100 best comedy movies: the list

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.

'Monty Python and the Holy Grail'

'Monty Python and the Holy Grail'

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Dir Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones (Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Michael Palin)

‘Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!’

If the ill-judged, stilted, calculated nature of ‘And Now For Something Completely Different’ found the Pythons letting off a rare misfire, ‘Life of Brian’ caught them in somewhat self-consciously ‘clever’ and ever-so-slightly preachy form (come on, admit it!) and ‘Meaning of Life’ saw their brilliance bloated into a curious mis-shape, then ‘Holy Grail’ is an example of the surrealist TV comedy troupe firing on all six cinematic cylinders. All are great films in their way, but for many, ‘Grail’ is the most cinematic, unglued, quotable, ingenious, structured, influential and thigh-slappingly funny film in the Pythons’ regrettably small big-screen canon.

The totemic John Cleese (note to apocryphally slack-jawed American readers: John Cleese IS NOT the actual Monty Python) was back in the fold after skipping out on the final TV series, and the whole film is far more cohesive than might have been expected from a continuity-skewering sketch-based ensemble – especially seeing as the shooting was, as described in various biographies, a damp, tedious and gruelling affair. But it would all count for nothing if the lads hadn’t stuffed the film with so many lunatic gags, boisterously catchy songs and memorably outlandish characters. Everyone will have their favourite – from the Knights Who Say ‘Ni!’ to Cleese’s fearlessly moronic Black Knight ('It’s only a flesh wound!' etc) to Michael Palin’s Mud Eater – but spare a thought for gurning Yankee pack animal Terry Gilliam as King Arthur’s trusty steed, Patsy – the things he’s made to do with a coconut would make your eyes water! ALD


Users say

13 comments
Steve
Steve

Its a good list, but very culture specific. Telling from this list you guys are likely about 40 and you're all white and have mostly liked the same movies for decades... I'm going to check out a few that I don't know very well, but I think you guys need to think outside of the box... or at least outside of the window - the world is a pretty diverse place and 'funny' is everywhere. (4 lions maybe an exception)

Kenny
Kenny

Do you guys even like movies?

william mayer
william mayer

Zoolander is higher than Happy gilmore enough said...

Pat
Pat

Good list! Few films I don't feel deserve a place, some films I'd put higher up then they are. This list has some seriously great comedies! It's painful seeing people upset at the absence of film's such as "Soul Plane." In the comments.

Cloé
Cloé

love that list!

Ally
Ally

Wait a minute... Talladega Nights didn't make the list and trading places did? This list is so out of date, none of the fridays either, or cheech and chong, "O Brother Where Art Thou?"... We should be able to vote on lists like these. Good job btw (Y)

anonymous
anonymous

Notable lack of "urban" comedies.

anonymus
anonymus

soul plane? barbershop? friday? friday the next?

Hughes
Hughes

give me the rest

agee
agee

Why so much Steve Martin and so little (or no?) Danny Devito? Where's Tin Men, for example? Better than lots of movies listed here. Since some classics were included, where's It Happened One Night? King of Comedy could have been left out. While a good film, it's not really a comedy (Sandra Bernhard's hilarious scene notwithstanding, I think I would take Being There over King of Comedy for a quasi comdedy) Big Lebowski is a good pick but "O Brother Where Art Thou?" definitely beats out a bunch of films listed here--for quality, laughs, and music.

walte
walte

wtf where is five

dra
dra

where is stepbrothers

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