Poor St. Patrick. His Day has devolved into a celebration of – and with – alcohol rather than a celebration of the man himself and what he represents: the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. (Thanks, Wikipedia!) And in honor of St. Patrick’s Day 2012, we’re here to perpetuate that modern tradition with a list our favorite drunk scenes of all time. (NOTE: THE CLIPS BELOW CONTAIN VULGAR LANGUAGE AND/OR WILL FERRELL’S BUTT.)
A great drunk scene need not be of the comedic variety. Exhibit A: almost every scene of Nicolas Cage’s (career-best, Oscar-winning) performance as a man on a mission to drink himself to death. Several sequences are depressingly memorable, but one of the best involves a little bit of humor, a bar fight and the awesome line “Like the kiln klan king of the rim ram room.”
“We’re going streaking!” With that line – and, of course, the gratuitous display of his ass (which would soon become his go-to move) – Will Ferrell cemented a spot in many a frat guy’s heart and on any list like this one. It also actually might’ve helped launch him into superstardom, as he went on quite a roll following Old School, and this scene was certainly its most memorable.
Much of Superbad revolves around procuring alcohol, and many such scenes that take place after said procurement are instant classics (i.e., Michael Cera and Martha MacIsaac getting, uh, clumsy in bed, or Cera reluctantly singing to a group of coked-out older guys), but the best might be the one that sets the movie apart from straightforward raunch-fests before and since: the hilariously tender scene between Cera and Jonah Hill after a long night of drunken craziness. Boop!
Billy Bob Thornton singlehandedly helped refresh the entire holiday-movie genre with his title mall Santa – an obscenity-spewing, alcohol-swilling curmudgeon out to make money on Christmas, not make kids smile. In one of the movie's best scenes (above), hilarity starts the very second we see Thornton’s character, in Santa attire, roll up the escalator, wasted, with a broken bottle of booze in his hand.
It’s not exactly a drunk scene, per se, but we wouldn’t feel right about not including it: While driving, with a beer in one hand and joint in the other (certainly not something we’d recommend trying), The Dude (Jeff Bridges) tries to flick the joint roach out of his closed car window, lets out one of the more hilarious yelps in movie history when it falls on his crotch, and then does, well, the somewhat sensible thing by using his beer as a fire extinguisher. And then crashes.
“No more yanky my wanky. The Donger need food!” What else can be said? Ever??
John Belushi and Co. spent much of this beloved college comedy drunk (except for the great “I’m a zit, get it?” scene) – and oftentimes seemed drunk even when their characters weren’t – but the best, most purely fun drunkenness is on display during Otis Day & the Knights’ performance of “Shout” at a Delta House packed with frat guys and their dates ready to sing and dance like fools.
Don’t let the horrendous Russell Brand update taint the 1981 Arthur. In fact, let it prompt you to watch or re-watch the fantastic original, in which Dudley Moore plays the title character, arguably the greatest film drunk of all time (whatever that means). It’s pretty tough to choose just one amazing drunk scene, so we went with several. Because you truly can’t hear that laugh enough.
How about a scene involving what will not be drunk instead of a “drunk scene”? Even though it doesn’t contain anything memorable that meets the basic criteria of our list, Sideways is expressly about alcohol, so it does have some business being on a list commemorating THE drunk holiday, and … OK, we just had to find a way to include Paul Giammatti’s classic anti-merlot line.