The Ten Funniest Movies Ever Made

Steve Martin and John Candy in Planes Trains & Automobiles
Blue Moon of Kentucky, keep on shinin'...

Things have been a little heavy lately.

I wanted a lil’ chuckle.

So I’ve gone a little light this time around and give you the list of the ten funniest movies ever made. This list is completely inarguable. Enjoy!

1. Planes, Trains & Automobiles

It’s probably as funny as it is to me because I see my brother and myself in it. I mean, it’s spot-on to the tone of the conversations and types of insults.

Even stranger, is that when we’re together, he’s Neal and I’m Del, but when I’m out in the world I feel more like Neal every day. I can’t even think of scenes from this movie without laughing.

2. The Odd Couple

Dry, classic humor. Oscar’s meltdown at the end is possibly one of the greatest wig-outs in cinema (OK, theatre as well, but I’m talking about the movie here) history. A timeless classic, it’s edged out just because by the end of Planes I’m ready to hug Del Griffith; at the end of Odd Couple I still want to kill Felix.

3. Dumb & Dumber

My brother astutely observed that how great a movie is, can be marked by how many references you can make to it. Dumb & Dumber is chock full of those moments. It’s live-action Beavis & Butt-Head and perfectly done at that. It’s also well before Jim Carrey started taking himself too seriously. I miss that.

Dumb & Dumber
What's wrong with low-brow? Low-brow is funny, too.

4. Old School

This is the only movie I’ve seen in the theatre that made me fall out of my chair laughing. Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell are at the top of their game; Jeremy Piven is perfect at playing a bitter jackass. And let’s give Luke Wilson credit for being a great ‘straight man.’ He keeps it all together with his reactions, a great anchor for his mentally unbalanced friends. Down side: Craig Kilborn. I don’t like that guy because I can tell the smarm is real, not an act.

5. Rushmore

I will always love this movie. It’s bizarre, it’s got Bill Murray’s "comeback performance" when he perfected his art and Brian Cox is the perfect "nemesis" to the narcissistic Max. It’s got a whimsy to it that keeps it light and keeps you off-guard. I’ll also admit that there are aspects of Max that remind me more than a little of me in high school.

6. Blazing Saddles

This movie would never get made today, unless it featured Tyler Perry in a fat suit. And that’s because we’ve all become a bunch of weak-kneed wimps in fear that someone might not get the joke. If they don’t get the joke, f*** them.

7. Young Frankenstein

In a lifetime of classic performances, Gene Wilder’s finest moment. I miss Mel Brooks in his prime. The man was genuinely funny. And no, it’s not an accident that Spaceballs didn’t make the list. I like it, it makes me laugh, but it tries too hard to be ranked in the top ten; for every moment that I like, there’s another that makes my spine lock up. It’s the precise moment when Brooks jumped the shark.

8. Kentucky Fried Movie

I re-watched this recently, and though it’s not as funny to me now as it once was, it will always be in the Top Ten for three reasons: Big Jim Slade, Fistful of Yen and Danger Seekers.

9. Caddyshack

Bill Murray. Ted Knight. Rodney Dangerfield. These three men overcame the presence of Chevy Chase to deliver three of the best comedic performances ever filmed.

10. Ghostbusters

Let’s face it. Bill Murray is one of my favorite comic actors, and will be always. This movie is buoyed by Dan Aykroyd before he started to stink on ice and Harold Ramis in a rare starring role. All the supporting cast are great, too, including Sigourney Weaver. Any movie that pulls off a giant marshmallow man as a villain has got to be a winner. For the record, Ghostbusters 2 was not as bad as everyone says, but it’s definitely not one for the Top Ten.

Final Notes

Top Ten Lists do satisfy my OCD about the number five because they are evenly divisible by five.

However, I figured I’d toss out the most humor-less movies I’ve ever seen as well:

1. Dracula: Dead and Loving It – Joey and I sat through to the end only because they wouldn’t give us our money back. Super disappointing because of Leslie Nielsen and Mel Brooks both missing the mark.

2. You Don’t Mess with the Zohan – You also don’t laugh at the Zohan.

3. Idiocracy – I didn’t even crack a smile. Don’t tell me it’s funny “because it’s…” It’s not funny. Ron’s got my back on this.

4. I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry – You know what’s funny about politically correct humor? Nothing. After Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore…how can you go so wrong, Adam Sandler? You disappoint me, and I hate being disappointed.

5. Life Stinks – Ironic. Mel Brooks makes both lists twice.

It felt good to get this off my chest. Let’s do it again soon. Adam Sandler is bound to release something again.

22 thoughts on “The Ten Funniest Movies Ever Made

  1. Your list is flawed. Here is the real list…

    10. Stripes
    9. Vacation
    8. Tommy Boy
    7. Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me
    6. Napoleon Dynamite
    5. Ghostbusters
    4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
    3. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
    2. Groundhog Day
    1. Old School

    1. #7 was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. #6 was funny but wildly overrated.

      #4, I’ll concede. That shouldn’t have missed the list. But I’d be hard pressed to find what I could replace. Probably Kentucky Fried Movie.

      Anchorman, I love. But it’s not a Top Ten.

      1. I agree that maybe I am being a little generous with Napoleon Dynamite, but Austin Powers 2 (with fat bastard) definitely deserves to make the list.

        So, no opinion on Groundhog Day? That might just be Bill Murray’s best movie.

  2. Notable absences (in no particular order):
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail
    Airplane (both of them)
    Naked Gun (all three)
    Austin Powers (the first one for sure)
    Animal House
    History of the World (Part 1)
    Death at a Funeral (the British one, but I heard Martin Laurence’s version wasn’t a disappointment)

    By and large, I don’t have any real problems with your list, though I’d almost certainly list them differently.

    And a few comments on what’s not funny:
    Anything with Will Ferrell should be burned and never spoken of again.
    Anything that tried to capitalize on Lesley Neilsen being funny made by anybody besides the makers of Airplane and Naked Gun only capitalized on failure.

    1. I’ll give you Holy Grail (see my reply to Ron) and should probably work it into the list. KFM would be replaced by it. Although to speak to your other reply, Life of Brian is probably even funnier than Holy Grail. Tough call on those.

      History of the World…Top Twenty, not Top Ten. Breaks my heart to say it, but that’s where I’d be with it. First Austin Powers = Top Twenty, same with Naked Gun. Airplane, it’s a tough call. Probably it’s number 11, but you could argue it’s really close with Ghostbusters.

      Disagree on Ferrell. I think the guy’s great – I highly recommend Stranger Than Fiction; very subtle and subdued performance.

  3. It would be unfair to quibble over this list considering how hard a list like this is to compile. I will simply say that Slapshot should have been mentioned (if only honorably), Zohan was insanely funny despite relying on the omnipresent misconception that Israeli intelligence is somehow better than American intelligence, and Idiocracy is, indeed, overrated as all hell. On all other issues raised in this post and the comments, they’re close enough to true not to be worth arguing.

    1. I have to admit, I never saw Slapshot. I’ve heard great things.

      I can’t agree on Zohan. I really can’t. I wanted to set fire to the screen after watching.

      Thanks for agreeing on Idiocracy – I don’t understand why or how that movie got so much respect.

    1. Ferris Bueller is great, but it’s not Top Ten.

      Dazed and Confused was not funny. And it unleashed Matthew McConaghey on the world, so I actually have a reason to hate it.

  4. I second the vote for Airplane. And probably Naked Gun.

    I should probably admit that I think that What About Bob is wet-your-pants funny. Ditto for the first screening of Superbad (though less so over time).

    Most of all, I thank everyone for not going with Caddyshack. Never understood the devotion to that one.

    For my money, however, the absolute funniest moment in cinema is the photo scene in 16 Candles. (“Wait, black and white: It would capture the moment so nicely.”)

    1. I never saw Superbad. I think that What About Bob is funny as well, but I think maybe I’d maxed out on Bill Murray entries by the time I got to 10.

      Airplane and Naked Gun *are* great comedies — and I could probably see my way to sliding one of them into the Top Ten. A function of this list is probably ill-served from not seeing enough of these movies recently to have them fresh on the mind.

      Caddyshack = Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Bill Murray. The rest of it can go rot. Those three are utter comic perfection, though. And any scene with Dangerfield and Knight in it together is brilliant. They played off each other perfectly.

  5. @Ron – Austin Powers 2 was terrible. Not only not funny, I almost threw up at three points.

    Groundhog Day is great, but not a Top Ten. Murray is stellar, but Andie McDowell is like Anti-Humor.

  6. I agree with a few with them, but I couldn’t stand Old School at all. Oh, and Mel Brooks is probably one of the best comedy directors of all time.

  7. Whoever said Superbad – right on! First viewing is pain-in-my-abs funny. Still decently funny on multiple viewings. And I have to add Rat Race to the list.

    1. Holy Grail is definitely a winner, and is one of those that could easily make this list. The only one that I could swap out with a good conscience, though, would be Kentucky Fried Movie, and that’s a hard argument to make when it’s got Rex Kramer, Danger Seeker. Maybe it beats Caddyshack if you force me to pay attention when it’s just the romance storyline.

  8. Please how can adam sandler not be on this list yes he acts stupidly to get your attention but he gets points for doing those things we all wished we could see done! Like mel brooks did in his early movies the farting scene in Blazing saddles is still a classic but even better you know That somewhere around a camp fire several obniooxious men with way to much attitude in ones own self greatness had just ended an argument in which they made the point that they are bettter then all takers and needed to be taken down a few notches starving they wolfed down a pound of beans each and the bosses daughters along with her model friends arrived with a case of beer making these narisisses even sound stupider The girls had to leave the smell being to much these three coeds got lost and saved by some real cowboys who got the girls home and recieved a phone number for a job well done… Real Life, and you just know it is trully Hilarious!

  9. What about tim the toolman taylors space movie not even mentioned yet it is better then the last five and oceans elevens ,bob hope and bing crosbies entire road movie extravaganza’s and ultimate funniest movie DVD whatever made Eddie Murphys red leather standup I defy anyone to watch “Delirious”Excuse my spelling and not laugh. If you can watch it and not laugh ide give a hundred dollars no one can do it without taking a strong narcotic Period I don’t have a 100 to blow but I have a free story thats the truth “as a kid I lost my balance Watching “delirious” Laughing so hard I had to watch it over again, just to see the entire thing! It has been well over 20 years… and I watched it just the other day, about a month ago… I couldn’t believe it! But it had the same effect It Killed me Eddie murphy is the best of the best!

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