Long before he was cranking out reliable Oscar-season fare like "Silver Linings Playbook," David O. Russell was a struggling indie writer-director with one squirmy comedy about incest ("Spanking the Monkey") under his belt.

Then, 20 years ago this week, on March 22, 1996, he released the comedy "Flirting With Disaster," starring Ben Stiller, and... crickets. (It would be another three years before "Three Kings" scored Russell his first mainstream hit.)

It's too bad, since "Flirting" is a very funny film, marked by the breakneck pacing that Russell's fans have come to appreciate. But let's face it, not all comedies find their audience right away, and not all worthy comedies even become cult favorites later. Here are seven outrageously funny films worthy of rediscovery now.