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.
- 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.
- 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 20-11!!!!
20. THE BUGS BUNNY/ROAD RUNNER MOVIE (1979) – This one is actually a compilation film that takes some of the best known Looney Tunes cartoons from the 50’s/60’s and puts them all together for one crazy, laugh-filled cartoon. All of the classics are here: What’s Opera Doc?, Duck Amuck, Bully for Bugs, and a whole slew of Road Runner cartoons. Duck Amuck is probably one of the funniest cartoons of all time and could probably make the list all on its own. I’m a big vintage cartoon lover, and this movie is a perfect greatest hits collection. My brother and I rented this a few times a year from the local video store when we were kids, and now as adults, we quote lines from this cartoon in our daily life. This film is essential into making us who we are today.
19. FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (1998) – I’ve never done drugs, so a film about a couple of weirdos doing an insane amount of drugs for 2 hours shouldn’t appeal to me. But this film is absolutely hysterical. Seeing Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro acting absolutely bonkers for the entire film is a riot! I love so many scenes from this one. One of my favorite being when Del Toro is trying to kill himself by putting a tape player into the bathtub with him, and Johnny Depp pretending to assist him. And then you have Terry Gilliam’s wacky direction on top of that to add to all the craziness. It’s not for everybody, but if you can find humor out of wacky and bizarre situations and behaviors, then you will have a blast!
18. BULLETS OVER BROADWAY (1994) – For me, this is Woody Allen’s funniest film. It stars John Cusack as a playwright who is forced to cast a gangster’s untalented girlfriend into his latest production, in order for the play to be funded. Jennifer Tilly is a riot as a screeching bimbo who has no talent. Chazz Palminteri is great as a gangster stooge who has a talent for writing. And of course, there’s Dianne Weist as the overly dramatic diva. Throw in terrific performances from Jack Warden, Jim Broadbent, Rob Reiner and Tracy Ullmann, and you have a comedy tour de force.
17. THE LADIES’ MAN (1961) – No, not the Tim Meadows movie, but the Jerry Lewis comedy from the 60’s. Pound for pound, this could be Lewis’ funniest film. There are just a ton of gags here, and they’re all funny. The plot is basically non-existent as Lewis plays a young man who vows never to interact with girls again, but ends up working at an all-girls boarding house. The main set in this film is so extravagant that it needs to be seen to be believed. One of my favorite sets of all time, no question. Great sight gags! Great energy! Lewis is firing on all cylinders here!
16. PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE (1985) – I think people don’t realize just how iconic this film really is. Every time you hear that song “Tequila” you think of the Pee-Wee dance. Every time you hear “The stars at night, so big and bright…..”, you just can’t help but finish that line. And what do you think of when you think of The Alamo now because of this flick? Paul Reubens is so committed to his Pee-Wee character that he simply becomes him. And the film is loaded with wonderful characters and sequences that are quite simply unforgettable. There’s something that’s equally charming and hilarious about Tim Burton’s directorial debut. I have seen it at least a couple hundred times and I’m not even close to becoming sick of it.
15. THE NAKED GUN (1988) – Leslie Nielsen’s crowning performance here. He IS Lt. Frank Drebin. Never before has an actor been cast so perfectly. Writer/director David Zucker keeps the jokes coming at lightning speed throughout. Visual gags, bad puns and countless sexual innuendos. Ricardo Montalban as the villain is pitch perfect. George Kennedy’s naive performance generates lots of laughs, and Reggie Jackson playing himself as a brainwashed player trying to assassinate the Queen of England. Yup! This film is awesome!
14. THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (1963) – Jerry Lewis’ masterpiece! Easily his most polished work as a filmmaker and comedian. The story about a nerdy college professor who comes up with a potion to turn himself into a good-looking jerk, is surprisingly relatable. What I love about this film is how perfectly timed every joke seems to be, and how you have to be patient for the payoff, which is always worth the wait.
13. SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT (1999) – Never since BLAZING SADDLES has a film ever been this bold. Trey Parker & Matt Stone take the comedy over the edge and beyond with this big screen venture for the South Park show. The songs are absolutely wonderful. I loved that they made this a full on musical, mirroring Disney musicals (which were extremely popular at the time). I love how nothing in this film is watered down. It’s a full on assault on every race, color and creed, with overwhelmingly hilarious results. And of course I love their attack on the MPAA in this. A modern R-rated comedy classic!
12. TOP SECRET! (1984) – The best parody/spoof of all time! This was the Zucker Brothers and Jim Abrahams’ follow up to their box office smash, AIRPLANE! The film flopped, but I think this is even funnier. Val Kilmer gives a wonderful tongue-in-cheek performance as an American musician on tour in East Germany who gets mixed up with a young lady who is trying to start a revolution. It’s a great spoof of WWII spy flicks and Elvis Presley musicals. The songs are just as catchy as they are riotous. The jokes just don’t seem to stop. So many great moments to list: the cow suit, the bulging genitals of ballet dancers, pac-man, the anal intruder, “this is not Mel Torme”, “what funny dog poo?”, and the underwater western bar fight finale! Wow! These guys made a comedy like they were never going to make another one again.
11. ANIMAL CRACKERS (1930) – The main plot could be considered pretty bland in the Marx Brothers second film, but that doesn’t matter, because I believe that this movie contains their best routines out of all their films. Love Groucho’s Captain Spalding number, Chico and Harpo’s card game…… so many iconic things happening here. The one liners are amazing, Harpo’s silent film-like antics are spot on, and Margaret Dupont’s snooty straight woman has never been better!
That’s it for now! Stay tuned for the final post, where I will reveal my Top 10 favorite comedies of all time!!!!!