A passion for food + fashion

Friday Follies: Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie

In Film, Food on May 1, 2009 at 6:36 am

Friday Follies [n., pl.] postings on Fridays about fashion and food in film from guest bloggers with impeccable taste.


America needs a good celluloid food fight. 

There’s nothing like a projectile pie or flatulent cowboy to take people’s minds off grim economic news.

But what ever happened to clever food gags in film? It’s been three decades since John Belushi  invaded the cafeteria in Animal House, 25 years since a giant marshmallow stalked Manhattan in Ghostbusters and 21 years since Tom Hanks tried to eat baby corn like its full-sized cousin in Big.


Except for a teenager having sexual relations with a pie, the last decade has been virtually bereft of cuisine-related comedy.  Sure, there was a food fight in Bratz: The Movie, but who wants to subject themselves to the rest of the flick in order to see it? (I swear I only know about the scene because of a Google search.) Ratatouille dished up a few food jokes, and Madagascar parodied American Beauty‘s falling rose petals sequence with a dream about falling steaks.

But cartoon kitchen comedy doesn’t count. That basically leaves us with Ben Stiller’s addition to the fondue in Meet the Fockers

So, while America waits for Hollywood to revive the tradition of edible humor, here are my nominees for top five comedy food scenes:

5.      Caddyshack (1980): A candy bar posing as poop clears the pool – and later gets eaten by Bill Murray. 


4.    Animal House (1978): Bluto inhales half the buffet, imitates a zit and starts a food fight that many consider one of Hollywood’s best, but it actually lasts just 3 seconds.  

3.      Stand By Me (1986) and The Meaning of Life (1983): In the barf-o-rama department, it’s a toss-up between Stephen King’s pie-eating contest and Monty Python’s wafer-thin mint.

2.      The Great Race (1965): If Jackson Pollock had worked in pies instead of paint, his art would have looked like the aftermath of this film’s colossal food war.  

1.      Sleeper (1973): Woody Allen carries the concept of food fight to its absurd extreme on a futuristic farm that grows goliath bananas, strawberries and chickens.  

—Roy Rivenburg is editor of NotTheLATimes.com


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