100 best comedy movies: the list

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

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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.

Airplane! (1980)

Dirs Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker (Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Peter Graves, Leslie Nielsen)

‘Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.’

In the pantheon of the pun, Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker still rule supreme. Put it this way, this fan would have loved to have been present at the trio’s pre-production brainstorming session for this gloriously funny disaster-film spoof because, even after all these years, it’s difficult to think of a film with more riotous gags per minute. If it’s not a whole scene (the blow-up doll in the captain’s cockpit; the guitar banging the heads of passengers as the air hostess makes her way down the aisle to play a whimsical song to a terminally ill child; the semaphore operator directing a 747 towards the departure lounge; the drunken merchant sailor dancing with a knife in his back, etc, etc), it’s a catalogue of little bon mots, sideshow pratfalls and hilariously impassive facial expressions or something ridiculous going on in the background that you missed first time around, usually while gathering up the remnants of a split side.

Inspired to some degree by the trio’s earlier TV show spoof ‘The Kentucky Fried Movie’ (1977), ‘Airplane!’ not only combined the same peculiar thought processes of that film with an amusing script about a lovelorn ex-fighter pilot who's forced to take charge of a plummeting jumbo jet, it also catapulted Leslie Nielsen’s previously untapped deadpan acting talents to the fore and spawned a battery of similarly whacky and deservedly successful follow-ups in the gut-busting ‘Naked Gun’ series. Matchless, simply matchless. DA

 


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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