The Best Comedy Movies of All Time

In order to accurately determine what the best comedy movies of all time are, it’s important to set some ground rules for our rankings. First, we won’t include any comedies that were made before the year 2000, so everything that you see on this list was released after 1990. Second, we’re going to focus on American comedy movies, so you won’t see any movies from other countries on this list (we already know that Bend It Like Beckham and Never Been Kissed are excellent comedies).

#1: Young Frankenstein

This 1974 Mel Brooks classic sends up many of Hollywood’s most iconic horror movies, from Frankenstein to Dracula. The film features Gene Wilder at his best as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein and Marty Feldman as Igor (pronounced eye-gore). But what really makes Young Frankenstein special is that it boasts one of cinema’s all-time greatest monsters in Bela Lugosi’s original 1931 creation, Boris Karloff. In fact, Brooks used so much footage from that movie that he had to get Karloff to sign off on a release form before shooting could begin. The joke: the aging actor refused, claiming he was too ill to read it! It's a small moment in a great movie.

#2: Some Like it Hot

Some Like it Hot is more than just a film, it’s a cinematic experience. Set in 1929, iconic comedian Tony Curtis stars as Jerry/Daphne; an unlikely pair of showbiz hopefuls who find themselves on the run from gangsters. Running away to Florida, they are mistaken for members of an all-girl band (dubbed Sweet Sue and her Society Syncopators) by local millionaire Joe E.

#3: Airplane!

It's hard to believe that there was ever a time when some people thought Airplane! was a comedy classic. But upon its release in 1980, it was regarded as just another gross-out R-rated comedy, an insult to anyone who'd even call themselves a comedy fan. Fortunately, those people were few and far between; soon enough everyone realized what we have now—that Airplane! is a genre-redefining classic that works on multiple levels and has endured almost four decades as one of Hollywood's best comedies. Simply put: If you're not laughing your ass off at an hour into Airplane!, you're probably watching it wrong.

#4: Serenity

Almost nobody saw Serenity when it was first released in 2005, but it quietly gained a following on DVD. Now, it’s considered one of Joss Whedon’s best films and has garnered a cult following. Fun fact: The movie poster is the only one in history to feature all nine members of its cast and still leave room for both their names and title on top. (Bonus points if you get what movie we're talking about.)

#5: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter starred as Bill and Ted, a couple of high school students who would have flunked history if not for their time-traveling phone booth. With Keanu at its helm, it’s little wonder that Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure became a classic among comedy films. Whether you identify with Bill or Ted (or both) remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: This movie will leave you with a lasting impression. After all, who can forget when Reeves says to Winter while they are sitting in class? Excellent! A classic comedy film will often defy logic but never compromise on how much fun it can be to watch.

#6: Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

1964’s Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is a black comedy classic starring Peter Sellers as a U.S. Air Force captain who attempts to stop an accidental nuclear attack on Russia ordered by demented Air Force General Jack D. Ripper (played by Sterling Hayden). Directed by Stanley Kubrick, it’s also one of cinema’s funniest movies, in no small part thanks to Sellers who, as three different characters all named after erotica authors, turns in what many consider his greatest performance. Few things will have you howling with laughter more than Gor-rilla Warfare! and Mercy me! Mercy me! Might mercy ME!

#7: Step Brothers

Comedy gold from Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. In Step Brothers, Ferrell and Reilly play Brennan Huff and Dale Doback (we can’t make these names up), two very different men whose families get forced into a shotgun wedding. The two are set to live in one home together, leading to many hilariously uncomfortable moments between two grown men stuck in arrested development. There are non-stop laughs here with memorable lines like: What do you say we close those bags and get back on that d--- horse? It may be a tad long at almost 2 hours, but trust us—this will be worth it.

The Hangover

This cult British film from 2000 was a dark, quirky, stylized take on heist movies. Directed by Guy Ritchie and featuring dialogue written entirely in rhyming slang (known as Jafaican), Snatch starred Brad Pitt and Jason Statham as two diamond thieves. The plot is far-fetched—and therefore hilarious—and helped it earn a spot on our list of best comedy movies ever made. Plus, look out for an appearance by Benicio del Toro as one of England’s top underground boxing promoters!


A comedy film about a group of men who search for a stolen diamond is truly one-of-a-kind. Starring British actors Brad Pitt and Benicio Del Toro, Snatch is irreverent, outrageous, and full of memorable characters. The film also includes a series of bizarre vignettes that add to its unique style and overall feel. Those willing to look past Snatch’s indulgent nature are in for an enjoyable ride with witty dialogue, unique style, and hilarious situations at every turn. As far as unconventional comedies go, it doesn’t get much better than Snatch; it’s perhaps even more fun if you don’t overthink it.


When making a list of all-time best comedy movies, you're going to end up in some heated discussions. Which comedies are truly better than others? What criteria should you use to measure them against each other? And who is even qualified to make that judgment? We went ahead and did it anyway, and here's our opinion: These are The 20 Best Comedies Of All Time . Go see 'em if you can still find 'em. And if we missed any great ones, feel free to let us know in the comments below!

Sherlock Holmes

Private Detective, London