As the commendably filthy Superbad makes its way to theaters, there may be no better time to salute the movies that first taught a sniggering nation to watch pay cable at 3 am.
With respect to the holy trinity of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Porky's, and Hot Dog: The Movie, here are a few of the other seminal gross-out sex comedies that ground the gears and stoked the boilers of the pre-internet, primordial Jackass generation.
• Screwballs (1983)—Producer Roger Corman's genius for lowering the cinematic standards of a nation may have never been so pronounced as with this pneumatic flesh fest set at T & A High, populated by characters such as Purity Busch, Melvin Jerkovski, and the immortal Bootsie Goodhead (co-writer Linda Shayne, who, depending on your perspective, either advanced or set back the female rights movement by a good decade).
Signature moment: A nerd gets his dork stuck in a bowling ball.
• The Last American Virgin (1982)—A frankly amazing poison pill of a movie which lures in its audience with a few early flashes of zany smut and then proceeds to drop the boom, graphically illustrating the seven circles of teenage hell. Sad as it all is to witness, this astonishingly well-crafted film actually performs a valuable public service for the unwillingly celibate: After witnessing the heartbreaking travails of the title character, not going to the prom doesn't seem all that bad, frankly.
Signature moment: A final car ride in the rain that manages to be more depressing than Ingmar Bergman listening to the Cure while eating a Hungry Man dinner on Thanksgiving. (Apologies to Dennis Miller, possibly.)
• King Frat (1979)—Behold the ne plus ultra of the genre: a movie that's 99.7 percent devoted to depicting people passing gas, culminating in a fund-raising farting contest where participants are disqualified for (lord, forgive me) "drawing mud." I'd go into more detail, but I blacked out halfway through and woke up in church, frantically chugging holy water.
Signature moment: Mud is drawn.