Candidate #1: STRIPES
Pros: This movie stars Bill Murray at his prime and features John Candy in a brilliant supporting role. There is a clear and reasonable plot structure which is laced with a plethora of quotable lines. Pleasing naked female forms are featured in two memorable sequences. And the desirable female leads are the delicious Sean Young and P.J. Soles. John Laroquette shines in his best work since Baa Baa Black Sheep. This movie also draws attention to the brilliance of Tito Puente.
Favorite Quote: "But you can't leave! All the plants will die!"
Cons: Some of the military details are a bit off. (You cannot choose to just get a little off the top for you basic training haircut.) Most of the brilliant lines are in the first act.
Is this the funniest movie ever? I have long maintained that it is. I tried using an NCAA style bracket system to determine this, and Stripes won after an early round victory against arch-rival Caddy Shack. But I was not satisfied with the results. So now I am intent on re-analyzing some of the top contenders with a critical eye. Stripes still made me laugh, but has lost some of its punch over the years and repeated viewings. There is also the goofball feel omnipresent in 1980's comedies. But overall it still stands up. So Stripes may retain the title in the end, but for now the search continues.