10 Awesome Old Guys in Comedy Movies

In my opinion there are two types of old guys in comedy movies.  There’s the old guy who is far and away the focal point of the movie.  The entire time you are watching him be angry at his age, getting pissed off for no reason, and making hilarious comments because he can get away with them.

Then there’s the old guy character that accentuates the movie.  These are the guys who aren’t in the movie quite as often but certainly have a profound effect on the tone and level of comedy the movie will possess. Either type can be extremely effective and I figured I’d put together a solid list of awesome old guys from comedy movies.

1. Blue in Old School (Patrick Cranshaw)

Old Guys

“Just ring the bell you pansy” kind of sealed the deal for me.  Blue may not have been in that many scenes but he definitely stole the show as far as I’m concerned.

2. Sidney Mussburger in The Hudsucker Proxy (Paul Newman)

Old Guys

I personally think this was an underrated movie from the Coen brothers.  And Paul Newman was pretty damned funny as the greedy and sadistic President of the Hudsucker corporation.   I’d say the comedy in this movie is almost disturbing.  Funny nonetheless though.

3. Grandpa Gustafson in Grumpy Old Men (Burgess Meredith)

Old Guys

One of the most classic old man roles is that of Grandpa Gustafson.  Played by Burgess Meredith, he uses metaphors throughout the entire movie and alludes to his sex life.  It’s really hilarious since his character is supposed to be in his late 80’s.

“Looks like Chuck’s taking old one-eye to the optometrist”

4. Melvin Udall in As Good as it Gets (Jack Nicholson)

Old Guys

Probably one of the best grumpy senior guy roles is the one Jack Nicholson plays in this flick.  “I’d be the luckiest guy in the world if that did it for me.”  His constant bombardment of homosexual tendencies and judgment of people are part of his “charm” but they eventually lead to him realizing a lot about himself and the woman he loves.

5. Grandpa Manilow in Road Trip(Edmund Lyndeck)

Old Guys

Picture not from Road Trip

“Your Boner!”  “Well, what do you want me to do about it!”   “Are you gonna pass that doobie or what?”  He may not have been in the movie for that long, but he was damned funny.

6. Mr. Jackson in Boomerang (John Witherspoon)

Old Guys

This picture is not from Boomerang

“You got to coordinate.”  By far the funniest scene in Boomerang is when the Jackson’s come over the Marcus’s apartment for dinner.  They not only embarrass their son (David Alan Grier) but they have sex and Mr. Jackson wears matching tie, belt, and inseam to his jacket.

7. Max Goldman in Grumpy Old Men (Walter Mathau)

Old Guys

As good as Grandpa was, you can’t have an old man list without Walter Mathau in it.  And Max Goldman is definitely the epitome of a great grumpy old man.

8. Thomas Benson in Hot Shots(Lloyd Bridges)

Old Guys

You have to admit that Hot Shots was definitely a classic.  And as far as I’m concerned Lloyd Bridges was probably the best character in that movie.  His constant reference to parts of his body being gone are pretty damned funny, and his slapstick skills were very solid.

9. Old Man Clemens in Billy Madison (Jack Mather)

Old Guys

Picture not from Billy Madison

“It’s poop again!”

10. Ballstein in Zoolander(Jerry Stiller)

Old Guys

Tough to make one of these lists and not include the man who played Frank Costanza.

*I’m sure I missed plenty.  Add yours in the comments.

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  1. No list is complete without Judge Smails and/or Al Czervik from Caddyshack. Others would be Mr. Herlihey from “Big Daddy” and Uncle Lewis from “Christmas Vacation”. Also, not sure what your definition of “old” is, but what about Tom Smykowski from “Office Space”?

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