Outtakes from Comedies and Shows That Are Better Than Anything On-Screen
Nailing a joke isn’t always easy, especially when you’re stuck in a scene with an actor who just can’t stop laughing. Or worse, when you’re an improv actor stuck in a PG movie. These things happen, and sometimes that footage is salvageable. But more often than not, a good impromptu comedy bit will end up in the fancy Hollywood cut can with all the bad scenes that didn’t make it into the movie.
Some of the comedies on this list weren’t that great, and got their best jokes cut because actors were either corpsing or someone just made a bad editing decision. Other comedies on here are good — and even great — but when you have that PG rating to adhere to, you can’t really go for jokes about sex tapes and people’s unmentionables. Which is a shame, because some of these jokes were better than what we ended up getting on-screen.
‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’: ‘What’s Your Favorite Food?’
The long-awaited sequel to one of the early 21st century’s funniest movies was, to put it mildly, forgettable. The jokes didn’t land, the chemistry felt off and nothing came close to Steve Carrell’s character in the original film staring frantically around the room and saying, “I love lamp.”
While the very first interaction between Carrell and Kristen Wiig’s characters in Anchorman 2 was pretty funny, it didn’t really go anywhere from there. This outtake, however, not only shows the great improvisational magic between these two comedic actors — who seem to have fully developed a language of their own — but it’s also the kind of hilarious dialogue we wish had made it into the final cut. Watch from 0:24:
‘This Is 40’: ‘The Shark Scene’
Not only was this Knocked Up spin-off a letdown following its originator, but even the ending was ruined following the whole Ryan Adams saga. The kids, however, kind of stole the show here as the Apatow daughters showed that they, too, had some quality comedy chops. Young Iris Apatow was exceptional with her deadpan comedy delivery, and this compilation of her improv outtakes is delightful. The shark scene, specifically, is better than anything else in this movie.
‘Parks and Recreations’: ‘The Comeback Joke’
It makes sense that this ad-libbed joke about Kim Kardashian’s sex tape (made by serial apologizer Chris Pratt) didn’t make the final cut — it’s way too wild for a show that gets weirdly emotional about a miniature horse.
‘Mean Girls’: ‘The Runover Joke’
Mean Girls will forever be remembered for its plethora of quotable lines, its “Jingle Bell Rock” scene, and the presumably colossal budget spent on Lizzie Caplan‘s eyeliner alone. The film ends with a fake-out joke with the “junior plastics” almost getting hit by that damn evil school bus.
It‘s a cutesy way of wrapping up the movie, but Damian‘s outtake joke would surely have been the funniest thing in this final scene (watch from 5:18):
‘Old School‘: ‘That Family Portrait‘
It‘s one shot of a family portrait so goofy that you sort of wonder why they didn‘t use it somewhere else. Truly, Vince Vaughn has never looked more wholesome:
‘Between Two Ferns‘: ‘The Santa Claus Joke‘
Honestly, the blooper reels are the funniest thing about Zach Galifianakis‘ comedic roast/talk show as the “insult guest, deadpan reaction, repeat” bit can quickly wear itself out, and David Letterman‘s interview is no different — although it does have a better ending than some others.
It‘s a pity they didn‘t go with the original introduction; it‘s one line and takes three seconds, but it‘s more hysterical than anything else in the episode. Watch from 1:16:
‘Friends’: ‘Joey’s Robe Prank’
Widely known as one of the best gag reels of a sitcom ever compiled, it would be wrong not to include the one where Joey pranks Ross by sticking his headshot onto his crotch. Way funnier than him simply “flashing” the Central Perk groupies. Watch from 0:29:
‘Spy’: ‘That Thing With Your Thumb’
I’ll never stop writing about how funny this movie is and how funny Jason Statham is in it. While the film ends with a hilarious scene featuring Melissa McCarthy and Statham’s characters in bed together, the one added in the outtakes (and in the post-credit scene) was even funnier.
‘Liar Liar’: ‘Overactor!’
The internet will tell you that the gag reel for Liar Liar is one of the best outtakes compilation in existence, purely because some people can’t get enough of Jim Carrey pulling his face funny. However, Swoosie Kurtz has the best ad-libbed joke in here, by far, as she not only goes toe-to-toe with Carrey but even calls him out on his antics, too. In good faith, of course. Watch from 1:59:
‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’: Giovanni Ribisi
Giovanni Ribisi laughing, Giovanni Ribisi swinging his hips and dancing to folksy music, Giovanni Ribisi just pausing so everyone can look at some sheep running or whatever — it’s all better than anything else that made the cut in this very forgettable movie that was purely made because Seth MacFarlane thinks he’s a comedic leading man.