10 classic undercover cop comedies

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in 22 Jump Street. (Courtesy)

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in 22 Jump Street. (Courtesy)

Liz Braun, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:47 PM ET

Nothing says 'fish out of water' like an undercover cop comedy.

Take 21 Jump Street: High school is inherently ridiculous, so the addition of two fumbling cops trying to pass as transfer students tends to double the laughs.

This week that excellent adventure continues when Schmidt and Jenko go to college in 22 Jump Street. The pairing of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill proved so inspired that 22 Jump Street is probably the most highly anticipated comedy of the summer. It opens Friday.

Here are 10 movies where officials of the law have to mix and mingle with regular folk — usually with hilarious results.

21 JUMP STREET (2012)

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill play inept cops sent back to high school to infiltrate the in-crowd and find the source of a dangerous new synthetic drug.

Once there, the jock and the nerd discover that things have changed a lot since they graduated, and there's a bit of a role reversal. Comedy about second chances spoofs every action movie, bromance and detective drama out there. This one is often spectacularly funny.

WHITE CHICKS (2004)

Gleefully silly story stars Marlon and Shawn Wayans as disgraced FBI agents who disguise themselves as blond airhead heiresses to foil a kidnapping plot. Doesn't hurt to have Keenen Ivory Wayans in the director's chair, not to mention a cast that includes such comic talent as Busy Philipps, Terry Crews and Jessica Cauffiel.

KINDERGARTEN COP (1990)

Arnie, little kids, potty jokes: Arnold Schwarzenegger is an L.A. street cop who has to go undercover as a kindergarten teacher to catch a drug dealer. Ivan Reitman directed this comedy crime caper. Richard Tyson and Penelope Ann Miller also star.

UNDERCOVER BROTHER (2002)

Part spy spoof, part blaxploitation send up, and entirely the property of Eddie Griffin, here the smartest guy in the room. With an Afro. And a gold cadillac. There's a conspiracy to prevent an African American presidential candidate from running, so Undercover Brother goes to work for the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. to get to the bottom of that. More stereotypes — black and white — than any one movie has a right to display, and you'll laugh in spite of yourself. With Dave Chappelle, Billy Dee Williams, Neil Patrick Harris.

MISS CONGENIALITY (2002)

Sandra Bullock is a graceless FBI agent who goes undercover at a major beauty pageant to prevent a criminal group from bombing the event. An unusually clever satire of beauty competitions, with Michael Caine as an image consultant and Candice Bergen and William Shatner as pageant insiders.

BEVERLY HILLS COP (1984)

Not so much undercover as out of his depth, Eddie Murphy plays a Detroit cop forced to nose around Beverly Hills to find out who killed his best buddy, and why. As with 48 Hours (1982) this is Murphy at the absolute top of his game, mixing comedy and action to riveting effect. That's Judge Reinhold as the LA cop/straight man for Murphy's jokes.

2 GUNS (2013)

A Drug Enforcement agent and a Naval Intelligence officer pretend to be a couple of thieving grafters to infiltrate and dismantle a drug cartel. Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg have surprisingly good chemistry in this odd couple pairing; although the comedy never flags, the action heats up when the two men find themselves holding a lot of the mob's money.

BIG MOMMAS HOUSE (2000)

Murder and robbery lead an agent (and master of disguise) to dress up as a heavy-set older woman in rural Georgia — the better to defeat the bad guys. That's Martin Lawrence in the fright wig, of course. Maybe not the best undercover comedy ever, but way better than Starsky & Hutch (2004). For whatever that's worth.

MAN OF THE HOUSE (2005)

After a some cheerleaders witness a murder, a tough-talking Texas ranger (Tommy Lee Jones) assigned to protect them has to pretend to be a cheerleading coach – and live in their sorority house-like lodgings. Cast includes Christina Milian and Cedric The Entertainer, always a comedy must-have, but the main attraction here is Jones' unwavering hangdog expression.

KISS KISS BANG BANG (2005)

Not exactly an undercover cop comedy, but close enough to include on this list. And far too funny to miss. Robert Downey Jr. stars as a thief who pretends to be an actor to help solve a murder. This spoof of hardboiled, pulp fiction-type crime stories co-stars Val Kilmer — brilliantly funny here — as well as Michelle Monaghan and Corbin Bernsen. If you've never seen this, rent it now.

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