Todd Phillips

With such comedy classics as "Animal House" (1978), "Meatballs" (1979) and "Stripes" (1981) serving as early inspiration, Todd Phillips made a surprising start helming documentaries before transitioning into one of the top comedic directors in Hollywood. After gaining attention with "Hated" (1993), a controversial look at the crazed life of punk rocker G.G. Allin, Phillips directed "Frat House" (1998), an acclaimed documentary that looked at frat house hazing, with the director often including himself and co-director Andrew Gurland in some of the rituals. But it was his first feature film "Road Trip" (2000) that put Phillips on the map as a narrative filmmaker. He moved on to direct "Old School" (2003), a frat house comedy drawing upon his experiences with his previous documentary that became a substantial hit and helped turn Will Ferrell into a movie star. Following a comedic remake of the popular 1970s television show, "Starsky & Hutch" (2004), it looked as though Phillips could do no wrong. He proved that with "The Hangover" (2009), a hugely successful comedy that raked in over seven times its budget and won a Golden Globe award, confirming that Phillips was one of the finest comedic directors in the business.