Flying home today, I recalled something someone sent me — a list of the funniest comedies of all time, with the number 1 flick . . . Caddyshack.

Now, for those of you not of a certain age, who may not have seen Caddyshack, it is an amusing little film filmed with memorable quotes and an insane, hilarious performance by Bill Murray. But funniest movie comedy of all time? It’s not even in the top 10.

Which raises an interesting question: What are the all time funniest films?

No rules (like last time) — the only requirements: 1) Funny and 2) Movie.

I’ll get you started with a list that I am sure I rearrange easily into other orders:

50. Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
49. Rat Race
48. Life of Brian
47. When Harry Met Sally
46. Planes, Trains and Automobiles
45. Fast Times at Ridgemont High
44. Clueless
43. Airplane!
42. It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
41. Naked Gun

40. There’s Something About Mary
39. The Jerk
38. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
37. This is Spinal Tap
36. Horse Feathers
35. The 40 Year Old Virgin
34. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
33. The Big Lebowski
32. M*A*S*H
31. Animal House

30. Ghostbusters
29. A Fish Called Wanda
28. Bridesmaids
27. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
26. Wedding Crashers
25. The Nutty Professor
24. The General
23. Beverly Hills Cop
22. Liar Liar
21. The Hangover

20. My Cousin Vinny
19. Raising Arizona
18. Sullivan’s Travels
17. Arthur
16. Bringing Up Baby
15. What’s Up, Doc?
14. The Producers
13. Groundhog Day
12. Trading Places
11. Young Frankenstein

10. Duck Soup
9. South Park:  Bigger, Longer and Uncut. Freed
8. Tootsie
7. The Princess Bride
6. Blazing Saddles
5. Some Like It Hot
4. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
3. The Lady Eve
2. Annie Hall
1. Monty Python & The Holy Grail

Note that most of these, especially the top 20, have lots of heart.

What did I miss?

Category: Film, Humor

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

161 Responses to “Greatest Movie Comedies of All Time”

  1. BITFU Search Engine says:

    To the Richard Kline list, you could add “Movies that are so bad, they’re good (because they’re freaking hilarious)”. I know several people (myself definitely included) wherein ALL remote control action stops at Road House…EVERY-SINGLE-TIME. From Swayze doing Tai Chi to the Road House Throat Rip…classic scenes abound.

    The Attack of Killer Tomatoes is a great book-end comedy. It’s funny for the first 10 minutes or so…and then you realize that they plan on hitting you with this one-single-joke for the next 90 minutes…and it’s not so funny anymore. But then, 60 minutes later, something magical happens: You’re so broken down from this played-out joke that you actually to laugh (and marvel) at the sheer relentlessness of this one-single-stupid-never-ending-joke taken to such absurd extremes.

    If you like your comedy low-low-lower than lowbrow, then you can’t go wrong with MacGruber.

    As to the Top 50 list, Liar Liar and no Stripes?

  2. Joe_in_Indiana says:

    Add
    The Gods Must Be Crazy

    History of the World Part 1

  3. Krav1 says:

    History of the World is the funniest movie of all time!!!!!!!

  4. Whiskey Lunch says:

    Whaat?!? I think Airplane, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and The Big Lebowski should at least be in the top 20. (30???)

    So #1 is a British comedy ay? (that I love!) …then I dare ya to like: ‘Four Lions’

  5. Lariat1 says:

    W. C . Fields. It’s a Gift! The scene where he is trying to sleep on the porch is beyond hysterical. The coconut rolling down the stairs, the neighbors and the insurance salesman looking for Carl LaFong : ” Capital L, small a, capital F, small o, small n, small g, LaFong, Carl LaFong.” I saw it over 25 years ago and laughed out loud, by myself, through the whole movie.

  6. Lariat1 says:

    Although from 2000, the American Film Institute’s Top 100 list. http://www.afi.com/100years/laughs.aspx

  7. Bam_Man says:

    Can’t believe nobody has even mentioned Woody Allen’s “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)”. The first time I saw it, I laughed so hard it hurt!

  8. NMR says:

    Really how could you leave out some of those Laurel and Hardy movies…….Swiss Miss et al

  9. scottinnj says:

    A pretty inspired list. I would nit some of the order (Animal House and Spinal Tap would be higher).

    Only omissions would be Office Space, Team American and Strange Brew.

  10. Jim67545 says:

    The Inlaw – the Peter Falk, Alan Arkin one. No 3 Stooges? No Abbott and Costello?

    ~~~

    BR: The Inlaws is fantastic!

  11. raholco says:

    Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl

  12. 873450 says:

    This should be higher on the list:

    General Turgidson (George C. Scott):
    Mr. President, there are one or two points I’d like to make, if I may.

    POTUS Muffley (Peter Sellers):
    Go ahead, General.

    Turgidson:
    One, our hopes for recalling the 843rd bomb wing are quickly being reduced to a very low order of probability. Two, in less than fifteen minutes from now the Russkies will be making radar contact with the planes. Three, when the do, they are going to go absolutely ape, and they’re gonna strike back with everything they’ve got. Four, if prior to this time, we have done nothing further to suppress their retaliatory capabilities, we will suffer virtual annihilation.
    Now, five, if on the other hand, we were to immediately launch an all out and coordinated attack on all their airfields and missile bases we’d stand a damn good chance of catching ‘em with their pants down. Hell, we got a five to one missile superiority as it is. We could easily assign three missiles to every target, and still have a very effective reserve force for any other contingency.
    Now, six, an unofficial study which we undertook of this eventuality, indicated that we would destroy ninety percent of their nuclear capabilities. We would therefore prevail, and suffer only modest and acceptable civilian casualties from their remaining force which would be badly damaged and uncoordinated.

    Muffley:
    General, it is the avowed policy of our country never to strike first with nuclear weapons.

    Turgidson:
    Well, Mr. President, I would say that General Ripper has already invalidated that policy. laughs

    Muffley:
    That was not an act of national policy and there are still alternatives left open to us.

    Turgidson:
    Mr. President, we are rapidly approaching a moment of truth both for ourselves as human beings and for the life of our nation. Now, the truth is not always a pleasant thing, but it is necessary now make a choice, to choose between two admittedly regrettable, but nevertheless, distinguishable post-war environments: one where you got twenty million people killed, and the other where you got a hundred and fifty million people killed.

    Muffley:
    You’re talking about mass murder, General, not war.

    Turgidson:
    Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But I do say… no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh… depended on the breaks.

  13. rd says:

    One that people think of as a drama but is actually a comedy is “The African Queen.” BTW – I was able to get a copy of the fabulously restored version on Blu-Ray for $7.88 at Wal-Mart recently.

    I would also put “Top Hat” with Astaire and Rogers on the list somewhere as well as “Singing in the Rain”.

    There are also so many really funny scenes in “Casablanca” that it should at least be considered despite the couple of very serious themes that run through it.

  14. mpappa says:

    Stircrazy was a classic.

    RORY
    That’s Grossberger. The biggest mass murderer in the history of the southwest. He killed his entire family and all of his relatives in one weekend and then he killed some more people that reminded him of his family.

  15. martin66 says:

    Blues Brothers, A Fish Called Wanda, Tootsie, The Graduate, Planes, Trains …, There’s Something About Mary, The Big Lebowski, MASH, Bringing Up Baby, Ferris Bueller. That’s 10. Comedy is a lot harder than drama. And I have always thought Some Like it Hot way overrated, not to mention Monty Python. Pace.

  16. EMichael says:

    Paul.

    The evolution scene is enough to make the list, and there are many others.

  17. albnyc says:

    The Original In-Laws (Falk and Arkin)
    Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
    Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down

  18. czyz99 says:

    Richard

    A lot of those you mention I have not seen yet. I am a movie piker by comparison. Back to O Lucky Man!, the coffee tasting scene is so very British. And funny as hell. And anything with a young Helen Mirren is a must for me. Eye candy out the waz. When I get some time I’ll check out some of your other recommendations. When movies were 99 cents to rent, I watched 250 movies in one year, but of course had to cut back.

    albnyc

    Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down-that duck had the right idea.

    873450

    ‘Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed’. One of my favorite movie lines of all time. George C. Scott said Strangelove was his favorite movie, and the best performance of his career.

    Thanks to everyone for bring back so many good memories!

  19. eroldictat says:

    Coming to America — top 10 for sure

  20. comet52 says:

    Tommy Boy. Funny throughout, and the scene in the airplane bathroom is the best piece of slapstick since I don’t know when.

    Also kudos to you for including The Lady Eve, a truly great film in so many ways.

  21. McMike says:

    Working for a small local theatre chain in high school in the late 70′s/ early ’80′s I got to watch a lot of movies for at least a week at a time. These lists have all brought back a lot of memories. While the Bad News Bears go to Japan did not do so good, Cheech and Chong’s -Up in Smoke was a popular movie back in 1978 (at least in our area). I remember seeing Caddyshack at one of our other theatres (we got in free everywhere!) on my night off and it was very memorable! But from an usher’s point of view, 1941 and the Blues Brothers really grew on you; The Jerk, Hooper, Smokey and The Bandit, and the Cannonball run were all fun too, although I consider the earlier Gumball Ralley (Raul Julia, Gary Busey, Michael S.) a better car movie/comedy. Who could forget Bill Murray in Meatballs, or Tatum O’Neal/Kristy McNichols competing on who could lose their virginity first in “Little Darlings’ (my colleague at a neighboring theatre managed to put that movie together in the wrong order and did not catch it until after showing it the first time on Friday night! I think he had a little too much to smoke on thursday night when he built that film – and so did everyone else that did not catch the problem while watching that movie during an unauthorized after-hours preview!)

    From a projectionist’s point of view I showed Being There with Peter Sellers, and Serial with Tuesday Weld and Martin Mull, along with Porkey’s, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High with Sean Penn, but then there was Airplane!. Airplane! was out-of-the-box different. One can watch it for a week straight and still realize something new. I showed Used Cars the summer 0f ’81 out at the Starlight Drive-In. Good memories during a really crappy, slow, hot summer.

    My best surprises (movies that exceeded my expectations going in): Jumanji, Babe, Men in Black, Ghostbusters, Animal House. My favorites off the top of my head if I have to choose: Blazing Saddles, Airplane, Anchorman, and There’s Something about Mary.

  22. pmorrisonfl says:

    We re-watched ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ last night, and I’d put it on a top 20 list for myself.

    Others, all mentioned so far, I think (not necessarily ordered):

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail
    Airplane!
    The Gods Must Be Crazy
    Groundhog Day
    The Blues Brothers
    Stripes!
    Ghostbusters
    This is Spinal Tap
    Dr. Strangelove
    The Jerk
    Caddyshack
    What About Bob?
    A Fish Called Wanda
    Raising Arizona
    My Cousin Vinny
    The Party
    Office Space
    It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
    The first Austin Powers
    Spaceballs

    Note: I guess people of a certain age and culture think Saturday Night Live cast members/hosts make the funniest movies.

  23. GZR says:

    Green Card–Who can forget the salon scene?

  24. pmorrisonfl says:

    I’d forgotten about ‘Used Cars’… but, because of it, I had a good feeling when I saw ‘Robert Zemeckis’ on the credits as ‘Back To The Future’ started.

  25. noahmckinnon says:

    Lots of good mentions. I saw Raising Arizona again recently. Man, what a gem. I want to see Kind Hearts and Coronets again as I remember loving it (Alec Guinness plays 8 or 9 roles). No one has mentioned Walk Hard or Big Trouble in Little China so I’m chucking those into the ring.

    Even though it’s not a comedy, Lee Ermey’s character Sgt. Hartman in Full Metal Jacket had some doozies. One of my faves: “You climb obstacles like old people fuck! Do you know that, Private Pyle?”

  26. gsea1414 says:

    In the Loop. It is a must see (on Netflix today). Also, for the teenage mind – Kentucky Fried Movie. A classic.

  27. louis says:

    “The Bank dick” That made me laugh just reading it.

    No Order

    Caddyshack
    Airplane
    Meet The Parents
    Vacation
    Stripes
    Mystery Science Theater 3000
    Young Frankenstein
    Cable Guy
    Pink Panther
    Animal House
    Kentucky Fried Movie
    SOB
    10
    The Jerk
    Raising Arizona

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV4GsIe7Kvw

    Spankings all around.

  28. mitchcalderwood says:

    ORANGE COUNTY

    the adults in this teen comedy are brilliant – Mike White’s funniest movie, his scene as an English teacher is classic

    John Lithgow, Catherine O’Hara, Harold Ramis, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Kline, Jack Black, Ben Stiller cameo

  29. peterkrause says:

    With apologies to cat-lovers: Boondock Saints

  30. LLouis says:

    These movies all made me laughed (sometimes aloud in the theater…) : BURN AFTER READING (Coen Bros, Malkovich, Brad Pitt, Clooney, Frances McDormand…), PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, GRINDHOUSE: PLANET TERROR (the hospital segment especially and the fake trailers like Machete which turned out to be a real trailer after all), MACHETE, Hudsucker Proxy, DOUBLE WHAMMY (Steve Buscemi, Luis Guzman), BACK TO THE FUTURE, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, STAR TREK IV, Idiocracy, THE SIMPSONS MOVIE, Innerspace, FUTURAMA MOVIE, Heartbreakers (Jennifer Love Hewitt), GREMLINS,

    I have substracted movies already listed in the comments…

    Some french movies: Le Grand Blond Avec Une Chaussure Noire (Pierre Richard), La Chèvre (P. Richard vs Gérard Depardieu), Louis de Funès movies, Les Visiteurs (Jean Reno)…..

  31. TennesseeCPA says:

    Watched The Jerk last night and had a conniption fit I laughed so hard. Navin Johnson working at a filling station owned by Jackie Mason…wow! The other one I didn’t see here was Billy Crystal & Danny Devito in “Throw Mama from the Train”. The old movies are great, but the pace is so slow, it’s got to be an acquired taste.

  32. gremlin says:

    a couple more entries:
    High Anxiety
    Prisoner of 2nd avenue

  33. Robert M says:

    Uptown Saturday Night, Silver Streak, Trading Places, Harlem Nights- she kicked your ass

  34. Joe says:

    Bedazzled (Moore/Stone) and Where’s Poppa? Gotta be near the top. But my humor tends to the dark and dry…

  35. stevelaake says:

    Night Shift

    Something About Mary

  36. slimsam says:

    Strange Brew!! You hoser..

  37. Schnormal says:

    I second In the Loop. And Burn After Reading — I must have watched it 20+ times, and it never gets old. The scene where Pitt goes to McDormand’s apartment and they call Malkovich is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

  38. Schnormal says:

    also — I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (featuring an embryonic Chris Rock :)

  39. Oral Hazard says:

    I’m an unashamed fan of broad comedy and gauge enjoyment and quality by the same yardstick: by whether I cried laughing. People who think old comedies were slow-paced should check out the machine gun repartee in His Girl Friday. Still holds up in a lot of ways. But ultimately, a comedy has to be fucking funny, for chrissakes, and for it to be successful folks need to leave in a really good mood.

    Holy Grail, South Park: Bigger, Longer Uncut, and how about some love for Woody Allen’s Love and Death? 40 Year Old Virgin, Ted, Elf, The Producers, Bowfinger, Bridesmaids, Office Space, The Hangover, When Harry Met Sally, Galaxy Quest, Ed Wood, Dodgeball, Something About Mary, Heathers, and how about Pulp Fiction?

    The thing is, if you want to get into wit, then you really need to think about Casablanca, which is hardly ever called a comedy but Claude Rains gets some of the greatest witty-funny lines of all time.

  40. Oral Hazard says:

    And even though it doesn’t really qualify, quite a few Mystery Science Theater 3000s were absolutely hysterical.

  41. Ragged Edge says:

    Two not mentioned.

    Grosse Pointe Blank – No, no. Psychopaths kill for no reason. I kill for *money*. It’s a *job*. That didn’t come out right.

    The Sure Thing

    This next two definitely deserves top 100 status:

    My Favorite Year

    Lil: *This* is for ladies only!
    Alan Swann: [unzipping fly] So is *this*, ma’am, but every now and then I have to run a little water through it.

    Victor Victoria -

    Toddy: This? The last time I saw a specimen like this, they had to shoot the horse!
    Waiter: [irritated] How lucky can you get? In one evening a Rockefeller… and a Groucho Marx.
    Toddy: Oh, they didn’t shoot a real horse… just a costume with two waiters in it.
    Waiter: I shall think of a sharp retort while I am getting your roast chicken.
    Toddy: It’s a wise man who knows when to throw in the towel.
    Waiter: And it is a moron who gives advice to a horse’s arse.

    My favorite Christmas film after the sweet nostalgia of A Christmas Story:

    The Ref – Gus: Connecticut is the fifth ring of hell.

    The Hepburn/Grant Trilogy

    Holiday
    The Philadelphia Story
    Bringing Up Baby

    Another fun Grant movie – Topper

    L.A. Story
    Get Shorty
    Sixteen Candles
    Bottle Shock
    Buckaroo Banzai
    The Full Monty
    Euro Trip – Scotty doesn’t know. – guilty pleasure
    Big Trouble In Little China

    One in my personal Top Ten:

    Drop Dead Gorgeous – overlooked laugh fest with Amy Adams in a small ensemble role before she became an Oscar contender. Barkin, Janney, Alley are simply hysterical.

    Loretta (Janney): “I heard you! I was just trying to get you to change your mind. Amber, the woman clung to your tap shoes while she was flying through the air like a goddamn lawn dart!”

    ~~~

    BR: The wife got chicken pox when we were first married — and Grosse Pointe Blank was on HBO constantly — we must hav e seen it 10X, and each time was hilarious! I dont know how I missed that — or Victor Victoria.

  42. Oral Hazard says:

    @louis: I was thinking of the theater version, too, but I didn’t think it was nearly as good as the best tv episodes.

  43. curmudgeon2000 says:

    Humor is very subjective. Nevertheless, I have to agree with MP & The Holy Grail as #1.
    The first time I saw that movie I was laughing so hard during the opening credits I had
    tears coming out of my eyes. But maybe it was the drugs…

    “A moose bit my sister once…”

    Given all the great suggestions not in your original list, you might have to expand it to
    the top 100.

    Another omission: Moonstruck.

  44. eurostoxx says:

    well its getting harder to add to this list, but thanks for giving me some good movies to cue up!

    A beautiful life – La dolce vita, and i hear ‘The Monster’ is really funny as well, in itilian
    Van Wilder
    Good morning Vietnam

    The first scene in Bad Santa will either make you pee your pants or make you want to turn it off

    Ancorman is only truly funny the 2nd or 3rd time you watch it, but then it is great

    I know a bunch of ppl find Showgirls funny for how bad it is

    Some Canadian Favorites: Fubar, Slapshot, Canadian Bacon, Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy

  45. eurostoxx says:

    uhf (wheel of fish!), halfbaked, pineapple express and American Pie movies (1 &2)

  46. louis says:

    Got it Oral, you’ll have to forgive me I’m a little slow, I bought a house in 05 so it takes me a while to get it.

  47. kernelpanic says:

    You missed (at least):

    The In-laws with Peter Falk and Alan Arkin
    The Great Race (Peter Falk also)
    The Russians are Coming (Alan Arkin)

    And how you don’t have It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad world higher is beyond me. :-) It’s one of the funniest movies of all time. The cast alone puts it near the top.

  48. w13492 says:

    The Birdcage
    Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

  49. old dog says:

    Sideways

  50. wesh says:

    “Cadillac Man” should be in there too. what a FUNNY movie!

  51. gms777 says:

    “2001: A Space Odyssey”

    Love those apes, the wacky monolith, HAL not opening the pod bay door, Pan American space cruisers…Oh, man, oh, man….

  52. RugbyD says:

    Major League
    Spaceballs
    Office Space
    Nat’L Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
    Being There
    American Psycho (i thought it was a hilarious satire)

  53. Lynn says:

    Police Academy
    Rocky Horror Picture Show

  54. matthew49 says:

    I can’t believe nobody has mentioned “The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!” from 1966. Cast includes Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint, Alan Arkin, Theodore Bikel, Brian Keith, Jonathan Winters, Paul Ford.

  55. stevenvan says:

    Seen at least 10 times:

    Ferris Buellers Day Off
    Dumb and Dumber
    Airplane

  56. rafer says:

    Great post. Very good movies on the list by BR. I especially like When Harry met Sally.

    Notable Omissions, some of which others also mentioned:

    Midnight Run
    Beverly Hills Cop
    Spaceballs
    Tremors
    Roxanne
    Kingpin
    Office Space
    Three Amigos
    Sideways

    2 other movies I haven’t seen mentioned but IMHO are absolute classics are

    About Last Night (James Belushi is wonderful here)
    Big Trouble in Little China (one of the best scripts, great line after line)

    Have fun watching!

  57. rafer says:

    I forgot to mention Bull Durham!!

    Wonderful, wonderful and laugh out loud funny.

  58. Ivana Puke says:

    Oh, God! What a list.