Wind the clock back 30 years and look at stand-up comedy. Lots of dumb blonde jokes, cracks about gays, rambling bits about this new "Flock of Seagulls" band. Of course, you can still find all of that on-stage in places like South Dakota, The Land That Time Forgot, but the rest of the world has moved on. And so it is that we turn a kinder, wiser eye to pop culture of the past and go, "Holy shit, we really thought that was okay?"
5American Pie Thinks It's Cool To Secretly Record Sex
American Pie, a movie that spawned seven sequels despite the fact that nobody saw any of them, is about four dudes who pledge to lose their virginity before they graduate high school. At the risk of spoiling it for you, shenanigans ensue.
The nerdy Jim manages to attract the attention of exchange student Nadia. Naturally, his buddies convince him to set up a webcam so they can watch him get laid, because in 1999 only weirdos watched Internet porn, while real men asserted their heterosexuality by watching their closest friends get boners. Jim agrees, because that is the law of shenanigans, but instead of emailing the webcam link only to his friends, Jim accidentally sends a mass email to his entire school. Oh, no! Hundreds of people get to see Nadia get naked without her consent, rather than just the few intended guys which ... would have somehow been okay? What?
The only bigger load of bullshit here is a streaming video connection working that well in 1999.
Nadia's parents force her to return home as punishment for accidentally becoming an amateur porn star -- it's the girl's fault, of course, always the girl -- and while Jim is initially mocked for premature ejaculation, another girl soon agrees to date him, because the video convinced her that getting in his pants would be a "sure thing." Lesson ... learned?
4Heathers Is Ridiculously Pre-Columbine
New World Pictures
Heathers was a dark high school comedy about Winona Ryder's Veronica befriending cool outsider Christian Slater's J.D., only to realize that he is in fact a homicidal lunatic. Slater plays a new student who wears a trench coat and sits in the corner. Two jocks in letter jackets immediately decide to bully him as part of the ongoing Coat Wars, and Slater responds by pulling out a goddamn gun and firing blanks in their faces.
New World Pictures
Add a fade to black and a government seal, and this is an anti-gun PSA today.
In the next scene, one of the titular Heathers scoffs at the thought of J.D. getting any punishment worse than a brief suspension, and Veronica finds his antics both hilarious and kinda hot. And indeed, J.D. is allowed to return to school without any consequences, which makes it pretty easy for him to murder three students before attempting to blow the whole place up and finally committing suicide via bomb vest. You can probably see why this film didn't age well as a comedy, but aged fantastically as a grim portent of the dark future to come.