Austin Kennedy’s Top 100 Comedies of All-Time (#30-21)

Over a year ago I took it upon myself to make a list of my favorite comedies.  I only did a like 5 or so.  Well, I have now compiled a revised list together, and actually ranked them this time.

Before I share the list with you, here are some things I would to make clear.

  1. This is JUST my opinion.  Humor is very subjective. Everyone has their own tastes, so before you attack me for not including any Cheech and Chong, Kevin Smith or “Seth Rogen comedy troupe” movies on my list…. just remember, these are the movies that make ME laugh more than any of the others out there.  I was raised on classic comedy and 80’s silliness, so just be aware of that.
  2.  This list was extremely hard to rank, so take the number listings with a grain of salt.  It’s hard to say if number 39 is really better than number 40, however number 39 is probably better than number 80.

I do know this: My favorite comedy of all time is definite.  So my number 1, is truly what I think is the funniest film ever made.

What I hope to accomplish with this list is to make the reader remember films they may have seen, make them aware of other films they may not have seen, and start some fun movie-related conversations.  (This list is not an open invite to internet trolls, however, haha!)

Okie Dokie, here we go with numbers 30-21!!!!

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30. BLACK DYNAMITE (2009) – I love Blaxploitation films from the 70’s, especially BLACK BELT JONES (1974).  So of course I loved this loving homage/spoof of the genre.  It captures the way those films were shot (it actually looks like it was shot in the 70’s), and the goofy nature, but also bringing up the comedy several notches.  Michael Jai White gives an absolutely hysterical comic performance as the title character.  Full of sex, drugs and violence and laughs.  Everything about this movie is pitch perfect!  And I love how more ridiculous the picture gets the longer it goes on.  And the actual plot of the movie?  What a great punchline!  “Anaconda Malt Liquor… gives you… ooooooooooo!”

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29. LOVE AND DEATH (1975) – A perfect mixture of sophisticated, high-brow humor and broad slapstick, this Woody Allen movie is criminally not mentioned as often as some of his other films.  A satire on Russian Literature such as War & Peace, this movie sees Woody at the peak of his creative powers.  Diane Keaton is equally as funny here, delivering Groucho Marx-like one-liners just as good as Woody does.  This deserves to be considered a comedy classic.

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28. DR. STRANGELOVE (1964) – This is one of my 10 favorite films of all time, but it’s also a brilliant black comedy.  It took me a few times to fully appreciate the genius of this film, but man, it was so worth it.  Peter Sellers delivers three iconic performance, especially as the president trying to stop World War III.  Sterling Hayden plays it intensely straight, which is what makes him so humorous.  Slim Pickens is a hoot as usual too.  But it’s George C. Scott as a goofy Republican General who gets the most laughs from me.  His over-the-top performance (one that he reportedly wasn’t happy with) turns this dark subject matter into one of the greatest political farces of all time.

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27. SONS OF THE DESERT (1933) – Laurel & Hardy sneak out to Chicago to attend a wild convention, hoping their wives won’t find out.  This comedy duo are best known for their wonderful slapstick, but this movie shows how funny they can be in domestic situations.  The way they both deal and interact with their wives is what makes this film so damn funny.  And Ollie’s wife, played with mucho gusto by Mae Busch, is terrific!  The plot is wafer thin, but the humor is chock full!

The Fairy movie poster

26. THE FAIRY (2012) – This French film needs to be discovered by the masses.  Don’t let the language barrier scare you off, there isn’t much dialogue which makes it more like a silent film full of cleverly timed sight gags.  It’s about a hotel attendant who meets and falls in love with a Fairy?  Or is she just an insane person?  No matter, this movie is one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had at the cinema.  It’s delightful, whimsical and full of imagination.  And it’s also further proof that slapstick isn’t dead.  American comedy directors should take note of this film.

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25. FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE (1926) – Harold Lloyd is a rich young man who meets a young girl whose father is starting up a mission for the poor in the city slums.  He decides to fund it for them.  So, the plot isn’t funny, but the movie is full of hilarious sight gags and pratfalls and insane stunts as Lloyd meets a bunch of rough and tumble thugs he converts into joining the mission.  And the finale where the drunk thugs are trying to get Lloyd to his wedding on time (including hijacking a double decker bus) is full of thrills and laughs.

airplane

24. AIRPLANE! (1980) – What some consider the essential spoof film.  It certainly is full of iconic moments.  The blow-up doll, Leslie Nielsen’s introduction to the Zucker’s, Lloyd Bridges sniffing glue, a great Saturday Night Fever knock off, the terrific Jaws parody opening, the jive-talking subtitles, Peter Graves’ pedophile pilot, Robert Stack’s fight through solicitors….. the list goes on.  This needs to be seen by everyone at least once.  Or maybe even 100 times…..

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23. MONTY PYTHON AND THE MEANING OF LIFE (1983) – For me, this is the comedy troupe’s best theatrical outing.  It’s episodic, but every sketch is better than the last.  The music is also great.  Love the “Every Sperm is Sacred” song.  It also contains the best throw-up gag ever put on celluloid with Terry Jones made up to be a gargantuan restaurant patron.  It’s edgy and provocative, and bitingly funny.

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22. WHY WORRY? (1924) – Harold Lloyd’s most action-packed film as he plays a young man with severe anxieties who visits a South American country in the midst of a revolution.  And he winds up saving the day and getting the girl, almost unwittingly.  The sight gags and stunts are fast and furious, with the finale battle with the bad guy being just as exciting as it is hilarious.  Lloyd also befriends a 7 foot tall criminal who helps him defeat the bad guys.  Lots of great visual jokes with him too.  So full of creativity here.  I sure wish movies today would try as half as hard as comedies did back then.

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21. THE PRODUCERS (1968) – Mel Brooks’ directorial debut, in my opinion, is also his best.  Zero Mostel gives a powerhouse performance as a washed-up broadway producer who cheats old ladies out of money for a living, but when he meets up with a nervous accountant played by Gene Wilder, they both decide to produce the worst play ever made (Springtime for Hitler) and collect the insurance money when it flops.  Mostel and Wilder (who was nominated for his performance) are absolutely sensational together.  The first 20 minutes is just them interacting with each other in Mostel’s office, but it contains some of the most energetic comedic exchanges in film history.  Then you have great performances from Kenneth Mars and especially Dick Shawn as a ridiculous hippy actor (his song “love power” for me is one of the film’s highlights).  This was a great introduction into the wonderful mind of the legendary Mel Brooks!

That’s it for now.  Stay tuned for numbers 20-11….. coming soon!



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