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.
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
100 best comedy movies by section
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