What’s better than a good laugh to make your day?
Comedy has been an integral part of films ever since films themselves started being made. After all, laughter is said to be the best medicine. Fortunately for us audiences, we have an ample number of comedy films to pick from whenever we feel the need for a laughter riot. From classic comedy to horror comedy to action comedy, Hollywood has explored it all.
We present to you a list of the 50 best comedy films of all time, in chronological order, so you can pick one from whichever era you are interested in.
A silent comedy film starring Harold Lloyd, Safety Last! is a classic in the world of comedies. It also has the iconic image of the actor hanging on for dear life from the hands of a skyscraper clock.
Directed by Leo McCarey, The Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup is one of the era’s most finely made comedies. It is a satirical piece on Fascism, nationalism and dictator-like leaders.
One simply does not write about comedy films without mentioning Charlie Chaplin. Modern Times, both written and directed by Chaplin himself, is a slapstick satire on the Machine Age. It deals with his iconic character, Little Tramp, struggling to fit in with the modern, industrial world. It is considered to be Chaplin’s last silent comedy
The Pink Panther first released in December 1963 in Italy. It later went on to become a franchise with several films under the banner. The film deals primarily with a clumsy detective in pursuit of an infamous jewel thief, eventually leading him to an unusual suspect. It also gave birth to a cartoon character with the same name.
The 1964 film was a political satire on the Cold War and the fears of a nuclear conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. It showed an American general putting the world at risk of a nuclear warfare when he deploys a B-52 bomber on the Russians. Dark and funny at the same time, this film is relevant for many even today.
Another masterpiece in satirical comedy, Blazing Saddles portrays the then taboo topic of racism in a hilarious manner. Bart is appointed the first black sheriff of an all-white small town when the previous sheriff is killed, in the hope that this will chase away the townsmen from their homes. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards and is considered to be a classic comedy today.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a British slapstick comedy, is a parody on the legend of King Arthur and his quest for the Holy Grail. Shot mostly in Scotland, the film in addition to bone-tickling comedy, offers several scenic shots and beautiful views of Doune Castle and a few others.
Silver Streak, directed by Arthur Hiller, is a thriller comedy about a murder on a train from Los Angeles to Chicago. Based on an original screenplay by Colin Higgins, the movie collected over 51 million dollars at the box office and was the beginning of the comic duo of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor.
Directed by Lou Adler, Up in Smoke was Cheech and Chong’s first feature length movie. Due to its stoner comedy genre, the film was initially received negatively upon release, but is now deemed as a classic.
Directed by Harold Ramis, and starring Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Michael O’ Keefe and Ted Knight, Caddyshack was a sports comedy about an exclusive golf club and its members. The movie earned a cult fan following and later inspired several similar comedies.
Airplane! is a satirical disaster comedy which ranked sixth on Bravo’s 100 Funniest Movies. The movie is popularly known for its fast paced slapstick comedy and surreal humour, with generous use of puns and veiled humour
Based on the book ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A True Story’ by Cameron Crowe, this is a coming-of-age comedy film about a teenage girl named Stacy, who ventures into the world of dating and finds herself trapped in a love triangle. The film has attained iconic status among the youth over the years.
A holiday classic, A Christmas Story deals with a nine year old boy called Ralphie, who wants to own a genuine Red Ryder air rifle and sets out to convince his parents to give him one as a Christmas present. It has been called the number one Christmas film of all time by AOL in 2007 and continues to air on television to date.
A fantasy comedy film involving three scientists investigating the paranormal, Ghostbusters has seen tremendous success at the box office, giving birth to several fandoms, merchandise and even a full-on franchise of sequels, television shows and animation. A new sequel has been announced in January 2019 and is scheduled to release in 2020.
The Money Pit is a 1986 romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long. it revolves around a couple who spent their entire life savings on buying a house and their attempts at renovating it. This 91 minute long laugh fest is perfect for a weekend watch.
Broadcast news is a romantic comedy drama directed by James L. Brooks, offering us a sneak peek into the world of television journalism. It portrays the never ending battle between style and substance with a lot of wit and humour, with the protagonist, Jane, faces dilemma in choosing between a talented reporter and a charming young man who is not so good at work.
A fantasy comedy film starring Tom Hanks, Big tells us the story of a young boy who wishes ‘to be big’ at a fortune telling machine and then transforms into an adult overnight. Tom Hanks brings all his charisma into the character of Josh Baskin and what we get is a sweet, undeniably funny narrative.
Another Christmas comedy which makes it to this list is Home Alone, an incredibly famous movie even today. Directed by Chris Columbus and starring the then child actor Macaulay Culkin, Home Alone is about a little boy named Kevin who is accidentally left alone at home when his family leaves for Christmas vacation to France. Happy and mischievous at first, he soon has to deal with two burglars who try to break into the home.
Mrs. Doubtfire is another comedy directed by Chris Columbus. Starring Robin Williams as the lead character, it shows a recently divorced man, who in order to see his children, disguises himself as a female housekeeper. Although it has been compared to Dustin Hoffman’s Tootsie several times, the film stands its own ground as a remarkable comic piece of the 90s.
This is one of those comedies which send you into fits of hysterical laughter. Dumb and Dumber is about two friends who go on a trip to Aspen, Colorado to return a briefcase full of money to its owner. The events that follow are hilarious. The movie effectively established Jim Carrey as a famous comedian of the early 90s and continues to be a fun watch even today.
Clerks is a black and white comedy film directed by Kevin Smith. It shows two quirky characters, Dante and Randal, who work as clerks at a convenience store. The audience is treated to an extremely funny account of a day in their lives as they play hockey on the roof of the store, laze around and just go about their day. The film is now considered a cult classic.
The Birdcage is an American comedy directed by Mike Nichols and starring Robin Williams, Nathan Lane and Gene Hackman among others. With well written characters and stellar performances, Birdcage has won several accolades and continues to remain a classic favourite for many.
Released on the same year as Birdcage was a sports comedy, Happy Gilmore, starring Adam Sandler as a failed hockey player who discovers a new talent for golf. The movie won an MTV Movie Award and was a commercial success too, with a total of over 41 million dollars worldwide.
The year 1996 seems to be the year of comedy film as we see yet another all-time favourite laughter fest, The First Wives Club. Based on a 1992 novel by the same name, the film explores three women seeking revenge on their ex-husbands after having been left for younger women. The movie stars Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler in the primary roles and developed a huge fan following, particularly among middle aged women. There is a bonus for fans of British actress Maggie Smith as we see her in a supporting role in this movie.
Austin Powers is a 1997 American comedy directed by Jay Roach and starring Mike Myers in the lead role. Austin Powers is a cryogenically frozen British spy. He is brought out from his cryofreeze to take on Dr. Evil, who is his greatest enemy. The movie was immensely popular and led to other movies being made as part of the same franchise.
A romantic comedy directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly, the movie stars Cameron Diaz as Mary. She is tracked down by Ted, who wants to impress his high school sweetheart. Soon Ted realises that he has to compete with a few others in order to do so and the events that follow is a fun watch for the audience.
American Pie is a teenage comedy film directed by Paul and Chris Weitz. The film is the first of a series of films under the franchise and deals with four friends, Kevin, Jim, Oz and Finch, who make a pact to lose their virginity before graduating high school. This leads to a hilarious turn of events and is a fun teen movie.
Directed by Mike Judge, this American comedy is a satire on the work culture of a regular 90s software company, focussing on Peter, a software engineer who is tired of his job and makes a mischievous plan with two of his friends to install a virus in the office computer. The movie is a war cry on toxic work environments but deals with such a serious topic in a fun, light-hearted manner, entertaining us all the way.
Scary Movie is a horror comedy directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans. It is actually a parody on horror and mystery films. When Cindy and her friends accidentally end up killing a man, they dispose off his body only to be stalked and threatened by someone. Despite its title, it is anything but frightening. The movie aims to entertain, not scare.
Super Troopers is a classic comedy film directed by Jay Chandrasekhar, dealing with five Vermont state troopers who, in the course of their pranking activities, end up in trouble and now need to save their jobs. They plan to do so by solving a difficult police case and whole executing their plan, entertain us with their antics time and again.
Directed by Ben Stiller, Zoolander takes a sneak peek into the fashion industry where the protagonist, Derek Zoolander, is a male model who is hired by a fashion designer for an assassination attempt on the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Ben Stiller himself plays the character of Derek and makes us laugh throughout with his performance
Based on Amanda Brown’s novel by the same name, Legally Blonde is an American comedy starring Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods. When Elle is ditched by her boyfriend for someone smarter, she enrols herself in the same law school as him to teach him a lesson. Witherspoon is very promising in the film and the plot combined with her performance, is a fun watch.
The Rundown is an action comedy film starring Dwayne Johnson. He plays Beck, a bounty hunter, who is sent to the Amazon jungle to bring home his employer’s son. The review on Rotten Tomatoes states that the movie "doesn't break any new ground, but it's a smart, funny buddy action picture with terrific comic chemistry between Dwayne Johnson and Seann William Scott." It has been praised by audiences and critics alike.
Another American comedy film, Anger Management is directed by Peter Segal and stars Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson and Marisa Tomei. Adam Sandler plays the character of Dave Buznik, a calm and non-confrontational businessman who ends up being sentenced to undergo an anger management program after a misunderstanding on a flight. The duo of Sandler and Jack Nicholson is hilarious in nearly every frame, making the movie a must watch.
Bad Santa is an American black comedy film where Willie, a conman, dresses up as Santa and tries to rob a mall along with his elf partner Marcus. Although widely criticised for its generous doses of cursing and sexual content, the movie is entertaining in its own way, with a very different take on Hollywood’s portrayal of Christmas.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is the first in a series of three films, directed by Adam McKay. Along with memorable characters and quotable lines, the movie proves that even silly, in-your-face humour can be incredibly funny.
Accepted is a 2006 youth comedy film directed by Steve Pink. The movie is about Bartleby, an idler at high school, who gets rejected by every college that he applies to. He then goes on to create his very own institution with the help of a few friends. Though it does not provide much of a realistic take on education, the film manages to hold its audience with spoonfuls of fun and drama.
Directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, Little Miss Sunshine is a drama-comedy journey film. A family agrees to take their young daughter to a beauty pageant and embark on a long journey across the country. This is one of those heartwarming yet funny family movies, remaining popular even more than a decade after its release.
Superbad is a teenage comedy film about two boys about to graduate high school. In their quest to live their lives to the fullest before they graduate, they end up in trouble. With perfect comic timing and honest friendships, the movie remains a favourite of many who grew up at that time.
A film adaptation of John Grogan’s book by the same name, Marley and me is a comedy-drama about a free spirited puppy called Marley who is brought home by a couple. The movie traces the couple’s entire journey with the dog, with most of it being funny and heartwarming. The dog manages to teach the couple so many wonderful lessons of life simply by being himself and doing what he does best: mischief.
The Hangover is the first of a trilogy of films created by Todd Phillips. It explores the shenanigans of three friends who are out on a road trip to attend a bachelor party. Apart from being a commercial success, the movie was the 10th highest grossing film of 2009 in the world and later became the best selling comedy ever on DVD and Blu-ray.
Death at a Funeral is a 2010 black comedy, based on a 2007 British film of the same name. The movie deals with revealed family secrets and complicated interpersonal relations in a hilarious manner when Aaron receives the wrong body at his father’s funeral. The movie sure does know how to deliver such a grim story with so much humour, entertaining us and keeping us hooked throughout.
Kristen Wiig shines in this movie as the protagonist, Annie, who is asked to be the maid of honour when her best friend, Lillian is getting married. The movie was successful both commercially and critically and has been called a breakthrough female-centric comedy.
21 Jump Street is an action comedy film about two high school buddies who become police officers. They are sent back to school undercover as high school students to arrest the supplier of a new synthetic drug. Starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, the movie won several awards and has even received a sequel in 2014.
Directed by Jason Moore, Pitch Perfect is an American comedy with a lot of song and dance sequences. While Rebel Wilson delivers a magnificent performance as Fat Amy, the rest of the cast does not disappoint too.
This 2013 movie follows an unusual plot where the protagonist, David, is a drug dealer who tries to smuggle drugs from Mexico to the United States by convincing some of his neighbours to pretend to be his family and help him. The film was nominated for quite a few awards and even won two of them.
An action comedy film, Let’s be Cops is about two friends, Ryan and Justin, who decide to dress up as cops for their college reunion. They are however, mistaken as real cops and the drama comedy that follows is fun to watch with many hilariously funny moments. The movie beautifully combines slapstick comedy and the thrills of an action movie.
With Kate Upton, Cameron Diaz and Lesline Mann playing the central characters, the movie deals with three women who realise they are being cheated on by the same man, one of them being his wife. The story progresses with a lot of humour as they join hands and decide to take revenge on him.
Ryan, played by Regina Hall, reconnects with her friends Sasha, Lisa and Dina when she is invited to speak at an annual festival. Together the four friends go on a trip to New Orleans. A series of events follow with generous doses of humour thrown in here and there, making it fun to watch.
Crazy Rich Asians is a romantic comedy based on the book by the same name written by Kevin Kwan. The film is directed by Jon M. Chu and has received the Critics Choice Best Comedy Award in 2019. It also became the highest grossing romantic comedy in the last 10 years and along with warm romance, tickles the funny bone of many.
If you have not watched all of these comedy films already, pick out a few of them for your next weekend watch! Visit - www.hoblist.com