100 best comedy movies

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The 100 best comedy movies, picked by experts from across film, TV and comedy

By Tom Huddleston, David Jenkins, Adam Lee Davies, Derek Adams, Edward Lawrenson, Wally Hammond, Ben Walters, Gabriel Tate and Phil Harrison. Explore the individual top tens of every contributor.

20
Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy in 'Trading Places' Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy in 'Trading Places'

Trading Places (1983)

Dir John Landis (Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis)

‘It ain't cool being no jive turkey so close to Thanksgiving.’

A definition of comedy greatness: a movie you can watch in the depths of winter, on a low-rent Canadian cable channel, dubbed into French (and you don’t speak French), and it’s still ridiculously funny. The Eddie Murphy we loved in the ’80s may be long gone, but we still have the memories, and movies like this. ‘Trading Places’ may not be as slick as ‘Beverly Hills Cop’, as confrontational as ‘48 Hrs’ or as raw as, um, ‘Raw’, but it’s still the best Murphy vehicle on the road: whipsmart, close to the bone, unashamedly capitalist but unexpectedly decent at the core. A bit like the man himself. TH

19
'South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut' 'South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut'

South Park: Bigger, Longer

Dir Trey Parker (Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes)

‘Hey Stan, tell them about the part where Terrence calls Phillip a testicle-shitting rectal wart.’

What’s the greatest musical of all time? ‘Singin’ in the Rain’? Too cute. ‘West Side Story’? Too butch. ‘Meet Me in St Louis’? If Judy Garland had called Margaret O’Brien a 'donkey-raping shit eater', it might have stood a chance. Surely, the finest example of the musical form in cinema has to be this wistful rites-of-passage tale of life in a quiet Colorado mountain town, where all the folks need to worry about is parking provision, bad language, gay dogs, an impending land war with Canada, Satan’s fuck-buddy Saddam, whether it really was Cartman’s mother in that German scheisse video and, of course, those goddamned Baldwins. Aw, shucks. TH

18
Leslie Nielsen in 'The Naked Gun' Leslie Nielsen in 'The Naked Gun'

The Naked Gun (1988)

Dir David Zucker (Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, OJ Simpson)

‘I promise you: whatever scum did this, not one man on this force will rest one minute until he's behind bars. Now let's grab a bite to eat.’

In the wake of ‘Scary Movie’ and ‘Meet the Spartans’, it’s hard to remember that the scattergun, slapstick, movie-pastiche genre started out with the noblest of intentions: to level the comedy playing field by making even the smartest moviegoers laugh like total idiots. In translating their criminally overlooked TV show ‘Police Squad!’ to the big screen, the Zuckers delivered the purest expression of the form outside of their own masterpiece ‘Airplane!’. ‘The Naked Gun’ is a film so devastatingly daft it leaves the stoniest of cynics gasping for breath and shrieking, ‘It’s Enrico Pallazzo!’ TH

17
'Duck Soup' 'Duck Soup'

Duck Soup (1933)

Dir Leo McCarey (Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx)

‘I could dance with you till the cows come home...But I would rather dance with the cows till you come home.’

Journalists ritually cite George Orwell’s ‘1984’ when bemoaning the rotten state of contemporary politics. Let's put that down to the fact that they’ve probably never seen ‘Duck Soup’. Groucho Marx plays Rufus T Firefly, the dangerously daffy autocrat of the sovereign state of Freedonia, whose anarchic style of governance is as much a rib-crackingly hilarious indictment of power-hungry tyrants as it is a harrowing harbinger of things to come. We may chuckle when he attempts to squeeze ‘financial assistance’ from a status-hungry dowager. We may guffaw when he inducts a pair of friendly nitwits (Chico and Harpo Marx) into high government posts. We may snigger when the boys break into song at a war crimes trial. But is this not also a bracing vision of a grim future (and, of course, a very funny one)? DJ

16
Bill Nighy in 'Shaun of the Dead' Bill Nighy in 'Shaun of the Dead'

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Dir Edgar Wright (Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield)

‘How's that for a slice of fried gold?’

Our voters declare this the funniest of the films made by the reigning kings of British comedy, the triumvirate of Nick Frost, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. Previous beloved Brit comedy duos – from Eric and Ernie to Cannon and Ball and the great Hale and Pace – failed to make, or faltered on, their elevation from the small to the silver screen. It was more than the making of perky Pegg and frolicsome Frost – the surprise hit of ‘Shaun of the Dead’ catapulted them to just below demi-god status (as enjoyed by, of course, the Pythons) and to the second highest spot in the poll for British performers. ‘Shaun...' is not a film about survival: this genuinely suspenseful rom-zom-com is about respect, and the getting of it. That what’s Pegg/Frost/Wright give to the living dead of Crouch End, Highgate and North Finchley in spades, with due compassion, not a little heroism and without losing their sense of humour and essential Britishness. WH


Users say

67 comments
miyu
miyu

OMG i can't believe Jerry Lewis or James Cagney movies are not even in the list!!! are you kiddin' me?!!! WTF!! and what about the order of this list? - That's really dissapointing.

Andre
Andre

Do you have a personal vendetta with Tom Hanks?

Paige
Paige

This list is blowing my mind. While I love that movies like Anchorman and The Big Lebowski are so high up on this list, Coming to America and Team America need to switch places, no question...In fact, dump Team America altogether along with half of the Woody Allen movies. Also, Happy Gilmore and Dumb and Dumber made the list, but not Clue, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Spaceballs, The Philadelphia Story, Super Troopers, It Happened One Night, The Birdcage, or Moonstruck? A list of the best comedies actually made me sad.

really?
really?

while most movies are there (with 100 how could they not be).. the order is horrible... Also Step Brothers over Anchorman.. and neither should be in a top 10 all time.

Allan
Allan

Office Space????

kristen
kristen

Most of these are 20+ years old! Don't get me wrong, you need some classics in there but I for one would (like to) think that our generation has advanced intellectually enough to appreciate a slightly less obvious/dumb kind of humour... Monty Python sure but come on! We are British, we are far more dry than the humour in most of these films... disappointing man

Pete
Pete

Great list and a lot of fun to read. Missing from the list is those magnificent men in their flying machines.

just saying...
just saying...

Where's Pappa? ... pitch black and hilarious. Ruth Gordon at her very best!

makemegoodbutnotyet@gmail.com
makemegoodbutnotyet@gmail.com

I would have high expectations of a list of the greatest comedies that was compiled by Time Out - but this list is infantile in its taste, and I can only assume that the the compiler is in his teens. Frankly, pathetic, for a company which claims to know films.

Abe Mahmood
Abe Mahmood

OH MY GOD!! Where is THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGINNNN????? :O You have to be kiddin me!!

Tamara
Tamara

Spinal Tap is by far one of the funniest movies ive ever seen...Best in show and a mighty wind and everything that christopher guest has a hand in is pretty good. Napoleon Dynamite and more recently 21 jump street cracked my up! :)

Alex DeLarge
Alex DeLarge

good list but you miss Friday, Election and Death at a Funeral (the british version). I also think than all the Chapiln's flims are underrated.

ko
ko

very bad list.but for the people who think! (GHOSTBUSTERS) is funny should be in a padded cell with a straight jacket on. its funny when your 4 years of age as is anything at that age.and for the guy who thinks will ferrel is not funny you must be 90 years old and into laurel and hardy slippin on banana skins and stuff like my dad. will ferrel is a modern comedy great!

mikey hoodster
mikey hoodster

"night shift" with michael keaton and henry winkler is by far the best comedy of all time. You all need to rent it, watch it, and behold billy "the blaze" blazjowski.

macy
macy

fabulous i havent seen any of these movies but ive heard airplane was really funny.........i think..........

the dude
the dude

how in gods name is "a fish called wanda" not in the top 10?

troy
troy

Whoever TH is, they are a terrible writer!

Melayahm
Melayahm

I saw Airplane when I was 16, the perfect age. I remember laughing almost non stop in the cinema, practically falling out of my chair. Still makes me smile even now, and my 15 y/o daughter loves it too, so it's stood the test of time

vermilionskin
vermilionskin

Monty Python movies are the best. Smart well written comedy..

johnny
johnny

Tropic Thunder??......

Guest
Guest

Elf deserves to be there despite whatever the comments say - it is the funniest Christmas movie I have ever seen. Why isn't Coming to America in the top 10? Why isn't Office Space in the top 10? This is Spinal Tap is NOT FUNNY. There were way too many Woody Allen movies and where is Superbad? Galaxy Quest - are you serious? Movies 100 - 91 were not funny. How can you have a movie that is not funny at number one? Are you at all serious?

Maxi
Maxi

good list but no place for my cousin vinny??

CaptainBeefheart
CaptainBeefheart

Down with the naysayers, This is Spinal Tap at No. 1 - need I say more

Pierre
Pierre

Egregious omissions: "Death at a Funeral" had me in apoplectics more than 90% of these films. "The In-Laws" (original with Peter Falk) and "Blazing Saddles" are also superior to many of these picks. I do agree with "Top Secret" and "Galaxy Quest".

Ross
Ross

a load of crap

Soup
Soup

any list with Woody Allen in is worthy of ignoring.

VampireJack
VampireJack

Spinal Tap at number one? Above Life Of Brian? Nah mate, nah. Spinal Tap is one of the most overated THINGS ever, let alone comedies. Spinal Crap more like....

johnGGG
johnGGG

airplane is so overated

kiran david
kiran david

the list is made by a moron who are the the morons who are supposed to be these experts

Sanu
Sanu

This list sucks. I don't think that top 10 movies r really top ten.. I give you 2 out of 10. The point 2 is for your hardwork to make this list not for the movies you add. It's ridiculous.

james
james

Mr Beans Holiday!!!! funniest film ever.

JiveKiwi
JiveKiwi

Wow...most best of lists are awful but this is among the worst Ive seen :(

eggnog
eggnog

Shows how subjective a genre comedy is...well any genre to be honest, because I have watched Spinal Tap twice now, and I still think it's not really very funny at all... maybe it's something about the rock n roll attitude thing, but apart from a few very funny moments I thought it was a pretty limp, flat experience. Each to their own...but I would personally have Duck Soup well above Spinal Tap -- it's 50 years younger and about 4 times as funny.

Litton
Litton

Placing The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) at place 95 makes this list a joke!! sorry

Mr C
Mr C

Travis Bickle's list is a helluva lot better than yours. Were the people who made this list list born in 1990?

Travis Bickle
Travis Bickle

Missing in action: Bringing Up Baby Our Man Godfrey The Awful Truth The Palm Beach Story The Lady Eve Ninotchka Love Me Tonight It Happened One Night Modern Times The Gold Rush City Lights Our Hospitality National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Christmas Story MASH Moonstruck My Favorite Year The Twelve Chairs A Shot In The Dark The Lavender Hill Mob Mon Oncle Paper Moon The Graduate Election Sideways Honeymoon In Vegas Ruthless People Clueless Thank You For Smoking The Cooler Welcome To The Dollhouse Something's Gotta Give As Good As It Gets Jerry McGuire Porkies (Just kidding!)

Dane
Dane

Might as well have put 'dudes, where's my car? ' at number 1.

Dane
Dane

This list is complete b.s. These guys have a chubby for Woody Allen... No 'dazed and confused',happy Gilmore, but no billy Madison? Dont think I saw one John Hughes film... HorsePoop

theshiznech
theshiznech

ok why so much woody allen films? and furthermore where is beetlejuice, brother, where art thou?, in bruge, grosse point blanke and to a lesser extent the exorcist.

rob
rob

one film name ferris beauller (sp)

Bad List
Bad List

This list is absolutely terrible. Napoleon Dynamite was entertaining but should NOT be in the top 100

A. Nerd
A. Nerd

How much did Woody Allen pay you to take so many spots with his outdated unfunny films? Factor in the omission of Spaceballs, Idiocracy, Super Troopers, Beverly Hills Cop, PCU and Out Cold and this list is pretentious pointlessness.

Brian
Brian

Anybody who thinks Will Ferrell is funny ought not to be allowed out of The Home for the Bewildered.

Alan Pavelin
Alan Pavelin

I only had time to look at the top 10, and was astonished that the two laugh-out-loud funniest films ever were not there: Bringing Up Baby and His Girl Friday, both directed by Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant. I assume they are lower down the list, but not in the top 10?!!!

stinky
stinky

its a mad mad mad mad world the private war of harry frigg the tiger makes out

Pierre
Pierre

THislist is very imcomplete! and the expert used to make that list are from most of them old generation 40 to up...years old, so as we can most of the movies selected are oldies...or unknown at all....There are a lot great cool comedy missing on it....like super heroes parodies or SC-FI parodies are totaly absent that clearly show partiality in jugment....

Stewart
Stewart

Napoleon Dynamite is on this list, thus rendering it invalid. Move along.

Sylvie
Sylvie

The fact that MASH is not on the list, makes it worthless.

Phil Tischler
Phil Tischler

The downside of the internet is that even someone who ranks Borat and Team America above The Big Lebowski is allowed to publish their "thoughts" to a wide audience.