It sounds like snarky criticism to say that the best thing about 22 Jump Street is the end. But everyone is talking about the sequel’s credits, whether they think the movie that comes before it is also worthwhile or not. They are a perfect finishing touch to an already meta piece of comedic entertainment and probably the most memorable conclusion of its kind since the blooper reel at the back of The Cannonball Run.
Maybe that’s not as fondly recalled these days as it was throughout the ’80s and up until the parody done on The State. Every generation probably has its own favorite end-credits sequence, as “crazy credits” (as IMDb calls them) have been around for as long as cast and crew have been listed after the movie — and before then, you had some fun credits as early as 1918 with Charlie Chaplin’s Shoulder Arms.
Some famous end-credits sequences include the one for the 1956 version of Around the World in 80 Days. Not only were end credits still very rare at the time, but the movie included an animated recap of its events designed by titles-legend Saul Bass. Much later, another favorite of mine as a kid was any movie from Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker (Airplane!; The Naked Gun!), who slipped in ridiculous credits throughout. It was always a fun game at the end of the movie to spot as many as you could.
I also always enjoyed when end credits featured bonus scenes, such as the one in my favorite movie as a kid, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Here’s a bit of trivia about that Ed Rooney showcase: I had the novelization of the movie, in which that scene is simply in its chronological place within the story. Bonus scenes don’t have to be part of the plot, though. Remember the music numbers that play during the credits for Slumdog Millionaire, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and The Great Muppet Caper?
Nowadays, we’ve got a lot of good end-credits sequences at the back of animated features. Most of them just offer flat drawings of the characters from the computer-generated films. Others feature blooper parodies. WALL-E does an incredible job of illustrating what happens next for its main characters, rendered in various techniques popular from the start of civilization. Many live-action movies have great animated end credits, too. The Sherlock Holmes movies, for instance.
Coming back to The Cannonball Run, sort of, I have to acknowledge the overall tradition of Jackie Chan movies, where the end credit bloopers were initially attached in order to buffer the otherwise violent nature of those martial arts pictures. By showing the artificiality of the stunts, audiences (and mainly censors) could be assured that it was all in fun, just a performance of violence. And usually quite hilarious, as well.
What movies have the best end credits?
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