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The 25 Funniest Movies of All Time

Updated on April 4, 2012

There's nothing that relieves stress and puts a happy note to an otherwise humbug day like watching a good comedy movie. In my viewer opinion a good comedy isn't one that necessarily means a film made on a big budget or with huge star power or ripe with high brow intellectualism, but one that truly makes me laugh from the gut, with lines I will remember for a long time and with scenes that will make me giggle about years down the road.

With this in mind I've created a list of 25 Funniest Movies of All Time. I'm sure not everyone is going to agree with the inclusions, but since they've given me so much entertainment over the years I thought it would be nice to give them a little credit. And, who knows? If you're in the mood for a comedy and wanting to see something you've missed one of these films might just be up your alley!

#25 Top Secret!

Directed by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker

Written by David Abrahams, Martyn Burke, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker

Starring Val Kilmer, Lucie Guttridge and Peter Cushing

Val Kilmer stars as a pop music star that goes behind the Iron Curtain to help a pretty girl free her scientist father from the hands of Nazi-esque baddies. Top Secret was made before the Berlin Wall came down and parodies not just Cold War sentiments but also teen idols and pop culture. Although some might find the subject matter dated, Top Secret! is full of sight gags, tongue-in-cheek humor and non sequiturs that still work today!

#24 Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Directed by John Huges

Written by John Huges

Starring Steve Martin and John Candy

Neal Page (Martin) is trying to get home in time for Thanksgiving and must endure the trip in the company of overly-friendly, intrusive and annoying shower ring salesman Del Griffith (Candy). As it turned out this story is much sweeter story than I imagined it would be; and I was quite touched by Candy's tender, sympathetic performance. All the same, it is extremely funny, too and a great choice for holiday watching.

#23 Shaun of the Dead

Directed by Edgar Wright

Written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright

Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield and Penelope Wilton

Mild-mannered Shaun Riley means well but he’s just managed frustrate his roommate and is about to lose his girlfriend who is tired of their dates always ending up at Shaun’s favorite tavern, the Winchester Arms. Making matters worse Shaun’s best friend is taking advantage of his hospitality and Shaun's mother is expecting a visit, which means yet another encounter with the brusque step-father he’s come to hate. Things are petty dismal all around for Shaun, but they are just about to change for the worse when civilization is struck by a zombie pandemic.

I'll admit - I usually detest movies or TV shows about zombies, especially an invasion of zombies. But this movie tartly satirizes the zombie apocalypse films that have saturated pop culture over the last several years. The plot and dialog are clever and Simon Pegg gives a winning performance as the slacker-turned-hero. One of the most charming aspects of this film comes in the subtle but running dialog references to classic zombie films. Shaun of the Dead is quirky, funny and the only zombie invasion flick I’d ever chose to watch a second time…or make that a third, fourth, fifth…

"The Plan" scene from Shaun of the Dead

#22 Groundhog Day

Directed by Harold Ramis

Written by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis

Starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell

This film stars Bill Murray as a snide, sneering television weatherman who finds himself stuck reliving the same day over and over and over again. If you watch cable tv at all you probably know this film has become a staple of holiday fare. But unlike most staple films seen on television, Groundhog Day deserves the air time. Funny, endearing and chock full of Bill Murray's unique comedic skills, this film makes every frosty February just a little warmer.

#21 To Be or Not To Be

Directed by Emil Lubitsch

Original story by Melchior Lengyel, screenplay by Edwin Justus Mayer and original story interpretation by Ernst Lubitsch

Starring Jack Benny, Carole Lombard, Robert Stack, others

With apologies to Mel Brooks this 1942 film adaptation of the story surpasses his later remake on many levels. The plot revolves around a Polish theater troupe that uses their thespian skills and stage costumes in the effort to escape the Nazis, and along the way, give help to a native soldier trying to hunt down a German spy. I think part of what makes this adaptation better is the fresh sense of urgency that seems to permeate the ensemble performances (remember this was made during WWII). It comes off as an obvious work of love and the subject matter much more mature and realistic than most films of its era. And then there is the presence of the wonderful Jack Benny as Joseph Tura, who as the troupe's egotistical leader has to set aside his self-interests and put on the performance of his lifetime to save the people he had previously treated as his inferiors. Carole Lombard is engaging as Tura's long-suffering but vivacious wife. To Be or Not To Be was also Lombard's last film, and she never got to see it on screen as she died tragically in a plane crash shortly before its release.

This film is dark comedy at its most intelligent, one that leaves us laughing and cheering the heroic acting troupe the whole way through.

#20 Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

Directed by Frank Oz

Original screenplay by Charles B. Griffith, Musical written by Howard Ashman, script by Howard Ashman

Starring Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Levi Stubbs, Steve Martin, others

In 1960 Roger Corman directed the original film adaptation of the tale about a man-eating plant called Little Shop of Horrors. That film has since gained a cult following (I think mainly due to the appearance of Jack Nicholson as the neurotic dental patient). But despite its following I personally can't stand it; the parodying of then-contemporary culture seems too desperate and practically all the actors deliver their lines in the most ear-paining tones and inflections. On the other hand I absolutely love this 1986 version of Little Shop of Horrors! The songs are catchy, the plot and sub-plots amusing and despite the heavy star power casting it comes off as a very balanced ensemble work. Most importantly, this one is actually funny, in fact very, very funny.

#19 O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

Written by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, inspired by “The Odyssey” by Homer

Starring George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, Chris Thomas King, John Goodman, Charles Durning, Holly Hunter, others

This dark comedy set in the Great Depression follows the adventures of three escaped felons from a work camp. During their quest to find a great "treasure" the trio encounter a blind prophet, danger, a future blues legend, redemption, unexpected fame, a Bible salesman cyclops, the KKK, sexy sirens and even the devil himself. Along with first-rate cast performances O Brother, Where Art Thou? boasts some fine renditions of vintage hymns and southern spirituals and loads of humor. It has become one of my family's favorites and if you've not yet seen it, you should!

#18 Airplane!

Directed by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker

Written by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, with uncredited screenplay contributions from Arthur Haily, Hall Bartlett and John C. Champion

Starring Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen, Steven Stucker, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves and others

This parody of disaster films inspired two sequels, numerous wannabes and launched Leslie Nielsen's career as the King of Deadpan. In fact it has been so popular over the years that most adults know at least one line by heart. Irreverent and wickedly hilarious to the core, Airplane! has had many imitators but few worthy rivals.

#17 Scrooged

Directed by Richard Donner

Written by Mitch Glazer and Michael O’Donoghue, inspired by “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

Starring Bill Murray, Karen Allen, others

You gotta love a movie that can make you shake with laughter and still leave you crying with happiness. Scrooged is one of these rare films that affects me this way. The role of greedy TV executive Frank Cross turned out to be one of Bill Murray's best portrayals; he's corrupt in all the modern interpretations of the word and yet his redemption is totally believable. The rest of the cast of this movie gave a splendid job as well, and Carole Kane was pure magic as the fetching and sadistic Ghost of Christmas Present. This also happens to be my favorite film adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. My only regret is that it doesn't get enough airplay during the Yuletide season!

#16 Cannibal! The Musical

Directed by Trey Parker

Written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone

Starring Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Ian Hardin, Toddy Walters, others

I watched Cannibal! The Musical for the first time this year and subsequently posted a review of it (the interested can read it here). Released by the Troma studio this early example of the talents of Trey Parker and Matt Stone show off their skills at wedding catchy tunes with off-the-cuff humor. Despite the grisly subject matter the pair turned out a true comedy gem with this movie!

#15 Ghostbusters

Directed by Ivan Reitman

Written by Harold Ramis, Dan Ackroyd and Rick Moranis

Starring Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Rick Moranis and Annie Potts

I've seen LOTS of movies in my lifetime and spent many an hour in a dark theater surrounded by people who were complete strangers to me. And I can honestly say that no film I've ever seen managed to make the entire theater echo with uncontrollable laughing like Ghostbusters. Sure, in the years since its release a lot of people tend to snub this film -I credit this to the cartoon series and the tie-in merchandise aimed at children- but in all honesty it is still highly entertaining, loaded with some of the most memorable one-liners ever written.

My very favorite line is this one, spoken by Bill Murray's character Peter Venkman when the team is trying to figure out how to combat the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man/Monster: "We've been going about this all wrong. This Mr. Stay Puft's okay! He's a sailor, he's in New York; we get this guy laid, we won't have any trouble!"

#14 Duck Soup

Directed by Leo McCaney

Written by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, Arthur Sheekman and Nat Pemn

Starring the Marx Brothers and Margaret Dumont

The Marx Brothers can be credited with bringing stinging parody and cleverly written one-liners into a film industry where vaudevillian slapstick had reigned for years. They not only achieved changing the comedy film genre forever but their courage to provoke through laughter survived long after them. With Duck Soup the Marx brothers mocked war mongers, politics, the status quo, socialism, class warfare and even dictators in one unforgettably madcap swoop. Audiences of the day were shocked, so shocked that in fact the movie was a flop at the time. Over the years, however movie watchers shed their puritan reservations and embraced it as one of the best comedies ever created. It remains a classic, one with a message and an anti-establishment appeal that no other film has ever been able to match.

#13 The Blues Brothers

Directed by John Landis

Written by John Landis and Dan Ackroyd

Starring Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi, Cab Calloway and others

Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi created The Blues Brothers as answer to their fantasy desire to be major singing stars. Being the big stars they already were at the time, the fantasy was turned easily into a film success as well. But more than just a vehicle for their own fantasies this movie delighted audiences. The storyline was unique, the tough facade of the Blues Brothers was cool, convincing and transparent all at once. The writing team of Ackroyd and Landis pulled no punches with either the story's wacky villains either and the music was great. Lastly, this film boasts the BEST and FUNNIEST car chase scene in movie history!! My Dad took me to see this movie way back in the day and he was still laughing about the chase scene the day afterward when telling Mama about it. Of course, he mistakenly mentioned how lovely he thought Carrie Fisher was in it and that brought a draft of artic breeze over things for awhile. But aside from this memory the movie is still thoroughly enjoyable and I'm still grateful to Daddy for taking me to see it the first time.

#12 The Pink Panther (1963)

Directed by Blake Edwards

Written by Maurice Richlin and Blake Edwards

Starring Peter Sellers, David Niven and Robert Wagner

There is an old adage that states that there's nothing like the original, and this is never more true than in the case of character Inspector Jasques Clouseau from The Pink Panther movies. Steve Martin may have portrayed this lovable character in film most recently but as much as I like Mr. Martin, his portrayal lacks all the style and charisma Peter Sellers brought to the role. The newer movies also suffer from a lack of that sophisticated polish Blake Edwards gave to all his films.

The first Pink Panther is by far my favorite. In it Sellers absolutely shined, giving us a Clouseau who defined the very persona of the obtuse yet clever, bumbling but astute, romantic yet innocent hero. Not an easy combination to balance, and definitely not a role that has yet to be successfully emulated.

#11 Army of Darkness

Directed by Sam Raimi

Written by Sam Raimi and Ivan Raimi

Starring Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert and Ted Raimi

The first film of the Evil Dead series was nothing more than a low-budge B-grade horror flick about a group of college kids confronting evil. In that one the unlikely hero, Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) barely defeats the Cthulhu-ific forces that have possessed a cabin and its former occupants. In the second installment Ash once again battles the demonic baddies, but this time there's a little humor thrown into his adventure. By this third film of the original gruesome special effects and trite storyline -and even the cabin- are gone; as the opening of a time portal has sucked Ash into the past. It is a past straight out of the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table, and he finds himself in a realm complicated by warring humans and the threat of annihilation by dark magic. Here Ash reinvents himself. He is no longer the timid, kind-hearted wuss forced into battling evil but instead a vain, pompous jerk who just happens to fit the bill for "the chosen one" - who prophecy says will defend the land against the savage Deadite army.

Admittedly, Army of Darkness carries little continuity to the first two films except for Ash's character. But I don't care - I can take those first two or just leave 'em. This one, however, is a treasure trove of one-liner brilliance and masterful slapstick. And just when you think Ash's story is told and over with we return to the present while he's telling his tale to a co-worker at S-Mart. Here is where the story reaches a most comical climax..unless, you're watching the editor's cut, which has a totally different ending. I prefer the S-Mart ending myself, it is much funnier and leaves the viewer with one last classic pompous-Ash quote. Even as I've seen Army of Darkness enough times that I know the lines by heart, Bruce Campbell's performance still cracks me up.

#10 Volunteers

Directed by Nicolas Meyer

Written by Keith Critchlow, Ken Levine and David Isaacs

Starring Tom Hanks, John Candy, Rita Wilson and Gedde Watanabe

A long time ago, in a nation far, far away there used to be no such thing as pandering to politically correct sensitivities when it came to making a comedy movie. And in this more peaceful era we had some film greats, one of them being an uproarious movie called Volunteers.

Tom Hanks starred here as the pampered and amoral college gadfly, Laurence Whatley Bourne III, who eludes his debtors by jumping aboard a plane full of Peace Corps volunteers. The flight takes them to a small village in Asia where the PC volunteers are supposed to teach the natives how to assimilate with modern industry, an endeavor which includes showing them how to construct a bridge. Bourne's knack for making the best of any situation -even by questionable means- makes him popular among the natives, while the rest of the volunteers are rejected because they are bent on changing the way of life in the village. Soon things are complicated by the arrival of a drug lord and a gung-ho special services type, who wants war between the rival local drug pins and more so, to claim the love of Beth, the American girl Bourne has his own sights on. Both camps want the bridge built and do their utmost to pressure the volunteers into hurrying with the construction. When Beth is kidnapped by a drug pin Bourne is thrust into the role of knight-in-shining-armor and village defender.

There is little that hasn't been said of Tom Hanks' acting talents, and rightfully so. But of all the comedies he has made this one is my top choice. John Candy is adorable in his portrayal of the dogmatically patriotic student, Tom Tuttle from Tacoma, WA. Volunteers has an original plot and fantastic script and the jokes are articulate jibes at both progressive arrogance and conservative single-mindedness. Thus Volunteers pokes fun at activism, capitalism, communism, the drug trade and even that thing known better today as political correctness gone mad. It mocks all these things and still ends with an uplifting message. Of course, it is an uplifting message that smacks the very grain of contemporary notions of what's proper and what's not...and in doing so, all the more remarkable.

#9 UHF

Directed by Jay Levey

Written by Al Yankovic, Jay Levey and Charles Holloway

Starring “Weird Al” Yankovic, Kevin McCarthy, Michael Richards, Victoria Jackson, David Bowe, Gedde Watanabe, Anthony Geary, Billy Barty and others

Al Yankovic stars here as George Newman, a young man who is hired by his uncle to manage a near-bankrupt local UHF televisions station. George and his friends devise new shows to beef up the station's ratings, and to everyone's amazement their line-up turn out to be the TV hits of the town. Their success, however, brings the wrath of the owner of a prosperous rival station, who sets to undermine the station's creative young manager by whatever means necessary.

UHF lampoons many well-known movies and television shows and even takes a strike at what was at the time very popular MTV videos. Just like Yankovic's video spoofs the humor is gentle and likewise, steadfastly funny.

#8 National Lampoon's Animal House

Directed by John Landis

Written by Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney and Chris Miller

Starring ensemble cast, including John Belushi, Tom Hulce, Tim Matheson, Peter Riegert and many, many more

Ever since its release way back in 1978 this tale about a fraternity house full of adventurous, party-hardy college boys has been criticized far and wide for making amoral behavior acceptable on campuses of higher learning. Now I don't know if the critics have a legitimate complaint but I do know this film perfectly satirized moral and elitist hypocrisy at every turn. Animal House is raunchy and irreverent and most importantly, without any apology for being so. I will always love it!

Trivia tidbits: the role of Animal House's nasty-tempered Dean Wormer was originally offered to Dragnet creator and star, Jack Webb. When Webb declined director John Landis approached John Vernon, who was glad to accept the job. The role of Wormer's nympho wife -eventually played by the vivacious Verna Bloom- was likewise originally offered to film legend Kim Novak.

#7 Addams Family Values

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

Written by Paul Rudrick and based on the characters created by Charles Addams

Starring Raul Julia, Angelica Houston, Christopher Lloyd, Joan Cusack, Christina Ricci, others

It isn't often that a film adapted from or based on a hit TV show comes close to being as entertaining as the original, especially those films made decades after the show went off the airways. In this Addams Family Values is an exception, and more so because it is even more entertaining than the classic TV show.

Unlike the film that preceded it, the humor in this movie doesn't rely on a constant barrage of visual reminders of how different the Addams family is to everyone else in the neighborhood. Instead, the film makers use clever dialog and a continual flow of artfully delivered tongue-lashings. The members of the Addams family manage to lay bare and ridicule everything from the American bourgeoisie to childhood chic to social artificiality. The most stinging and poignantly funny lines are delivered by the character of Wednesday Addams (portrayed by Christina Ricci), who is downright intimidating as the gothic savior for the unpopular kids at summer camp.

This film is a non-conformist's delight. But I suspect even the most conventional of viewers will -even if awkwardly or secretly- enjoy the comedic onslaughts in Addams Family Values. And I have no doubt whatsoever that cartoonist Charles Addams would have been quite proud.

Kids discuss where babies come from

#6 A Christmas Story

Directed by Bob Clark

Written by Jean Shepard, Leigh Brown, Bob Clark and adapted from the story by Jean Shepard

Starring Peter Billingsley, Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon, others

The script for this movie was developed from a story by Jean Shepard published in his humorous autobiographical book, In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash. I saw this movie for the first time on video years ago. At the time it wasn't well known, and in fact had proved a bomb at the box office. But my friends and family and I instantly fell in love with this story, and in time it developed a loving popularity all over America. So much so, in fact, this movie is shown regularly every Christmas season for a 24-hour marathon on the TBS network.

I believe the reason A Christmas Story is well-loved is that the story resonates with so many people. The era of the storyline is ingeniously non-specific, although the collage of cultural references point to a time before the Cold War. Yet, the situations faced by young protagonist Ralphie Parker during the Yuletide season are things most of us have met in one measure or another when we were children. Ralphie wants a certain automatic pellet gun for his Christmas present but is afraid of coming right out and telling this to his overly anxious mother. So he sets to find a way to get the fact into her subconscious. When this seems to fail he decides to tell Santa Claus.

Along with Ralphie's aim at getting the pump-action rifle he encounters several childhood trials and tribulations that can easily be identified by most viewers. The story uses a mild dose of exaggeration for characterization and action, which adequately reflects the world from an adult's perspective looking fondly back at their childhood. A Christmas Story is nostalgic without ever being saccharin and at times risque without being vulgar. All in all, one of the most enjoyable movies around, and in this viewer's opinion the funniest holiday film ever made.

#5 South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone

Starring the voices of Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes, April Stewart and Mona Marshall

Trey Parker and Matt Stone bring their Comedy Central community of wacky characters to the big screen in South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.

The opening premise follows the TV show's early trend of killing off the character of Kenny. But this time Kenny ends up in Hell and from the get-go it is obvious he's there for a higher purpose. This higher purpose is revealed following the shenanigans back home, where the parents -led by the crusading Sheila Broflovski- are waging a censorship campaign against bad language. Their efforts culminate into an outright war against Canada, the native land of television stars Terrance and Philip, who have been deemed responsible for leading American children astray with their fart jokes and bathroom humor. As the war mounts Terrance and Philip are taken hostage and U.S. government intends to execute the pair. Unbeknownst to the military or Mrs. Broflovski (who is determined to see them suffer), the deaths of these innocents are prophesied to open the gates of Hell and release Satan's army upon the earth.

The premise is classic South Park and the film is loaded with the crisp and unflinching social parodying that has become the hallmark of the television series. As often in the series Parker and Stone add some extra energy to the plot with some catchy musical numbers (My favorite is the ribald, Kyle's Mom is a B*tch song). And as with the series, the dialog is not for the easily offended. There is plenty of swearing, some discomforting humor at the expense of Saddam Hussein and a lot of subtle -and not so subtle- assaults at censorship, social crusading and poor parenting. But as also has been the hallmark of South Park the barbs are never politically motivated -unlike Family Guy with its obvious Liberal agenda. The writers lampoon all sides of the political and moral spectrum by making buffoons of the media watchdogs, political whitewash, moral outrage, mass hysteria and the very epitomes of earthly evil. Even the typically self-absorbed Cartman gets to be a real hero for once. The makers of this film accomplished all this with their vulgar, unapologetic wit in tact. And they give the audience an optimistic ending, too, that keeps us grinning long after the credits have rolled off the screen.

#4 The Naked Gun series

Adapted from the television show Police Squad created by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker

Starring Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy, OJ Simpson, others

This series started out as an adaptation of the crime-show spoof, Police Squad, which starred Leslie Nielsen as the hard-nosed and accident-prone police investigator Lt. Frank Debrin. As with the television series the creators relied on parody, non sequiturs, word play and the deadpan genius of Leslie Nielsen to provide the laughs. So well did these things work for the first film that audiences craved more, and the creative team were happy to deliver with two sequels.

The Naked Gun story is the only comedy series I know of where the sequels are just as funny as the first. There is no claim to intellectualism, sophistication or making a moral statement about these movies. They are pure, shameless spoof and farce and in so, pure entertainment.

#3 Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie

Adapted from the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Directed by Jim Mallon

Written by Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieau, Jim Mallon, Kevin Murphy, Mary Jo Pehl, Paul Chaplin and Bridget Jones

Starring Trace Beaulieau, Michael J. Nelson, Jim Mallon, Kevin Murphy and John Brady

In case you never watched the television show, Mystery Science Theater 3000, here's the basic premise: a scientist working in outer space on the Deep Thirteen project goes mad and orders his assistants to kidnap mild-mannered (and perfectly regular in every way) janitor named Joel. Poor Joel is taken into orbit aboard the Satellite of Love and during his captivity builds some companion robots. The mad scientist, in the hopes of discovering a way to make sane people go crazy, subjects Joel and his android friends to a steady diet of really bad B movies. Despite the scientist's determination Joel and the robots endure the films by creating their own sarcastic and heckling dialog to go along with the scenes.

This simple premise made the show a cult hit that ran for 11 fun-filled seasons, 1988-1999. Over the course of time Joel was replaced by the character of Mike but the plot remained the same. In 1996 the creators made a full-length movie version of the show. It was hardly more technically savvy than the show, but the film, however, wasn't subject to the time limit a TV show incurs. Viewers were rewarded with Mike and friends' hilarious homemade dialog the entire length of the cheesy Sci-fi, This Island Earth (which features Russell Johnson of Gilligan's Island fame). As expected Mike and the robots survived going insane and the viewers were given the very best lines the creative writing team had ever delivered. This is saying a lot, too, because MST3000 is the only TV show that has ever had me weeping with laughter with each and every episode!

#2 Blazing Saddles

Directed by Mel Brooks

Written by Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg, Andrew Bergman and Alan Uger

Starring Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Slim Pickens and others

Over the years Mel Brooks has made several excellent comedies, including The Producers, High Anxiety and Young Frankenstein. Most of his films I've truly enjoyed, too. But the only one that still makes me quake with laughter is Blazing Saddles, the story of a black railroad worker appointed to be sheriff of the redneck western town of Rock Ridge. At the time of its debut this movie was considered daring and raunchy, but nevertheless audiences loved it. Today many of the jokes have been deemed politically incorrect and the situations and language frowned on as insensitive. But prudish complaints aside, it is still an uproarious movie.

One of the winning elements of Blazing Saddles was the casting of Harvey Korman in the role of Hedley Lamarr. Of all the comic movie performances I've ever watched his portrayal of this conspiring, immoral villain is the most flawlessly perfect. Korman put everything he had into making this bad guy and in doing so created the epitome of the Old West politically influential Snidely Whiplash. Korman's brilliant performance is rather ironic considering one particular line he had, the one eluding to the fact that Hedley Lemar's scheme to ruin Rock Ridge would risk him from a certain academy award nomination.

Of all the memorable scenes from Blazing Saddles the following is my favorite, as being raised in the Methodist Church by some of the kindest people on earth I found it particularly funny!

Hedley Lamarr needs recruits

#1 Kentucky Fried Movie

Directed by John Landis

Written by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker

Starring a cast of dozens, including Evan C. Kim, Bill Bixby, Marcy Goldman, Henry Gibson, Donald Sutherland, Tony Dow, Stephen Bishop and many more. With an uncredited appearance by Leslie Nielsen

Kentucky Fried Movie takes the # 1 spot on my list, and if you've never seen it -and are an adult with an open-minded sense of humor- you have truly missed out on the best of comedy.

Released in 1977, this film-length collage of outrageous skits pokes fun at every conceivable media and entertainment venue known in the day. Among the victims are commercials, news shows, live court dramas, disaster movies, porn flicks, educational reels, theaters and even innocent movie goers themselves. While most of the skits are harmless spoof, some of the subject matter veers off into more mature subject matter. The movie is at times raunchy and sometimes even naughty, but never, ever dull. Probably the best part of the entire movie comes with the twisted parody of Bruce Lee movies titled "A Fistful of Yen". This is a true movie within a movie and worth every single moment of view time.

The first time I watched Kentucky Fried Movie was with some friends and I found out that day that if a movie can make a group of teen girls almost pee their jeans then it has to be a very funny film indeed! It still makes me laugh and if I were to be given the choice of watching one comedy flick on my death bed this would be my pick.

From Kentucky Fried Movie: Science lesson # 5, zinc oxide and you

Honorable Mentions:

A Night At The Opera (starring the Marx brothers)

Being There (starring Peter Sellers and Shirley MacLaine)

Delirious (starring John Candy and Mariel Hemingway)

Murder by Death (starring Peter Falk, others)

The Man With Two Brains (starring Steve Martin and Kathleen Turner)

The Money Pit (starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long)

The Princess Bride (starring Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Peter Falk, others)

The Ghost Breakers (starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard)

Trading Places (starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd)

Young Frankenstein (starring Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, others)

This Hubpages article ©April 4, 2012 by Beth Perry

A famous Bob Hope line from The Ghost Breakers


Submit a Comment
  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    5 years ago from Tennesee

    Hi Breanne. My kids are fans of Roger Rabbit, but I never personally got the appeal. But it is always nice to exchange thoughts on funny films and I appreciate you reading my list, thank you :)

  • Breanne Ginsburg profile image

    Breanne Ginsburg 

    5 years ago

    Blazing Saddles is a funny movie. I don't exactly love the racist jokes, but Mel Brooks manages to make a movie like this one funny by making fun of all races equally. I've seen so many of his movies that are amazing! Madeline Kahn cracks me up every time! I also love the movie Roger Rabbit and would have to say that I feel it's one of the funniest movies! Young Frankenstein is also great!

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    5 years ago from Tennesee

    Hi kotobukijake!

    I have several friends that just love the Spinal Tap movie. I've seen it a few times, and while it gave me a laugh or two, it just didn't click for me. I've wondered if this is perhaps because I was a huge rock concert rat at the time it came out, and the satire hit a little too close for home?

    I did enjoy What About Bob? Except Richard Dreyfus's character irritated me so much, lol. I have seen Seven Psychopaths (just this year) and yes, it is indeed very funny! I would also have to say Four Rooms is hilarious.

    Thank you much for reading and leaving the comments/recommendations!

  • kotobukijake profile image


    5 years ago

    Great list, and I have to agree with you that most of these are, indeed, very funny films. Props on including Cannibal! The Musical--it truly is an underrated comedy gem. Sadly, I have not yet seen Top Secret!, Volunteers, or Kentucky Fried Movie, have not seen the MST3K movie (though I've seen a couple episodes of the show, and have heard many quotes and soundbites from it), and I have only seen Mel Brooks' version of To Be or Not to Be (which I did find amusing, but nowhere near as funny as many of his others). My own top 3 films for when I want lighthearted comfort food include one you rightly listed, one you rightly mention, and one that should be on a Top 25 Comedies list: O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Princess Bride, and Maverick. Also, a list like this cannot be complete without at least one Monty Python film (Holy Grail is a must, and Life of Brian could also work), at least one of Christopher Guest's mockumentaries (A Mighty Wind, Waiting for Guffman or, especially, Best in Show) and Rob Reiner's mockumentary starring Guest, This Is Spinal Tap. A few others are as follows: I would choose A Shot in the Dark over The Pink Panther (though admittedly it does suffer as the one film in the series without Henry Mancini's awesome Pink Panther theme); I would include more from the Marx Brothers; my top pick for Mel Brooks is Young Frankenstein (and while you were good enough to mention this one and The Producers, one also should mention Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights); and I would include Raising Arizona, Dr. Strangelove, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, probably The Big Lebowski, and possibly Thank You for Smoking, Clerks, Seven Psychopaths, and "bananas." There are many other great comedies, but sadly they cannot all be number one. Props, though, to the commentors who mention What About Bob? and The Trouble with Harry--these are both wonderful comedies worth mentioning. Anyway, great hub, and I'll try and find the movies on this list that I have so far missed.

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    6 years ago from Tennesee

    wba108, good picks!

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • profile image 

    6 years ago from upstate, NY

    For me" the blues brothers" and "Animal House" would top my list! My all time favorite comedy would have to be "What about Bob" with Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss.

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    7 years ago from Tennesee

    Hey Deb! I'm sorry you were disappointed :(

  • profile image

    Deb Welch 

    7 years ago

    Hi - Beth, I did watch a part of Top Secret. Val Kilmer was so very young - it must have been his beginning in films. The song - Tutti-Fruitti was great - impersonating Elvis, singing and dancing. I am sorry to say the movie maybe was too dated and I didn't see that much humor in it. Val Kilmer turned out to be a good actor and I can't believe he was that slender back then. Thanks for the list.

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    7 years ago from Tennesee

    Deb, coolness. I look forward to hearing from you!

  • profile image

    Deb Welch 

    7 years ago

    I have ordered Top Secret and will let you know how hard I laughed.

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    7 years ago from Tennesee

    Hi Deb and thanks! I had to look up "Mouse Hunt", but yes I remember seeing that one. Pretty funny!

  • profile image

    Deb Welch 

    7 years ago

    Great list - I have seen many of them. You should see Mouse Hunt, it is hilarious.

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    7 years ago from Tennesee

    Hi redwhiskeypete,

    I have seen the Inlaws movie and it was pretty good. The other two, I admit, I've not watched yet. Thanks for stopping by and leaving the recommendations!

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    You may want to look at the 1979 movie the “In-laws” with Peter Fauk and Alan Arkin. It's considered one of the most overlooked comedies. Another great movie was “Rushmore” with Bill Murry. A darker comedy is "Trouble with Harry" by Alfred Hitchcock. The whole move takes place during one beautiful Autumn day in a small New England town.

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    8 years ago from Tennesee

    RNMSN, thanks much and appreciate you dropping in to read!

    I will confess that I still manage to cry at the very end of A Christmas Story, when Ralphie is lying in bed talking about what his steel blue beauty really means to him :)

  • RNMSN profile image

    Barbara Bethard 

    8 years ago from Tucson, Az

    hubbie and I still watch the christmas story every Dec! and I love the marx bro,those films are great/great review here beth!

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    8 years ago from Tennesee

    Steffsings, I agree -love that Netflix! Thanks for reading and commenting :)

  • steffsings profile image


    8 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

    Thank you for including my fav's O Brother Where Art Thou & Blazing Saddles. I can watch either all weekend long. I'm smiling just thinking about the witty quips out right gut-wrenching laughables. Thank God for Netflix, I'm going to have to re-rent both this weekend.

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    8 years ago from Tennesee

    Rosemay50, thanks :) And oh gosh, I hope you get to see those two, they're great!

  • Rosemay50 profile image

    Rosemary Sadler 

    8 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

    You have a great list here. There are a few I haven't seen. Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Groundhog Day being among my favourites. There is nothing like watching a good movie and having a good laugh.

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    8 years ago from Tennesee

    T B DeForge, oh yes that's a very funny film. My two youngest kids have almost memorized the lines, they've watched it so often with their Dad.

    Thanks much for reading and commenting :)

  • T B DeForge profile image

    T B DeForge 

    8 years ago

    Good list. I seen close to half of these. I'm glad to see my favorite funniest comedy at least got an honorable mention: Young Frankenstein. There are few moment I have laughed as hard as when I heard "Werewolf!""Werewolf?""There!There Wolf" or "What hump?" A great film with a great cast of characters.

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    8 years ago from Tennesee

    Sunshine625, thanks for reading!

    I like the first two Austin Powers movies, especially the character of Scott Evil, and they were a lot of laughs. By the time the 3rd one rolled around, though, I was just a little fatigued by the character of Powers himself. And I have to admit, I've not watched A Night at the Roxbury all the way through.

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 

    8 years ago from Orlando, FL

    I have seen 3 of these movies. Groundhog Day being my favorite of the list. I would add Night At The Roxbury to my list. I laugh throughout that movie! Austin Powers is another. Too funny!

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    8 years ago from Tennesee

    Dexter, thanks much and good to hear from you :)

  • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

    Dexter Yarbrough 

    8 years ago from United States

    Hi Beth! Great list. I would have Trading Places high up on my own list! Voted up!

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    8 years ago from Tennesee

    Thank you Prasetio30 :) Yes, Leslie Nielsen was one very cool dude!

  • prasetio30 profile image


    8 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Nice review of funniest movies. The naked Gun series is my favorite and Leslie Nielsen is one my favorite for comical actor. Thanks for share with us. Rated up and funny!


  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    8 years ago from Tennesee

    Will, go for it dude! And thanks for dropping in to read :)

  • WillStarr profile image


    8 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    I've seen 13 so far. Time to catch up with the rest!

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    8 years ago from Tennesee

    hoteltravel, glad you like the list. Tell you what, why don't you email via my contact form? I can get that info to you, certainly.

  • hoteltravel profile image


    8 years ago from Thailand

    Recently, I am getting interested in watching movies and I find your reviews spot on. This list will come in handy when I visit the CD store next time. Can you include the year of release of these films? I have not watched many of these and am more interested in latest releases. Thanks for compiling the list. Voted up.

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    8 years ago from Tennesee

    Alastar, that is so kind of you to say, thanks!

    I have to admit, my Dad got me liking Peter Sellers when I was just a little girl. I thought he was so handsome back then; I guess you never forget your first loves :)

  • Alastar Packer profile image

    Alastar Packer 

    8 years ago from North Carolina

    Wow, you've done a fantastic hub putting all these funny movies together. Some of me faves are: O Brother and Animal House. When we played the latter flick it was a riot let me tell you. Love Addams Family Values too. Pertaining to two, but different ones you've written on here; The Pink Panther Strikes Again is hilarious and in a campy way The Thing With Two Heads. Uh oh, like Dems huh, lol. Thoroughly enjoyed these Beth!

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    8 years ago from Tennesee

    Oh thank you John! And, since you were so sweet as to contribute here you go:

    "My name's Nick."

    "Nick..what does it mean?"

    "Oh nothing. My dad thought of it while he was shaving."

  • John Sarkis profile image

    John Sarkis 

    8 years ago from Winter Haven, FL

    "Hillary, it's a German name. It means, she whose bosoms defy gravity" - 'Top Secret' is one of my all time favorite movies.

    Great article, loved it


  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    8 years ago from Tennesee

    Hey Nell!

    Thanks hon. And I agree about those old Hope and Crosby films. It is hard not to like Bob Hope, I think he had such a special charisma :)

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    8 years ago from England

    Hi, Great list, and well done for all the hard work on this, must have taken ages! I love Brother where art thou, I couldn't stop laughing when watching that one, some I hadn't seen, but seeing Bob Hope in the film clip reminded me of the old 'Of on the road to Morocco films, they were hilarious! rated up! cheers nell

  • bethperry profile imageAUTHOR

    Beth Perry 

    8 years ago from Tennesee

    Thanks charmike4 :)

    We've just got the second Hangover movie but I've not had a chance to see it yet. Hopefully this weekend I will.

  • charmike4 profile image

    Michael Kromwyk 

    8 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

    Really like your list and have seen most of these! I also like the Hangover movies and the new release The Inbetweeners as well. Cheers Michael


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