Five Recent Comedy Reboots You Didn’t Know Existed

Keeping track of the Hollywood nostalgia machine can be tough
Five Recent Comedy Reboots You Didn’t Know Existed

Rather than burden our brains with the torture of learning the names of new characters that didn’t exist 25 years ago, Hollywood just keeps churning out movie and TV reboots. Often, these pop-culture retreads are a big, attention-grabbing deal, whether it’s a new entry in the Star Wars series, the return of Party Down or a Ghostbusters movie that gets unceremoniously dragged into the culture war.

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Recently, several beloved comedy franchises have been resurrected in an effort to satiate society’s incurable lust for the past — but, oddly, no one seems to have taken much notice of them. So here are some of the reboots that totally flew under our nostalgia radar, starting with…

‘Blazing Saddles’ Was Turned into a CGI Kids Movie

It’s often said that Blazing SaddlesMel Brooks’ controversial satire about racism/cinematic tribute to flatulence, couldn’t be remade today — except that it was literally just remade. 

It may be difficult to tell, considering that Brooks’ original is a live-action comedy for adults set in the Old West, but 2022’s Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, an animated kids’ movie about a dog who wants to become a samurai and save a village full of cats, is an official reimagining of Blazing Saddles. Yes, Richard Pryor has a co-writing credit on a 21st-century movie starring Michael Cera as a cartoon dog.

At first, the connection between the two films was going to be more overt, thanks to the original title Blazing Samurai. While much has obviously been changed, the two have some distinct similarities. For one thing, Brooks plays the same role in Paws of Fury as he did in Blazing Saddles. And as for the iconic farting around a campfire scene…

…it, too, was referenced by Paws of Fury in a similar (albeit less expertly crafted) moment in which the evil cat army eats way too many beans.

‘He’s All That’ Was ‘She’s All That’ But With a Dude

We all remember She’s All That, the movie that made those of us who wear glasses feel like absolute garbage. It’s the one where Freddie Prinze Jr. plays a high school dick who bets that he can turn a (*gasp*) art student into the prom queen.

For some reason, instead of letting this franchise die a quiet death, She’s All That was remade by Netflix in 2021. If the original’s premise seems a tad regressive by today’s standards, don’t worry, the characters were gender-swapped. Oh, and that Sixpence None the Richer song got some kind of EDM remix.

At least the new movie didn’t imply that a pair of glasses turn literal movie stars into hideous pariahs.

Nickelodeon Made a Jack Black-less ‘School of Rock’ Show

School of Rock is a disturbing story about a sketchy musician who commits identity theft in order to defraud an entire class of impressionable minors. But since Jack Black is hilarious, and the kids are all adorable, it’s considered a modern comedy classic.

School of Rock was so popular that Nickelodeon decided to turn the movie into a whole TV series starring… some guy who isn’t Jack Black.

Rather than have Dewey deceive his students over the course of several years, thus ensuring that they will never trust another human being ever again, the show changed the story slightly. For one thing, the kids find out that Dewey isn’t a real teacher almost immediately. And instead of impersonating his teacher friend, Dewey just lies about his qualifications because he has an interest in teaching and is somehow given a job at a prestigious private school. 

So really, in this take, it’s arguably 100 percent the school’s fault that most of these kids will have to repeat the fourth grade after learning to play Deep Purple riffs instead of getting any lessons about history or math.

‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’

The greatest/horniest midnight movie of all timeThe Rocky Horror Picture Show, has amassed legions of toilet-paper-wielding fans over the decades. It’s an undisputed cult classic and hands-down the second-best movie in which Tim Curry hosts a bunch of strangers at a secluded mansion.

In 2016, Rocky Horror was remade as a TV movie for Fox, starring Laverne Cox as Frank-N-Furter. The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again wasn’t exactly a slam dunk; it was criticized for “sanitizing” the original, while another review claimed that the story was “neutered” by the filmmakers. This was likely due to the constraints of network television and also because the project was helmed by the director of the High School Musical series, which, as far as we remember, contained little to no pickax murders and/or genetically-engineered sex monsters.

At least one novel wrinkle was added to the remake: a framing device in which a riotous audience watched the movie and engaged in the traditional theatrical stunts (while you watched them from your living room couch).

‘Kindergarten Cop’ Was (Unofficially) Brought Back as a Cartoon

Since the original Kindergarten Cop remains one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s funniest movies, there have been multiple efforts to repeat its success; in 2016, Hollywood’s straight-to-video factory cranked out a sequel starring a more affordable 1980s action movie muscleman: Dolph Lundgren.

More recently, Schwarzenegger himself revisited this material, albeit in an unofficial capacity. In 2021, the Terminator star lent his voice to Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, an animated series about a former superhero who gets sent on a mission to pose as the teacher of a local kindergarten. Since it’s a cartoon for kids, all the students have superpowers, and no one raises the possibility that their teacher has a brain tumor. 

The series was based on an idea by the legendary Lee, who was seemingly in the “take the plot of a movie you watched one afternoon on TNT and add superheroes” phase of his career. Schwarzenegger has admitted in interviews that the show was created purely because the actor’s “greatest wish” was to make a sequel to Kindergarten Cop. And who wouldn’t be pissed if Dolph Lundgren stole their greatest wish?

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