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Comedy cliques take over the box office this summer

Hope and Crosby, Martin and Lewis, Aykroyd and Belushi, Cheech and Chong: Hollywood history is fat and funny with classic "buddy" duos, slapstick fellas who just couldn't quit each other.

But where's the fun in two when you can have 10? "Buddies" is the operative word this summer, as a few long-running, still-blooming cliques — seen in such new flicks as The Internship, This Is the End, Grown Ups 2 and then some — will fill up the silver screen with strength-in-numbers shenanigans.

Here's a quick look at the usual gangs of idiots — more than one of which often invites Will "Frank the Tank" Ferrell, above, to the party.

The Seth Rogen Crew

Gang: James Franco, Paul Rudd, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Leslie Mann, Michael Cera, Jason Segel, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Type of humor: Often overlorded by director-writer-producer Judd Apatow, the gags are crass and R-rated (the pink eye pillow, anyone?), but with a burbling earnestness and A LOT of male bonding. Remember the sleeping bag scene in Superbad? "Boop!"

Notable movies: The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Knocked Up (2007), Superbad (2007), Pineapple Express (2008), Your Highness (2011), This Is 40 (2012), This Is the End (opens Wednesday)

Will Ferrell Factor: Medium. Apatow produced mondo Ferrell hits Talladega Nights, Anchorman and Anchorman 2, which is set to open Dec. 20 and features his close buddies Rudd, Steve Carell and David Koechner.

The Adam Sandler Crew

Gang: Chris Rock, Kevin James, Rob Schneider, David Spade, Andy Samberg, Drew Barrymore, Kevin Nealon, Steve Buscemi, Nick Swardson, Jon Lovitz, Nicholas Turturro

Type of humor: Frat-boy with a heart. Everyone, Sandler included, typically gets teased for physical and emotional flaws — until a rah-rah "you can do it" ending.

Notable movies: Happy Gilmore (1996), The Wedding Singer (1998), Big Daddy (1999), Little Nicky (2000), Mr. Deeds (2002), I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007), Grown Ups (2010), Zookeeper (2011), That's My Boy (2012), Grown Ups 2 (opens July 12)

Will Ferrell Factor: Low. Although Sandler and Ferrell are in discussion to team in a football movie, Three Mississippi, in the near future.

The Vince Vaughn Crew

Gang: Jon Favreau, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Peter Billingsley, Jason Bateman, John Michael Higgins

Type of humor: Rambling dialogue and improv that is as funny as it is exhausting. Vaughn's "motorboat" speech in Wedding Crashers has been recited at every single poker night since 2005.

NOTABLE Movies: Swingers (1996), Zoolander (2001), Old School (2003), Starsky & Hutch (2004), Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) Wedding Crashers (2005), The Break-Up (2006), Couples Retreat (2009), The Internship (in theaters)

Will Ferrell Factor: High. The man-child co-starred in Old School and Zoolander, plus you can count on a dumb (but funny!) cameo in Wedding Crashers, The Internship and more.

Sean Daly can be reached at sdaly@tampabay.com. '

Quotes

"Now please get out of my Van Halen T-shirt before you jinx the band and they break up." — Robbie (Adam Sandler), The Wedding Singer

"Marriage is like an unfunny, tense version of Everybody Loves Raymond." — Pete (Paul Rudd), Knocked Up

"I got to get outta here, pronto. I got a stage five clinger. Stage five, virgin, clinger." — Jeremy (Vince Vaughn), Wedding Crashers

Where are the ladies?

Is there a budding Bridesmaids crew? Kristen Wiig has appeared in several movies by Apatow, who produced Bridesmaids. She's also appeared with Ferrell a few times. Melissa McCarthy is also an Apatow fave (This Is 40), and appears with Sandra Bullock in June 28's The Heat, which was directed by Bridesmaids helmer Paul Feig. Whew. Want more? Wiig's Bridesmaids co-star Maya Rudolph is a frequent face in Sandler flicks, including Grown Up 2.

Comedy cliques take over the box office this summer 06/10/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 12:45pm]

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