The Best 100 Funny Movies of All Time
We rounded up the top 100 funny movies of all time, from rom-coms to screwball comedies. Grab the popcorn and get to laughing!
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Laugh it up with the top funny movies of all time
It may sound like a cliché (and kind of is), but sometimes laughter truly is the best medicine. There’s a reason some of the best movies of all time are comedies, after all. What better way to take a break from today’s constant attention-span-sapping, rapid-fire information bombardment than to sit down and lose yourself in a full-length movie? There are plenty of funny movies that are good for a laugh, but which ones stand the test of time?
We’ve compiled 100 of the best funny movies from the 1930s to today so you’ll never run out of funny movies to watch. We gathered the best rom-coms, royal movies, teacher movies, slapsticks, screwballs, teen comedies, and comedic classics based on their critical acclaim, popularity, influence on pop culture and genre, and commercial success. Start streaming and get to laughing! For a family movie night, check out these classic family movies with funny songs and funny kid movies.
Best in Show
Funniest quote: “God loves a terrier!”
Off Spinal Tap guitar duty, Christopher Guest turns his mockumentarian eye toward a tamer topic: The high-stakes world of competitive dog shows. The ridiculous comedic talent in this ensemble won’t fit in one paragraph (it barely fits in one film), but we’ll throw you a bone: Parker Posey, Eugene Levy, Michael McKean, Bob Balaban, Catherine O’Hara, John Michael Higgins, and Guest himself all dominate the show—and that’s high praise in a movie about adorable dogs.
Meet the Parents
Funniest quote: “I have nipples, Greg. Could you milk me?”
Ben Stiller tries to ingratiate himself with his girlfriend’s mom and dad. The trouble is, her old man (Robert De Niro) is ex-CIA and paranoid about the young man whose job description is male nurse. It delivers the humor and even some thrills from time to time. Director Jay Roach keeps this a winner from opening frame to fade-out.
Funniest quote: “I like that boulder. That is a nice boulder.”
Once upon a time, there was an Ogre (Mike Myers) whose swamp got overrun by intruders from fairy tales and Disney movies, including Pinocchio, three little pigs, and a big, bad wolf. All are refugees from the kingdom of the wicked Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). With the help of an articulate donkey (Eddie Murphy), Shrek sets things right and, along the way, wins the love of Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), who has a secret but endearing flaw. Computer animation with great humor and, even rarer, heart, makes it a great cartoon movie for family night.
Funniest quote: “Just because we have chiseled abs and stunning features doesn’t mean that we still can’t not die in a freak gasoline-fight accident.”
Idiot model/model idiot Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) has an existential crisis after being demoted to second-hottest beefcake in America by a fresh-faced jerk named Hansel (Owen Wilson). Deranged designer Jacobim Mugatu (Will Ferrell) gives Derek a new purpose as an international assassin. Moronic and star-studded, Zoolander gives us some of the funniest movie quotes of the early decade.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Funniest quote: “Toula, they two kinds of people: Greeks, and everybody else who wish they was Greek.”
This is the life story of Toula (Nia Vardalos), whose family instructs her to marry a Greek boy and make Greek babies. Instead, she chooses Ian (John Corbett). The collision of cultures is inevitable. (“I’m a vegetarian,” Ian explains to a Greek aunt. “That’s OK,” she responds. “I’ll make lamb.”) It’s packed with fine performances all around, especially from Michael Constantine, who plays Toula’s ethnocentric dad. If you can’t get enough romance, stream these romantic movies on Netflix.
Shaun of the Dead
Funniest quote: “Take car. Go to mum’s. Kill Phil, grab Liz, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over. How’s that for a slice of fried gold?”
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost prove their undeniable comic chemistry while trying to keep their friends/friendship alive amidst a U.K. zombie pandemic. Through some paranormal magic, director Edgar Wright’s British zom-com managed to become the most affecting zombie movie of all time—and one of the funniest films of the last 20 years. It’s also a great funny movie to watch around Halloween.
Funniest quote: “She doesn’t even go here!”
Full of hilarious quotes that people still use to this day, Mean Girls is one of those funny movies you can laugh at even if you’ve seen it a thousand times. New girl Cady (Lindsay Lohan) infiltrates her high school’s most popular clique, The Plastics, consisting of Regina (Rachel McAdams), Gretchen (Lacy Chabert), and Karen (Amanda Seyfried). As she tries to take them down, she finds herself liking the attention she gets as part of this elite group—especially the attention of Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett), Regina’s ex-boyfriend. Is she sticking with the original plan, or has she gone fully plastic?
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Funniest quote: “Where’d you get your clothes, from the toilet store?”
Watching Will Ferrell mug into a news camera as a pompous, preening playboy for 94 minutes would be enough to sell a movie. But we also get Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Fred Willard, Christina Applegate, Vince Vaughn, Jack Black, David Koechner, a jazz flute solo, and a dog named Baxter who can communicate with bears. Peaking with one of the most unexpectedly absurd fight scenes ever filmed (“There were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident”), Anchorman truly is the stuff of legend. There’s even an Anchorman question in our movie trivia list—can you answer it correctly?
Funniest quote: “Tina, you fat lard, come get some dinner!”
Ah, the film that put Preston, Idaho, on the map. Taking teen comedies to an awkward, uncomfortable extreme, Napoleon earns a place in the pantheon for Jon Heder’s triumphantly ’80s dance moves alone. Sweet. We think he’d bust plenty of moves while listening to the top movie soundtracks.
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Funniest quote: “Very nice!”
Flying the Andy Kaufman–brand freak flag proudly, Sacha Baron Cohen’s foreign guy avatar brings out the best and worst in America. This false Kazakhstani’s road trip to marry Pamela Anderson prompts myriad unforgettable scenes—and one scene we all wish we could forget.
Little Miss Sunshine
Funniest quote: “‘OK, but I’m not going to have any fun.’ ‘Yeah, well, we’re all with you on that one, Dwayne.'”
A family of misfits and misanthropes travels west in a busted VW Microbus to enter a 7-year-old girl in a beauty pageant. The bittersweet script takes exuberant life from a perfect cast: Steve Carrell, Alan Arkin, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Paul Dano, and the debut of Abigail Breslin, who auditioned for the film when she was 6 years old. After you watch this funny flick, pick up one of the funniest books of all time for more laughs.
Funniest quote: “That ain’t no Etch-a-Sketch. This is one doodle that can’t be un-did, homeskillet.”
A teenage girl is thrust into adult decisions following an unplanned pregnancy. Hilarious, right? The heavy subject matter receives comic levity from a flawlessly funny cast (Elliot Page, Michael Cera, Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons, Allison Janney), plus a sweet and quick-witted script by first-time scribe Diablo Cody and one of the more memorable animated title sequences in decades.
Funniest quote: “Hey, guys, you ready to let the dogs out?”
A Vegas bachelor party becomes a missing persons investigation when three inept friends lose the groom and, apparently, their dignity. Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, and Bradley Cooper prove a shockingly potent cocktail of comic energy while embarking on a hellish backtrack through the previous night’s terrible decisions. Stream parts two and three to keep the party (and humor) going.
Funniest quote: “Help me, I’m poor.”
Annie (Kristen Wiig) is a down-on-her-luck cupcake baker in a shallow friends-with-benefits relationship with Ted (Jon Hamm). Having lost her apartment and moved back home to live with her mom, what more could go wrong? A whole lot, it turns out. When her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), gets engaged, Annie is determined to be the best maid of honor ever. From there, comedy ensues. If you’re looking to get Mom in on the movie marathon, try these mom movies.
21 Jump Street
Funniest quote: “‘Did you say, ‘You have the right to be an attorney’?'” “‘He could be an attorney if he wants.'”
This adaption of the beloved TV series follows two buddy cops (Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum) going undercover at a high school to bust a drug ring. What ensues is hilarious chaos as they try to navigate teens’ new definition of “cool” while working their case. Hill and Tatum riff off one another so well that you can’t help but laugh every five minutes.
What We Do In The Shadows
Funniest quote: “You will not eat Stu, and you will not eat the camera guy… Maybe one camera guy.”
What We Do In The Shadows is a hilarious mockumentary about roommate vampires who deal with the trials and tribulations of everyday life—while being undead. Seeing these vampires argue about mundane things, like chores and rent, makes them incredibly funny and relatable. The movie was so well received that it inspired a critically acclaimed TV series of the same name. Funny vampires are a win! After watching it, sink your teeth into one of these vampire books.
Funniest quote: ” Yeah, but I don’t see a man, do I? I see a reject from The Sound of Music.”
When desk-jockey CIA analyst Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy), who assists secret-agent boss Bradley Fine (Jude Law) remotely via headset, hears the dashing spy has been assassinated in an arms deal gone wrong, she goes rogue to even the score. Look for the hilarious “wine-tasting” scene, when Cooper goes undercover as a posh lady who lunches in this combo comedy and action movie.
The Big Sick
Funniest quote: “Your driver will be ready as soon as he puts on his pants.”
Kumail Nanjiani stars in this semi-autobiographical movie inspired by the story of how he met his wife, with whom he cowrote the film (and was nominated for an Oscar!). Equal parts hilarious and poignant, the film chronicles what happens when Kumail, a struggling comedian, falls for Emily—even though his conservative parents want him to have an arranged marriage. When Emily develops a serious lung infection and falls into a coma, Kumail must meet her parents under less-than-ideal circumstances. Ray Romano and Holly Hunter play Emily’s parents, and they and Nanjiani make an unexpectedly delightful comedy trio in this semi-sad flick.
Funniest quote: “I’m about to get pregnant tonight!”
Tiffany Haddish is so absolutely everywhere right now that it’s hard to believe her star-making role was relatively recent. If you’re a fan, this is a must-watch. Following in the footsteps of Bridesmaids, Girls Trip is another madcap, female-led, no-holds-barred comedy. It also stars Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Regina Hall. In addition to being absolutely hilarious, Girls Trip was also the first film with a Black female screenwriter to surpass $100 million at the box office. (It made over $140 million worldwide!)
Sorry to Bother You
Funniest quote: “To be perfectly honest, you’re starting to harsh both of our mellows.”
Part laugh-out-loud comedy, part biting social satire, Boots Riley’s directorial debut examines the day-to-day pressure that its young Black characters experience to conform if they want to get ahead. Its main character, Cash (Lakeith Stanfield), works as a telemarketer and realizes that using a “white voice” helps him be better received by customers. When he realizes that the company he’s marketing for has some serious ethical issues, he has to choose between his professional success and his own moral compass—and his socially active friends.
Funniest quote: “Who allowed you to take my breath away?”
Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut is a delightful coming-of-age story about two best friends (Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever) who realize, at the tail end of high school, that they’ve been so busy getting good grades that they’ve never had any fun or broken any rules. They resolve to cram four years of high school debauchery into one night. The two stars hold their own alongside big comedy names like Lisa Kudrow, Jason Sudeikis, and Billie Lourde. (In fact, Feldstein got a Golden Globe nomination for the role.)
Funniest quote: “What is this, CSI: KFC?”
If you missed this comically clever whodunnit from Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson, it’s not too late to hit Play. It’s a must-watch for fans of both comedy and mystery. The eccentric patriarch of an entitled, filthy-rich family is found dead in what’s deemed a suicide—until old-school gentleman detective Benoit Blanc (a hilariously scenery-chewing Daniel Craig) is hired, anonymously, to investigate it as a murder. Flashbacks to the night of the death reveal what happened—or so we think—in a first-act twist. The shocking contents of the old man’s will send his nurse, Marta (Ana de Armas), and his estranged, devil-may-care grandson (Chris Evans) on a quest to discover the truth and outwit the rest of the family. Just when you think you know what’s going on, the plot thickens in an inventive and often hilarious way.
Funniest quote: “You make documentaries! Those are just reality shows that no one watches!”
Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae are a comedy dream team as a couple that’s in the midst of breaking up when a stranger jacks their car with them in it, runs someone over with it, and splits. Before the couple can even register what’s happened, a bystander calls the cops on them while they’re standing at an active murder scene. Sure that law enforcement will never give them the benefit of the doubt, they make a run for it, embarking on a madcap quest to find the true murderer and prove their innocence. Considering that the newly broken-up couple must work together, you can bet that hilarious banter ensues.
Funniest quote: “Hi, Curly, kill anyone today?”
Afflicted by various midlife crises, three urbanites (Billy Crystal, Bruno Kirby, and Daniel Stern) try to sort things out on a cattle drive. The complications are unfailingly merry, and Jack Palance—as the rough-hewn, straight-faced head drover—makes John Wayne look like Shirley Temple. If you’re looking for more films to add to the list, check out these Irish movies you can stream now.
Funniest quote: “Actors don’t like to play coma. They feel it limits their range.”
Daytime soap operas make an easy target. But thanks to fine performances by Kevin Kline, as an aging ham, and Sally Field, as his ex, there’s a lot to think about and laugh at in this flick. Whoopi Goldberg, Garry Marshall, Robert Downey Jr., and Elisabeth Shue add deliciously to the mix.
A League of Their Own
Funniest quote: “There’s no crying in baseball!”
Penny Marshall’s valentine to a women’s hardball league during WWII, when male players were in the service, is endearing, heartfelt, and has some great comedic moments. It features terrific performances by Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, and Tom Hanks. It also made our list of the best feminist movies to watch.
My Cousin Vinny
Funniest quote: “‘Mr. Gambini, didn’t I tell you that the next time you appear in my court that you dress appropriately?’ ‘You were serious about that?'”
Vinny Gambini (Joe Pesci), a loud Brooklyn mouthpiece, heads to Wazoo, Alabama, to defend his innocent cousin (Ralph Macchio) in a murder trial. It’s a ba-da-bing farce, with a star turn by Marisa Tomei as Vinny’s amusing side-of-da-mouth girlfriend.
Funniest quote: “This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.”
Egomaniacal weatherman Phil, played by Bill Murray, spends a night in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where the local groundhog is supposed to see his shadow and predict how long winter will last. Trouble is, Phil gets caught in a time trap and keeps repeating the day on end. Scrooge becomes a saint, but not before some funny and wise interludes.
Funniest quote: “Help is on the way, dear!”
One of Robin Williams’s finest films was Mrs. Doubtfire, in which he played a divorced actor who disguises himself as a nanny to spend more time with his children. Williams’s portrayal of both Mrs. Doubtfire and Daniel is both heartfelt and hilarious. You’ll be quoting this funny movie before you know it (if you haven’t been quoting it already).
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Funniest quote: “‘You remember the time you started dad’s boat and the propeller cut my leg to shreds?’ ‘Yeah?’ ‘This is worse.'”
It sounds grim, but this is a blithe British comedy about a young man (Hugh Grant) who can’t commit until he meets an unattainable woman (Andie MacDowell). The film features a choice supporting cast and soars under Mike Newell’s direction.
Dumb and Dumber
Funniest quote: “Just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this … and totally redeem yourself!”
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels bring respect back to the buddy road trip genre by debasing themselves entirely. As kindred morons cut from the same whoopee cushion, Lloyd and Harry embark on a cross-country trip for love, become social elites for a weekend, accidentally thwart a kidnapping, and frustrate the bejeesus out of everyone they meet along the way. It’s one of those funny movies you can rewatch countless times and still find new things to laugh at.
Funniest quote: “This job would be great if it wasn’t for the customers.”
Through black-and-white vignettes set in a New Jersey Quick Stop, director Kevin Smith’s first film captures the funny, the raunchy, the horrible, and occasionally the sublime moments of life at a terrible day job. Most of the comedy wasn’t even a stretch; Smith wrote and shot the film for about $27,000 in the convenience store where he worked, making Clerks the first major cult comedy success of the ’90s home movie era. Not to brag, but it’s also the most stolen American VHS tape of all time.
Funniest quote: “There seems to be no signs of intelligent life anywhere.”
One of the most important movies ever made about friendship stars Tim Allen as a plastic spaceman—and no, we’re not talking about Galaxy Quest. The first of many excellent Disney-Pixar feature film collaborations, Toy Story set a new standard for computer animation. It’s family-friendly comedy is strong enough to crack even the hardest polyurethane hearts. And let’s admit it: “To infinity … and beyond!” is one of the best Disney quotes ever uttered. ’90s kids, this funny one’s for you.
Funniest quote: “Stop looking at me, Swan!”
Fresh off Saturday Night Live, Adam Sandler finds himself back in elementary school to prove he’s mature enough to manage his father’s fortune. Chris Farley, Norm MacDonald, Robert Smigel, and Steve Buscemi help plot the supremely juvenile, perpetually quotable curriculum. Silly voices ensue, and more funny movies from Adam Sander follow.
Funniest quote: “You’re a virgin who can’t drive.”
Clueless is one of those funny movies that gets better each time you watch it. It’s about pretty, popular, and rich Cher (Alicia Silverstone), who tries to play matchmaker in her Beverly Hills high school. It pokes hilarious fun at teen movies and Beverly Hills from start to finish.
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Funniest quote: “You know, I have one simple request, and that is to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads!”
If you haven’t seen this funny movie yet, start streaming it now and let the laughs commence. Austin Powers follows ’60s womanizer and secret agent Austin Powers (Mike Myers) as he’s unfrozen in the 1990s to take on his nemesis, Dr. Evil (also played by Myers). With agent Vanessa Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley) by his side, Powers hilariously adapts to the times while trying to thwart Dr. Evil’s plan. Watch Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Austin Powers in Goldmember afterward for more spy-spoofing hilarity.
The Full Monty
Funniest quote: “No one said anything to me about the full monty!”
Unemployed steelworkers try a new line of work: They become male strippers. Despite the setup, it’s a surprisingly sensitive and unfailingly witty presentation of underclass Britain by director Peter Cattaneo. It’s also pretty great to listen to; Anne Dudley’s score won an Oscar.
Men in Black
Funniest quote: “Whew! Very interesting. She got a whole ‘queen of the undead’ thing going on.”
Alien conspiracy culture takes some good-natured ribbing in this sci-fi farce. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are the titular men sent to save us from space invaders. The fantastic special effects make it a movie you won’t soon forget.
The Big Lebowski
Funniest quote: “Smokey, this is not Vietnam. This is bowling. There are rules.”
After he’s mistaken for a millionaire of the same name, Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski and his bowling buddies enter a world of pain. Part Western folk legend, part Buddhism-via-bowling parable, and part hard-boiled trip down the rabbit hole to the darkest, weirdest parts of Los Angeles, the Coen Brothers’ Big Lebowski is a brilliant, bizarre, and endlessly quotable universe unto itself. The Dude abides.
You’ve Got Mail
Funniest quote: “If I ever get out of here, I’m having my eyes lasered.”
You’ve Got Mail is an elegant update of The Shop Around the Corner (1940), this time with two competitive bookstore owners sending each other anonymous emails. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan shine under the direction of Nora Ephron, who single-handedly revived the spirit of classic cinema comedy-romance.
There’s Something About Mary
Funniest quote: “We’ve got a bleeder!”
Mary, played by Cameron Diaz, is the girl who Ted (Ben Stiller) crushed on in high school. But he’s not the only one—these days, it seems every man agrees there’s just something about Mary. Is it sophomoric? Yes. Hilarious? Absolutely. Matt Dillon helps.
Funniest quote: “This one time, at band camp…”
It’s the familiar story of young men trying to lose their virginity and being thwarted at every turn. Unlike earlier teen flicks, however, this farce doesn’t put down grown-ups and gives some of its best lines to female characters. Ultimately, however, what gives this pie its tart sweetness is an endearing cast, led by Jason Biggs, Eugene Levy, and Alyson Hannigan. Jennifer Coolidge is, as always, a treat.
Funniest quote: “‘Looks like you’ve been missing a lot of work lately.’ ‘I wouldn’t say I’ve been missing it, Bob.'”
Mike Judge offers the most hysterical movie to ever feature the words “TPS report” in this painfully accurate satire of white-collar woe. We’ve all known droning bosses and pathetically stapler-obsessed cubicle-mates, but a set piece where three disgruntled office heroes beat the crap out of an uncooperative desktop printer is a reward that’s worth coming in on a Sunday for.
The Blues Brothers
Funniest quote: “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we’ve got a full tank, half pack of cigarettes, it’s dark out, and we’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it.”
The comedy and musical genres combine in glorious fashion with The Blues Brothers. It stars Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as musician brothers who must reunite their band to save the home they grew up in—all while on the run from the cops. Seems doable, right? Aykroyd and Belushi are a comedy dream team in this classic.
Funniest quote: “‘Surely you can’t be serious.’ ‘I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.'”
It’s the ultimate send-up of the disaster genre. Writers-directors Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker, and David Zucker provide an avalanche of visual gags, parodies, and puns. Don’t like a joke? Wait ten seconds and there’ll be a new one. With Robert Hays as a failed pilot, Julie Hagerty as a flighty flight attendant, and a grand cast of poker-faced stiffs, including Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges, and Robert Stack, this is one of those funny movies you’ll remember years after viewing.
Funniest quote: “You buy a hat like this, I bet you get a free bowl of soup.”
Helming his first film, Harold Ramis swings in all directions for this cult-classic collage of comic royalty. Chevy Chase smiles through disaster, Ted Knight sneers at joy, Bill Murray hunts a ridiculous gopher puppet, and Rodney Dangerfield pretty much just plays an upbeat clone of himself. When it comes to funny movies, this one’s a must-have on your streaming list. Next up, check out these disaster movies if you’re looking for some adrenaline packed action to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Funniest quote: “Has anybody ever died from basic?”
A pampered bride (Goldie Hawn) becomes a widow on her wedding night. What to do? In the old days, men would drown their sorrows by joining the French Foreign Legion. She enlists in the U.S. Army. Her rude awakening comes when a tough drill sergeant (Eileen Brennan) introduces Private Benjamin to the rigors of military life.
9 to 5
Funniest quote: “‘Oh, this is terrible. It’s so improper. It’s so disrespectful!’ ‘He’s dead! He doesn’t mind!'”
This one’s for all the women in the workplace. Three administrative assistants (Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Jane Fonda) are mercilessly harassed by their boss (Dabney Coleman). Director Colin Higgins never lets up, and the sexist boss finally gets his well-plotted verbal and visual comeuppance.
My Favorite Year
Funniest quote: “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.”
Although he isn’t credited, the spirit of Errol Flynn, Hollywood’s ultimate ladies’ man, hovers over this appealing film. Peter O’Toole plays an aging, hard-drinking roué; Mark-Linn Baker is the kid who brings him home to lower-class Brooklyn and promptly causes a riot. Richard Benjamin, an actor who knows his timing, directed capably.
Funniest quote: “You know, pretending to be a man does have its disadvantages.”
In 1930s Paris, struggling singer Victoria (Julie Andrews) befriends Toddy (Robert Preston), a gay nightclub entertainer. He suggests a career move. Why not tour as Victor, a man posing as a woman? Victor/Victoria becomes a smash—but comic complications attend the gender-bending: pursuit by a gangster (James Garner) and hostility from the thug’s girlfriend (Leslie Anne Warren.)
Funniest quote: “I’m a potentially great actress.”
A self-centered actor (Dustin Hoffman) can’t land a job because the only parts available are for women. So he dresses as one, gets a soap opera part, learns how the other half lives, and becomes a better man (or woman) for it. Of course, it’s not quite that easy. Hilarious high jinks ensue. Smart direction by Sydney Pollack (who plays an agent in the film) stresses credibility and gets laughs. So do Bill Murray, Teri Garr, Jessica Lange, and Dabney Coleman.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Funniest quote: “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.”
This ’80s classic is an accurate portrait of Southern California adolescence. All the hormones are in overdrive, with expected but pleasing results. Sean Penn leads a cast of actors who were unknowns at the time but are now household names, including Nicolas Cage, Eric Stoltz, and Forest Whitaker.
Funniest quote: “You want me to break something else?”
It does what it says on the box: Eddie Murphy, a streetwise hustler, trades jobs with Dan Aykroyd, a very proper Philadelphia stockbroker. The results are everything you’d expect from these two—and more.
National Lampoon’s Vacation
Funniest quote: “The dog wet on the picnic basket!”
A cross-country family road trip to an amusement park: What could go wrong? Well, if you’re the Griswold family in National Lampoon’s Vacation, the answer is a lot. Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid, John Candy, and Christie Brinkley lend their comedic talents to this classic funny flick.
This Is Spinal Tap
Funniest quote: “These go to eleven.”
Rock ‘n’ roll has the courage to laugh at itself in Rob Reiner’s pioneering mockumentary. It follows a British heavy metal group, short on talent and money, as it tours third-rate venues across the United States on its way to oblivion. The film features wonderfully straight-faced performances by Chris Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Bruno Kirby, and Tony Hendra.
Lost in America
Funniest quote: “I’m insane and responsible. This is a potent combination.”
A “white-bread” couple (Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty) give up their jobs and drive cross-country to see the flyover country. En route, they find nothing but trouble—funny trouble—especially in Las Vegas, where they lose the better part of their savings and vainly try to recoup. Garry Marshall is unforgettable as a casino owner. Brooks directed, wrote, and starred in this classic film.
Good Morning, Vietnam
Funniest quote: “Goooooooood morning Vietnam! It’s 0600 hours. What does the O stand for? O my God, it’s early!”
Good Morning, Vietnam tells the (much exaggerated) story of Adrian Cronauer, a one-time disc jockey who was the voice of Armed Forces Radio until he was forced out in 1965. Robin Williams takes the bio and runs with it in a film marked by uneven but inventive humor with a moral. Barry Levinson directed this flick with his heart as well as his funny bone.
Funniest quote: “I’ll be taking these Huggies and whatever cash ya got.”
For their third film, Joel and Ethan Coen hit their stride by effectively trapping Nicolas Cage in a live-action Looney Tunes version of Crime and Punishment. The crime: baby napping. The punishment: guilt; dirty diapers; a police investigation; marital woes (via a fiery Holly Hunter); rude houseguests (John Goodman and William Forsythe’s bungling brother jail breakers); madcap car, foot, and dog chases; and an encounter with the Lone Biker of the Apocalypse. It’s even better than it sounds.
Funniest quote: “‘It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you’re the smartest person in the room.’ ‘No. It’s awful.'”
James Brooks crafted a satiric exposé of TV journalism—as all style, zero substance—in Broadcast News. William Hurt is the anchorman with good looks and no brain; Albert Brooks is the reporter with smarts and no style. Holly Hunter is their obnoxious boss.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Funniest quote: “Those aren’t pillows!”
A tired businessman (Steve Martin) tries desperately to get home, but nobody will listen—except for a talkative, insensitive passer-by (John Candy). As in most funny movies, disaster follows. The cast plays it for reality as well as laughs, thanks to director John Hughes.
The Princess Bride
Funniest quote: “Have fun storming the castle!”
The Princess Bride is one of the best (and funniest) book-to-movie adaptions. It’s the story of a grandfather who reads a fairy tale to his sick grandson. But it’s also the story of a young woman named Buttercup (Robin Wright) who’s forced to marry a prince (Chris Sarandon) after she believes her true love, Westley (Cary Elwes), has been killed by pirates. A bunch of obstacles get in the way of the union, including a kidnapping and a pirate who stops at nothing to have her in his grasp. Filled with romance, adventure, and hilarious wit, The Princess Bride is comedy gold that stands the test of time.
Coming to America
Funniest quote: “So you see, my son, there is a very fine line between love and nausea.”
Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall make a great comedy duo in Coming to America, the fish-out-of-water story of an African prince traveling to America to escape an arranged marriage. There, he hopes to find his true love. Start streaming now to see if he gets the girl.
Funniest quote: “You mean sleepover? OK, but I get to be on top!”
An unhappy kid wishes he were a grown-up. And voilà! He magically becomes one—except that he retains a 12-year-old mind in an adult’s body. Tom Hanks is just as magical as the premise. Penny Marshall directs a glowing cast in the perfect funny family movie to stream on movie night.
A Fish Called Wanda
Funniest quote: “I love robbing the English. They’re so polite.”
This shaggy fish tale was written by former Monty Python veteran John Cleese, who also stars in this caper gone mad. Fellow Pythonite Michael Palin helps enormously, as do Jamie Lee Curtis and a frantically stuttering Kevin Kline. It’s a smart pick for fans of heist movies and old-school laughs.
Funniest quote: “Barb, honey … we’re dead. I don’t think we have very much to worry about anymore.”
A young couple (Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) are killed in an automobile accent and return as ghosts, ready to inhabit their dream house. Alas, the place is occupied by live interlopers. The pair isn’t skilled enough to scare a mouse, so they hire the evil Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton). Director Tim Burton supplies so many sight gags and special effects that you might want to view it twice. While there are some eerie parts, it’s far from the scariest movie you’ve seen.
Funniest quote: “Lick it up, baby, Lick. It. Up.”
A rogue popular girl, her twisted new boyfriend, and teen angst that fuels murder—what more could you want from a dark teen comedy? Heathers is cynical yet comical, and the thrilling performances from Winona Ryder and Christian Slater make you feel a little less guilty about laughing at crumbling high school hierarchy and the drama it causes.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
Funniest quote: “When we crashed, my entire life flashed before my eyes. It didn’t take too long.”
Children accidentally point an experimental ray gun the wrong way and become minuscule and helpless. With smashing special effects and delicious performances by Rick Moranis and a quartet of talented minors, this family movie is sure to bring the laughs. Bonus: Here’s where the cast is now.
When Harry Met Sally
Funniest quote: “I’ll have what she’s having.”
It’s the movie that explored whether men and women could be platonic friends and gave us one of the most memorable movie quotes ever (in one of the most memorable scenes ever shot). Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan engage in delightful banter as they tiptoe around the funny feelings they have for each other, and you can’t help but get sucked in to the comical will-they-or-won’t-they situation.
Funniest quote: “I’m only paranoid because everyone’s against me!”
Robert Altman’s weirdly appealing antiwar comedy gave birth to the tamer, long-running TV series. With overlapping dialogue, odd camera angles, and provocative performances by Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, and Sally Kellerman, it’s the sort of movie that’ll have you laughing out loud—then bingeing the entire television series.
Harold and Maude
Funniest quote: “I haven’t lived. I’ve died a few times.”
In this cult classic, a 20-year-old (Bud Cort) falls in love with an octogenarian (Ruth Gordon), baffling pretty much everyone he knows. Director Hal Ashby stresses credibility as well as oddball comedy. Cat Stevens’s ace score is a bonus.
Funniest quote: “Don’t say anything, and we’ll get along just fine.”
A few years before he released his masterpiece, Star Wars, George Lucas directed this coming-of-age tale. Interestingly, he chose a cast of relative newcomers. They had real talent, which is why you surely recognize their names: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, and Harrison Ford.
Funniest quote: “Wait, Master, it might be dangerous … you go first.”
This horror-comedy spoof is one for the ages. Young Frankenstein is about the grandson of the notorious Dr. Frankenstein, who’s trying to pick up where his grandfather left off. Gene Wilder’s performance is silly yet incredible.
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Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Funniest quote: “It’s just a flesh wound.”
Inventive British sketch comedians (John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Eric Idle) do battle with the Arthurian legend, complete with a Trojan rabbit and a holy hand grenade. Tradition loses. We win.
Funniest quote: “‘What do they want you for?’ ‘Murder.’ ‘Drop me off anywhere along here OK? I don’t mess with the big M.'”
A bright parody of Alfred Hitchcock films, Silver Streak stars Gene Wilder as a mild-mannered executive who boards the Silver Streak train from Los Angeles to Chicago and finds himself embroiled in mystery and romance. Richard Pryor pushes the humor to a new level; Jill Clayburgh contributes the glamour, Patrick McGoohan the villainy.
Funniest quote: “The same thing you’re doing for everyone else. Nothing”
Like the teeming freeways of Los Angeles, disparate lives intersect in this bubbly ensemble piece about a White-owned car washery and the Black and Latino crews who work there. This ’70s time capsule sports an irresistible soundtrack and appearances by some of the era’s top comic talent, including Richard Pryor, George Carlin, and Franklyn Ajaye.
The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings
Funniest quote: “‘Hey kid, you do this constantly?’ ‘No Sir. I do this all the time.'”
This historical comedy will take you back to a time just before Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color line. Follow as a group of players in the Negro Leagues try to win big. With James Earl Jones, Richard Pryor, Billy Dee Williams, and lesser-known but just as enjoyable performers, it’s a classic worth coming back to.
The Goodbye Girl
Funniest quote: “You know I love listening to you talk. I hate living with you, but your conversation is first rate.”
Aspiring actor Richard Dreyfuss and bitter divorcee Marsha Mason are forced to share an apartment, and in true comedy fashion, it’s aversion at first sight. Neil Simon’s script and Herb Ross’s direction assure that there are at least two laughs per minute.
National Lampoon’s Animal House
Funniest quote: “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”
“Boys just wanna have fun” could have been the tagline for this flick. College life in America changed overnight—for better or worse—when this film debuted.
Funniest quote: “He hates these cans!”
Steve Martin was just one of the “Wild and Crazy Guys” of Saturday Night Live when he burst onto the screen in this farce about Navin, a White moron adopted by Black sharecroppers. Like Forrest Gump in a later era, Navin succeeds in spite of himself, and we laugh all the way to the bank. Director Carl Reiner may not be one for nuance, but he knows how to tell a joke.
Funniest quote: “There’s no reason to shoot at me. I’m a dentist.”
Dentist Sheldon Kornpett (Alan Arkin) lives in a quiet world of cavities and Novocain. All that changes when the father of his future son-in-law, Peter Falk, turns out to be with the CIA and drags him into international espionage.
The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie
Funniest quote: “Eat your heart out, Burt Reynolds!”
Disney films got applause and Oscars, but Warner Bros. cartoons engendered nonstop laughter. Some of the very best shorts were created by Chuck Jones, as this compilation demonstrates in overplus.
Rating: Not rated
Funniest quote: “I just have this talent for falling in love with the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Let the bigwigs at your company use your apartment for debauchery? That’s one way to get a promotion. The strategy seems to work in The Apartment, at least until romance gets in the way. There’s a reason this comedy won several Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Funniest quote: “We’re never gonna get anywhere if we keep listening to this old bag.”
Stanley Kramer’s over-the-top chase movie features film’s top bananas of the day, including Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Jimmy Durante, and Jonathan Winters. But all are outpaced by Mr. Cool himself, Spencer Tracy.
The Nutty Professor
Rating: Not rated
Funniest quote: “Kelp, people just don’t like teachers blowing up their kids!”
Jerry Lewis usually went overboard when he directed Jerry Lewis, but here he uses a laid-back approach to tell the story of a simpleton who becomes a sophisticate when he partakes of a magic potion. In a dual role, Jerry is laughable and/or loveable, without employing his customary frantic appeal to the audience. Stella Stevens is diverting; Kathleen Freeman is droll.
Rating: Not rated
Funniest quote: “Sir, it is as easy for a man not to have been at school and know something as it is for a man to have been at school and know nothing.”
Henry Fielding’s great novel of 18th-century England is brought to rumbustious life by director Tony Richardson and a stellar cast, headed by Albert Finney as a young man with his eye on the main chance. Edith Evans and Hugh Griffith supply the sly sense of period and place.
Funniest quote: “Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to 20 million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.”
Working with Terry Southern’s mordant script, director Stanley Kubrick met the nuclear jitters with madcap laughter, subtitling his black comedy How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Archetypal casting includes the astonishing Peter Sellers in a triple role (the American President, a British major, and a mad scientist) and Sterling Hayden as the maniacal Brig Gen Jack D. Ripper. George C. Scott, Keenan Wynn, and Slim Pickens furnish admirable, if outlandish, support.
Marriage, Italian Style
Rating: Not rated
Funniest quote: “How can he have a heart attack without a heart?”
Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren display their unique onscreen chemistry in this charming farce about an elusive womanizer and the lady who wants him to marry her. It’s been widely imitated but never duplicated.
Funniest quote: “Oh no, Mrs. Robinson, I find you very desirable. I think you are the most desirable of all my parents’ friends.”
The Graduate is a period comedy of bad manners starring Dustin Hoffman in his breakout role of Benjamin, a young man struggling to find himself in a materialistic world. A family friend utters one word of advice: “Plastics.” Other than that, he’s on his own, attempting to romance an innocent girl (Katharine Ross) but instead getting seduced by her sly mother (Anne Bancroft). The spirited songs (including “Mrs. Robinson”) are by Simon and Garfunkel. Mike Nichols deservedly won an Oscar for direction.
Funniest quote: “What terrible sins I have working for me. I suppose it’s the wages.”
Updating Faust, cowriter Peter Cooke casts himself as a genteel British devil, with Dudley Moore as Stanley Moon, the Tempted One. Eleanor Bron plays the object of Moon’s adoration and Barry Humphries and Raquel Welch star as two of the seven deadly sins. A newer version appeared in 2000, but do yourself a favor and stick with the original.
Funniest quote: “You have exactly ten seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!”
The basis for Broadway’s biggest hit musical, The Producers features Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder as, well, producers aiming to put on a ghastly show, Springtime for Hitler, with the hopes it’ll bomb. In the resultant confusion, they plan to steal the backers’ money and get out of town. Behold! The thing turns out to be a smash, and the con men are hoisted by their own petard. The film marks funnyman Mel Brooks’s directorial debut.
The Odd Couple
Funniest quote: “Don’t threaten me with jail, Blanche, because it’s not a threat. With my expenses and my alimony, a prisoner takes home more pay than I do.”
You know the story: Major slob Oscar Madison (Walter Matthau) allows neat freak Felix Ungar (Jack Lemmon) to move into his apartment. All too soon, the divorced men are at each other’s throats. Neil Simon skillfully adapted his sparkling Broadway comedy for a notable cast and director Gene Saks.
Father of the Bride
Rating: Not rated
Funniest quote: “From now on, her love will be handed out like a farmer’s wife tossing scraps to the family rooster.”
Spencer Tracy takes the title role in this family comedy and shows how to take an everyday event and make it into art. The bride is Elizabeth Taylor at her most radiant; the groom is Don Taylor at his most self-effacing. When the credits roll, turn on the 1991 update starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Diane Keaton. It’s equally as funny. Plus, you can catch Steve Martin and Martin Short together again in Hulu’s hit show Only Murders in the Building.
Rating: Not rated
Funniest quote: “Well, I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it.”
Jimmy Stewart plays a slightly addled gentleman, as fond of the bottle as he is of the six-foot rabbit only he can see. Cecil Kellaway plays the shrink who comes to realize his patient is saner than his critics.
Rating: Not rated
Funniest quote: “‘How about the story of your life?’ ‘Oh, no. Much too long … and mostly untrue.'”
Garson Kanin’s famous play about an uncouth racketeer (Broderick Crawford) who hires a tutor (William Holden) for his girlfriend (Judy Holliday) hit the silver screen in this 1950 flick. Naturally, teacher and pupil fall in love. With George Cukor at the helm, everything—eventually—goes right.
Singin’ in the Rain
Funniest quote: “‘Call me a cab.’ ‘OK, you’re a cab.'”
It’s the end of the 1920s and the beginning of the end for silent movies. All very well for the mellifluous Gene Kelly, but not so good for the adenoidal Jean Hagen. Young Debbie Reynolds is hired to supply the diva’s offscreen voice, and thereby hangs the tale of the funniest musical ever made. Donald O’Connor’s “Make ‘Em Laugh” is a gem, and Kelly’s title song became his trademark.
Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday
Rating: Not rated
With this film and Mon Oncle (1958), French actor/director Jaques Tati paid homage to the great silent film comedians. There’s a soundtrack, but the innocent bumbler barely speaks as he fights a losing battle against technology and creates chaos wherever he wanders. The humor is gentle, the gags indelible, and the persona endearing.
The Belles of St. Trinian’s
Rating: Not rated
Funniest Quote: “I cannot afford to have continual arson about in my school!”
Cartoonist Ronald Searle’s caricatures of a British all-girls school are brought to hideously hilarious life by director Frank Launder. Joyce Grenfell and Alastair Sim (in a dual role) make much of their opportunities.
The Seven Year Itch
Rating: Not rated
Funniest Quote: “Miss Morris, I’m perfectly capable of fixing my own breakfast. As a matter of fact, I had a peanut butter sandwich and two whiskey sours.”
Tom Ewell’s wife goes on vacation, leaving him alone in Manhattan. Marilyn Monroe lives in a neighboring apartment. The rest is history, particularly when she walks over a subway grate in her diaphanous white dress. The film provides sophisticated laughter, the Billy Wilder way.
It Happened One Night
Funniest quote: “I come from a long line of stubborn idiots.”
We can’t talk about funny movies without mentioning It Happened One Night, a celebrated romantic comedy about a spoiled heiress (Claudette Colbert) and a reporter (Clark Gable) who butt heads while traveling together but eventually fall in love between the bickering. This film won several Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Writing, and is widely considered one of the best movies of all time. Not bad for a screwball romantic comedy.