From 'Old School' To 'The Internship' - Two Decades Of Frat Pack Fever

June 6, 2013

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

Every generation has its group of entertainers that personify cool and dominate the box office. First there was the Rat Pack, which included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford. The 1980s saw a younger and more rebellious group of performers from SCTV and SNL emerge as the new group of alpha males, although now with more of an emphasis on comedy and less on cool. That group included John Candy, Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, Martin Short, Dan Akroyd, Chevy Chase, and Bill Murray.

The last twenty years has seen a whole new group claim the mantle. They’re called the “Frat Pack,” a term first used by USA Today in a 2004 article. The group includes Guys Choice Guycon Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, Will Farrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, and Jack Black. Although some members have jokingly embraced the label, others like Stiller seem to bristle at the suggestion. Still, there’s no denying that if you mix and match the guys in that group, you can put together a pretty solid list of the highest grossing - and funniest - comedies of the last twenty years.

In honor of the latest Frat Pack flick “The Internship” opening this weekend, that’s exactly what we did. Here, then, are the greatest contributions from the group known collectively as The Frat Pack.

Meet the Parents
Featured Packers: Ben Stiller, Owen WilsonOne of the tamer installments in the Frat Pack canon, this film stars Ben Stiller as a guy desperate to impress his fiancée’s parents, with Owen Wilson appearing as her ex.

The Royal Tenenbaums
Featured Packers: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Luke WilsonA bit artsier than the other installments, this Wes Anderson film stars Stiller and Luke Wilson as brothers in a dysfunctional upper-class Manhattan family, with Luke’s brother Owen playing his childhood friend and romantic rival.

Photo Credit: Dreamworks

Old School
Featured Packers: Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, and Vince VaughnThe movie that gave the Frat Pack their name. Wilson, Ferrell, and Vaughn try to overcome crippling midlife crises by joining – you guessed it – a frat. Todd Phillips directed this film, as well as another film on this list, “Starsky & Hutch.”

Featured Packers: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, cameo by Vince VaughnYet another film with Stiller and Owen Wilson, with the two butting heads as fierce rivals in the male modeling world. Will Ferrell plays Mugatu, a ruthless designer out to destroy Derek Zoolander, and a cameo by Vince Vaughn as Stiller’s mine town brother. The first of two movies on this list that Ben Stiller also directed.

Starsky & Hutch
Featured Packers: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, cameo by Will FerrellThe same four packers appeared in this Todd Phillips movie, except this time around Ferrell took a back seat while Vince Vaughn played the role of the villain.

Dodgeball: a True Underdog Story
Featured Packers: Vince Vaughn, Ben StillerThis film didn’t feature nearly as many members of the Pack, but had a lot of the same vibe as other films.

Tropic Thunder
Featured Packers: Jack Black, Ben StillerAn all-star cast on a shoot for a jungle war action flick thinks their director has faked his own death in order to trick them into putting on a more realistic performance, not realizing until it’s too late that the enemy they’re fighting is real. Jack Black had joked that Robert Downey, Jr. had become an honorary member of the Pack. Owen Wilson was also supposed to appear in the film, but had to drop out.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Featured Packers: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Vince Vaughn, and cameos from Jack Black and Luke WilsonLiterally every principle member of the pack appeared in this movie, probably the most ridiculous (and arguably best) of the series. All of the principle cast members are returning for the sequel, coming to theaters in December.

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema

The Wedding Crashers
Featured Packers: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Will FerrellBefore they were interning at Google, Vaughn and Wilson were creeping at wedding receptions in this dark rom-com. And just like in this film, Will Ferrell makes a cameo in “The Internship.”

“The Internship” is in theaters this weekend. In this week’s episode of All Access Weekly, we had our own middle-aged intern talk to some of the cast members about their experience on the set. Plus, a preview of the biggest E3 in history with Kotaku’s Tina Amini. And be sure to see Vince Vaughn accept his award for Guycon at this year’s Guys Choice Award, premiering next Wednesday, June 12th at 9/8c.