Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: New Line Cinema via Amazon Prime Video
4. Friday: The Animated Series (2007)
We knew this short-lived MTV2 toon would be weird when we realized John DiMaggio — the voice of Futurama’s Bender — would attempt to channel the greatness of John Witherspoon’s Pops. What we didn’t anticipate was Smokey’s character looking like dude from ToeJam & Earl. Friday has never felt so fugazi.
3. Next Friday (2000)
Ranking this sequel so low should be as illegal as the cash stuffed in Joker’s hydraulic pump. Sure, Chris Tucker’s absence is felt in this follow-up set in the suburbs, but Mike Epps seamlessly fills the void as Day Day. Damn near every moment he’s on screen is hysterical, whether he’s being accosted by his boss (Clifton Powell), getting his lip caught in a vacuum hose, or being terrorized by his ex-girlfriend (Tamala Jones) and her younger sister (Lady of Rage). The story line is derivative, but hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
2. Friday After Next (2002)
Two words: Money Mike. Katt Williams birthed an acting career (and a mid-2000s affiliation with Cam’ron’s Diplomats) based on this role that made pimpin’ look easy and fun. While the plot revolves around well-worn concepts (cannabis, looming debt, loss of employment, Craig’s love interest, an epic brawl, the best day of the week), it’s a hilarious flip on Christmas cinema with arguably more side-splitting laughs than any entry in the canon. Topflight, indeed.
1. Friday (1995)
Nothing beats an original. Friday has blessed us with unforgettable characters (Deebo, Pastor Clever, Big Worm), added countless memes and quotables to the cultural lexicon (“You got knocked the fuck out, man!”), continued hip-hop’s transition to Hollywood, and gave us a classic stoner comedy to laugh to amid the Black trauma porn that graced big screens in the ’90s. TGIF.
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