pretty excited when I picked up your "Comedy Issue" the other day. As I made my way through the magazine I came to your list of "The 50 Greatest Comedies". And, yes, there they all were, my all-time favorite comedies: "Dr. Strangelove", "Blazing Saddles", "Monty Python and The Holy Grail", "Annie Hall", "This Is Spinal Tap", "Austin Powers", "The Big Lebowski" and "Best In Show". But then I realized you missed one - and not just any ol' comedy either. You missed what I'd not only call my favorite comedy of all time but what I'd also have to say is THE most intelligent comedy ever made. I'm talking about Monty Python's "Life of Brian", of course. How on earth could you possibly leave such an absolute comedy classic off your list???

Leaving "Life of Brian" off a Best Comedies of All-Time list is akin to leaving "Citizen Kane" or "Raging Bull" or "Taxi Driver" or, er, "Life of Brian" off any Greatest Films of All-Time list. What, I must ask, were you thinking?

I mean, I enjoyed "The Apartment", "Some Like It Hot", "Heaven Can Wait", "Trading Places" and "A Fish Called Wanda"; completely loved "A Shot In The Dark", "M*A*S*H", "Sleeper", "Groundhog Day" and "Rushmore"; and laughed my head off watching "Animal House", "National Lampoon's Vacation", "There's Something About Mary", "Zoolander" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin", but none of those films comes close to "Life of Brian" for pure brilliance and comedic intelligence. Not only is the film completely hilarious from beginning to end, but it's also still totally relevant today. Just look at how they satirize fervent religious fanatics (with their tendency to split into separate groups and wage war against one another in the name of the Lord), as well as occupying armies, rebel movements, and Big Dicks (I'm referring to "Bigus Dickus" of course - and who could forget Bigus Dickus? - who, in the remake, will simply be called "Cheney").

But, come on now, we all make mistakes and the simple thing to do here is fess up to this big blunder and admit you screwed up big time in leaving "Life of Brian" off your list. Seriously now, "Caddyshack" and "Wedding Crashers" are lots of fun to watch, but there's no way they even come close to "Life of Brian" when it comes to pure comical brilliance, daring and originality.

Perhaps you were fearful of a backlash from the Bible Belt, since some people down there undoubtedly may claim the film to be blasphemous, but such silliness must simply be ignored because, come on, we all know the obvious truth here is "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy."

Mike Cowie
July 7th 2006


And here's what they actually printed:

Being a huge fan of comedy, and of your magazine, I was pretty excited when I picked up your "Comedy Issue" the other day. As I made my way through the magazine I came to your list of "The 50 Greatest Comedies". And, yes, there they all were, my all-time favorite comedies: "Dr. Strangelove", "Blazing Saddles", "Monty Python and The Holy Grail", "This Is Spinal Tap", "Austin Powers", "Annie Hall", "The Big Lebowski", and "Best In Show". But then I realized you missed one, and not just any ol' comedy either. I'm talking about Monty Python's "Life of Brian", of course. Leaving "Life of Brian" off a best-comedies-of-all-time list is akin to leaving "Citizen Kane" or "Raging Bull" or "Taxi Driver" or, er, "Life of Brian" off a list of the greatest films of all time. What, I must ask, were you thinking?

Mike Cowie

Pfft

Take a deep breathe, I mean, theres no perfect list out there. Someone will always think the list should be different.

Mike Likes to Watch

'As Chance Gardener so succinctly put it in "Being There", I like to watch'. This is a quote from Mike at the start of his Film section. Whether it's the triple X cartoon adventures of Porky Pig and Jessica Rabbit in 'Animal Farm: Sex and the Satyr' or whether it's as a shell-shocked fullback on the pitch while the over 30 'wunder-kinders' of the CPU strike force move the ball around at sub sonic speed; while the rest of us are trying to wrest a living from the cold cruel world while slaving for our families, Mike is in his basement, the blue light of the t.v. flickering on his face, where he 'likes to watch'.

Dave R.