Comedy is subjective. Not everyone’s funny bone buzzes from the same jokes, but there are some movies that are just undeniably hilarious. Let’s take a look at the funniest of the funniest. NOTE: We’re only picking movies that meet a baseline quality control level in terms of filmmaking and storytelling. Sorry, The Room… you’re funny, but you won’t make this list.
5. Pineapple Express
Pineapple Express is fun stoner romp starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. This one was surprisingly well cast, considering James Franco wasn’t known for his comedy chops at the time, outside of Freaks and Geeks. Rogen embodies his patented man-child-stoner-lovable-loser persona while Franco plays a scuzzy pot dealer. Hijinks ensue when Rogen’s character inadvertently witnesses a murder and leaves a half smoked joint on the ground at the scene of the crime. The joint contains weed so rare, it leads the killers in hot pursuit of Rogen’s character. It’s a wacky movie with some seriously funny stoner jokes throughout.
Mel Brooks made this at the height of his spoof-driven career. It was a hard choice between this movie and The Producers, but ultimately, you can’t argue with Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet. This movie features some of the best comedy talent of the 80’s, including the late John Candy. It’s an enjoyable comedy space-opera satire that is hilarious with considerable nostalgia value as well.
3. What We Do in the Shadows
New Zealanders have a knack for silly, deadpan humor that gets me. This is a high-concept comedy mockumentary about vampire roommates. Watching Jemaine Clement as a vampire doing ordinary chores like vacuuming the staircase while hovering is genius joke-writing. The film puts the earnest sensitivity of the main character played by Thor director, Taika Waititi, against brutally violent scenes of vampire bloodsucking to a riotously farcical effect. This is well worth a watch if you like mockumentary movies and vampires… and New Zealand.
2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Monty Python and the Holy Grail is about as silly as it gets. I don’t think another movie has ever made me laugh out loud as hard as this one upon first viewing. It’s comedy genius of the highest order. It is endlessly quotable, with sketch-like scenes that have embedded themselves firmly in the comedy film canon… Bring out your dead. The Holy Hand Grenade. The Knights of Ni. If you haven’t seen this yet, I envy you. I’ve been watching this movie over and over since I was a kid. I’ve probably seen it close to twenty times, and still, the comedy styling of John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, under the direction of the brilliant Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, still remains entertaining.
1. The Big Lebowski
The Big Lebowski is not only extremely funny, it is also an exercise in great filmmaking. The Dude is one of the most distinctive and iconic main characters in the history of American cinema. Jeff Bridges channels his inner underachiever and delivers a performance that is one of his careers bests, which is saying a lot since he has a career filled with Oscar nominations and a Best Actor win for Crazy Heart. John Goodman also brings his A-game, delivering one of the most endearing yet maddening characters ever put to film. The movie is also bitingly clever and like all the Coen Brothers’ stories, it is shaded with philosophically minded subtext about purpose, people’s ability to misunderstand one another, and their quests for an identity.
What other films were funny? Let us know in the comments!