Clerks II might be the "official" sequel in Kevin Smith's Askewniverse movies, and it's pretty funny, but we favor the more consistent, far less maudlin laughs to be found in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, which features the titular drug dealers traveling to Hollywood, running afoul of sexy thieves, and meeting one bizarre celebrity cameo after another.
The family-friendly Father of the Bride movies are both remakes of classic Spencer Tracy comedies. Maybe that's why the sequel turned out so great. Adapted from 1951's Father's Little Dividend, this heartwarming sequel found Steve Martin - who had just gotten used to the idea of his daughter getting married - becoming a grandfather and, just to make his life harder, becoming a father... again. To make matters worse, both his wife and his daughter go into labor at the same time (naturally).
Everyone loves the Harold & Kumar movies, but we favor the cheerful tone and wild digressions of their third movie - A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas - over their trip to Guantanamo Bay. Kumar keeps ruining Harold's Christmas, leading to Wafflebots, dangerous coke-dealing sociopaths, musical numbers by Neil Patrick Harris, and the best Rankin/Bass homage we've ever seen.
Beach Blanket Bingo icons Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello went back to the beach in 1987's Back to the Beach, and they brought their naive charm and their rebellious kids with them. Lyndall Hobbs' quirky comedy is about the generational gap between the 1960s and the 1980s, and now they both feel so damned retro that watching the film is like visiting an alternate, but delightful, universe.
Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult is about as funny as the second one, but as time goes by we find we remember this one more vividly. Frank Drebin goes undercover to apprehend Fred Ward and Anna Nicole Smith, who plan to bomb the Academy Awards, forcing Leslie Nielson to impersonate Phil Donahue to the enormous detriment of Donahue's public image. There's five jokes a minute, and at least half of them are funny as hell.
The Brady's were back and they were more surreal than ever in A Very Brady Sequel. Arlene Sanford's follow-up to the unexpected hit comedy, which found the Brady Bunch in the present day, but acting just like they did in the 1970s, introduces Carol's ex-husband into the mix, throwing the whole family in disarray, and throwing Marcia and Greg into their step-sibling's arms for some seriously creepy, subversive laughs.
Bill and Ted had already traveled through time. How do you top that? By sending them into the afterlife, playing Twister with the personification of Death, facing down their worst fears in Hell and searching for robotics experts in Heaven. It's a truly bizarre movie, but far more inventive than the typical comedy sequel, and Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter were just as lovable as ever.
The sequel Top Gun parody Hot Shots! morphed into a Rambo knock-off, and it's arguably funnier than the original. Topper Harley (Charlie Sheen) is sent to Iraq to rescue his girlfriend's husband (awkward), and Lloyd Bridges has an epic light saber fight with Saddam Hussein. Come on... that's funny.
The Ghostbusters fight off a spectral painting and save New York City by bringing the Statue of Liberty to life in Ghostbusters II, a sequel that's (almost) as funny and (almost) as inventive as the original. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson didn't lose their peculiar comic chemistry, and some of those special effects are still as impressive as hell.
Ron Burgundy is back in a sequel that revisits most of the same jokes as the original, but bigger, and with pointed jabs at the 24-hour cable news cycle to boot. It's damned funny, but doesn't quite hit the comedy zeniths of the original. And oh, that ridiculous fight sequence...
The pseudo-sequel to Knocked Up is Judd Apatow's most thoughtful, relatable saga of arrested development, following side-characters Pete and Debbie (Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann) into their 40th birthdays as they try not to kill each other - or themselves - by acting on their overwhelming fears of responsibility. It's too long, but Rudd and Mann are hilarious and the story, though bourgeois to the extreme, is sweetly sympathetic.
The "SNL" heroes are putting on an all-star concert - "Waynestock" - and recruiting the spiritual guidance of Jim Morrison and his weird naked Indian to help them. Along the way they accidentally impersonate The Village People, replace a crappy walk-on role with Charlton Heston and celebrate the wonders of Rip Taylor. Come to think of it, maybe Wayne's World 2 isn't funny at all.
We're going with Army of Darkness instead of Evil Dead II here, because Evil Dead II wasn't a sequel to a comedy, and because Army of Darkness is nothing but a comedy. Bruce Campbell finds himself stuck in Arthurian times, swaggering like a douchebag and fighting off dozens of little versions of himself to the death. "Klaatu... Barada... Necoughcoughcough... There! I said it!"
Technically a prequel, but we'll take it, Monsters University shows what happened when professional scarers Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) met in college, engaged in wildly imaginative fraternity games, and dealt with - downright poignantly - life's first crushing defeats. Thoughtful, unexpected and remarkably funny from beginning to end.
Joe Dante took the Bride of Frankenstein approach to Gremlins 2: The New Batch, updating his original, classic horror comedy with new monsters, wild ideas and a broader scope. It's no longer a Capraesque family fright flick, instead appealing to mischievous scamps of all ages with creativity and endless wit.
Most of the Muppet sequels are great, and if you want to mentally swap this out for The Muppets Take Manhattan or The Great Muppet Caper we wouldn't blame you, but we think James Bobin's 2011 revival has great songs, hilarious cameos and a plot that appreciates the power of the Muppets and puts them in new situations that test their character. Plus: The Moopets. Just saying.
The first Addams Family movie was funny, but saddled with a hackneyed plot. In the fiendishly funnier sequel Addams Family Values, director Barry Sonnenfeld put the Addamses in more ingenious situations, with Wednesday and Pugsley playing the victim and then victimizing a bourgeois summer camp, and Fester falling prey to a golddigger played by the always amusing Joan Cusack.
The third Griswold family adventure proved that National Lampoon's family is just as funny when they're staying at home. Clark (Chevy Chase) didn't get his Christmas bonus, but he'll do everything in his power to make sure his family has the perfect Hallmark holiday. Naturally, everything explodes in his face, leading to a wild-eyed comic meltdown for the ages.
Toy Story is more historically significant, and Toy Story 3 is the better movie, but Toy Story 2 will always be the funny one, sending Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and his cadre of toy companions out into the world to save Woody (Tom Hanks) from being sold to a museum. From the final revelation of Zurg to the gaggle of giggling Barbies, Toy Story 2 is brimming with clever, sidesplitting gags.
Nearly 50 years later, Blake Edward's gutbustingly hilarious sequel to The Pink Panther remains the funniest sequel of all time. Peter Sellers stole the first film with his supporting character, the incompetent but confident French detective Jacques Clouseau, and got promoted to the lead in A Shot in the Dark, investigating a murder and doing everything he can to prove the innocence of Elke Sommer, the woman who obviously did it. Watching Herbert Lom repeatedly implode with frustration is one of cinema's greatest pleasures.