The Ultimate Guide to the Funniest Movies of All Time

by Tara Price

7th January, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to the Funniest Movies of All Time

Laughter is timeless, and the quest for the funniest movie of all time is a journey through cinematic history. From slapstick to sophisticated satire, the world of comedy movies is as diverse as it is delightful. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top funniest movies of all time, answering some key questions along the way.

What is the #1 Funniest Movie?

Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, and Spinal Tap in This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Christopher GuestMichael McKeanHarry Shearer, and Spinal Tap in This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

Determining the funniest movie ever is subjective, but many critics and audiences agree that “This Is Spinal Tap” (1984) takes the crown. Directed by Rob Reiner and featuring an ensemble cast including Christopher Guest and Michael McKean, this mockumentary about a fictional heavy metal band is not just hilarious but also a cultural touchstone.

The Most-Viewed Comedy Movie

While specific viewership data can be elusive, it’s safe to say that classics like “Airplane!” (1980) and “The Hangover” (2009) have reached a vast audience, both in theatres and through home media. Their enduring popularity and frequent broadcasts have made them some of the most-viewed comedy movies.

The Funniest Movie You’ve Never Seen

Steve Buscemi, Michael Palin, Jeffrey Tambor, Jason Isaacs, Simon Russell Beale, Rupert Friend, and Andrea Riseborough in The Death of Stalin (2017)
Steve BuscemiMichael PalinJeffrey TamborJason IsaacsSimon Russell BealeRupert Friend, and Andrea Riseborough in The Death of Stalin (2017)

If you’re looking for a hidden gem, “The Death of Stalin” (2017) is a brilliant dark comedy that might have slipped under your radar. Directed by Armando Iannucci, it’s a satirical take on the power struggle following Stalin’s death, blending historical drama with sharp, witty humor.

Considered the Best Movie Ever

While comedies often don’t get the same critical acclaim as dramas, some, like “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964) by Stanley Kubrick, are often listed among the best movies ever made. Its blend of political satire, dark humour, and brilliant performances make it a cinematic masterpiece.

Top 25 Funniest Movies of All Time

This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

A hilarious mockumentary that follows the misadventures of a fictional heavy metal band, Spinal Tap, as they tour the US and face various challenges, such as malfunctioning props, low album sales, and creative differences.

Airplane! (1980)

A spoof of disaster movies that features a plane full of eccentric characters, such as a former pilot with a drinking problem, a jive-talking stewardess, and a doctor who can’t stop saying Surely.” The movie is full of absurd jokes, visual gags, and pop culture references.

Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)

A satire of biblical epics that tells the story of Brian, a Jewish man who is mistaken for the Messiah by a group of followers. The movie parodies various aspects of religion, politics, and history, with the Monty Python troupe playing multiple roles.

Annie Hall (1977)

A romantic comedy that explores the relationship between a neurotic comedian, Alvy Singer, and a quirky aspiring singer, Annie Hall. The movie uses various techniques, such as flashbacks, animation, and breaking the fourth wall, to depict the ups and downs of their love affair.

Groundhog Day (1993)

A fantasy comedy that revolves around a cynical weatherman, Phil Connors, who finds himself trapped in a time loop, reliving the same day over and over again. He initially uses the situation to his advantage, but eventually learns to become a better person and win the heart of his co-worker, Rita.

The Jerk (1979)

A slapstick comedy that follows the life of Navin Johnson, a naive and clueless man who was raised by a black family. He leaves his home to seek his fortune, but encounters various misfortunes and enemies along the way, such as a crazed sniper, a vengeful ex-girlfriend, and a faulty invention.

Withnail & I (1987)

A cult comedy that depicts the escapades of two unemployed actors, Withnail and Marwood, who decide to spend a weekend in the countryside, hoping to escape their miserable lives in London. However, they soon realise that they are ill-equipped for the rural lifestyle and face various troubles, such as hostile locals, a drunken uncle, and a lack of food.

Team America: World Police (2004)

A political satire that uses puppets to portray a team of elite operatives who fight against global terrorism and other threats. The movie mocks various aspects of American culture, foreign policy, and Hollywood, as well as genres such as action, musical, and romance.

Duck Soup (1933)

A classic comedy that stars the Marx Brothers as the leaders of a fictional country, Freedonia, that is on the brink of war with a neighbouring country, Sylvania. The movie is full of witty dialogue, physical humour, and musical numbers, as well as a famous mirror scene.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

A parody of mediaeval legends that follows King Arthur and his knights as they embark on a quest to find the Holy Grail. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles and enemies, such as a killer rabbit, a taunting Frenchman, and a bridge of death.

Borat (2006)

A mockumentary that features a fictional Kazakh journalist, Borat Sagdiyev, who travels to the US to make a documentary about American culture. He interacts with various real people, often exposing their prejudices, ignorance, and hypocrisy, while also pursuing his crush, Pamela Anderson.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

A crime comedy that centres on a laid-back slacker, Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski, who is mistaken for a wealthy businessman, Jeffrey “The Big” Lebowski, and gets involved in a kidnapping case. He teams up with his bowling buddies, Walter and Donny, to solve the mystery while also dealing with a nihilist gang, a zen master, and a seductive artist.

The Naked Gun (1988)

A spoof of detective movies that stars Leslie Nielsen as Frank Drebin, a bumbling police officer who tries to stop an assassination plot against Queen Elizabeth II. He also falls in love with Jane Spencer, the secretary of the main suspect, Vincent Ludwig. The movie is full of hilarious situations, sight gags, and one-liners.

Dumb & Dumber (1994)

A road comedy that follows the adventures of two dim-witted friends, Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne, who travel across the country to return a briefcase full of money to its owner, Mary Swanson, whom Lloyd has a crush on. However, they are unaware that the briefcase is part of a ransom scheme and that they are being pursued by criminals.

Some Like It Hot (1959)

A screwball comedy that features two musicians, Joe and Jerry, who witness a mob massacre and disguise themselves as women to join an all-female band and escape from the gangsters. They both fall for the band’s singer, Sugar Kane, but have to deal with the complications of their cross-dressing, as well as the attention of a millionaire and a mob boss.

Trading Places (1983)

A social comedy that involves a bet between two wealthy brothers, Randolph and Mortimer Duke, who decide to swap the lives of a successful commodities broker, Louis Winthorpe III, and a homeless con artist, Billy Ray Valentine, to see how they would cope in each other’s situations. The movie explores the themes of class, race, and greed, as well as the nature vs. nurture debate.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

A holiday comedy that chronicles the misadventures of two mismatched travellers, Neal Page, a high-strung advertising executive, and Del Griffith, a cheerful shower curtain ring salesman, who try to get home for Thanksgiving. They face various obstacles and setbacks, such as cancelled flights, broken trains, and stolen cars, while also developing an unlikely friendship.

Dr. Strangelove (1964)

A black comedy that satirises the Cold War and the nuclear arms race, as well as the madness of war and politics. The movie depicts the events that follow after a paranoid US general, Jack D. Ripper, launches a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, triggering a doomsday device. The movie features Peter Sellers in three roles: a US president, a British officer, and a former Nazi scientist.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

A parody of the 1970s news industry that focuses on the rivalry between two news teams, led by Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone, who compete for ratings and prestige. The movie is full of absurd humour, pop culture references, and memorable quotes, as well as a cameo-filled brawl scene.

The Death of Stalin (2017)

A dark comedy that depicts the power struggle that ensues after the death of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin as his cronies and successors try to secure their positions and avoid being purged. The movie combines historical accuracy with sharp, witty humour and features a stellar cast of actors, such as Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, and Jeffrey Tambor.

The Hangover (2009)

A buddy comedy that follows the aftermath of a bachelor party in Las Vegas, where four friends, Phil, Stu, Alan, and Doug, wake up with no memory of the previous night and find themselves in various predicaments, such as a missing tooth, a baby, a tiger, and a missing groom. They have to retrace their steps and find out what happened, while also dealing with the consequences of their actions.

South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut (1999)

A musical comedy that is based on the animated TV series South Park follows the exploits of four foul-mouthed boys, Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny, who live in a small town in Colorado. The movie involves a war between the US and Canada, sparked by the controversy over a raunchy movie starring the Canadian duo Terrance and Phillip, as well as the boys’ attempts to stop their parents from censoring them.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

A horror comedy that parodies the zombie genre as well as the conventions of romantic comedies. The movie centres on Shaun, a slacker who tries to win back his ex-girlfriend, Liz, while also dealing with a zombie apocalypse. He teams up with his best friend, Ed, and other survivors to fight off the undead and reach a safe place.

Office Space (1999)

A workplace comedy that portrays the frustrations and absurdities of working in a corporate environment, as well as the rebellion of a group of employees, led by Peter Gibbons, who decide to embezzle money from their company, Initech, after being hypnotized. The movie features various iconic scenes and characters, such as the TPS reports, the red stapler, and the printer smashing.

Bridesmaids (2011)

A female-led comedy that follows the antics of a group of women who are preparing for the wedding of their friend, Lillian. The movie showcases the rivalry between the maid of honour, Annie, who is going through a rough patch in her life, and the bridesmaid, Helen, who seems to have everything. The movie is full of hilarious moments, such as a food-poisoning scene, a plane ride, and a bridal shower.


The world of comedy movies is vast and varied, offering something for every taste. Whether you prefer the absurdity of “Airplane!” or the clever satire of “Dr. Strangelove,” these films have left an indelible mark on the landscape of cinema. They remind us that laughter is a universal language, transcending time and culture. So, grab some popcorn, settle in, and let the laughter begin!

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