One of the most popular and evergreen genres in Hollywood industry is the comedy. The comedy genre is so huge and famous in Hollywood among the cinema goers that you can even find sub-genres such as romantic comedy, black comedy, insult comedy, sitcom, musical comedy, surreal comedy, and much more.
Over the time, Hollywood has been gifting us a variety of different comedy films from the very beginning. Decades after decades, since its inception, Hollywood filmmakers are busy entertaining us with their funny storytelling blended with great acting and hilarious dialogues to match with.
The punchlines used in most of these films have even become an important part of our lives.
Most importantly, these Hollywood comedy films help us relieve stress from our day to day lives as well as add a good bit of humor and laughter in the lives of those missing it. Hence, today I have decided to list down the Greatest Hollywood comedy films of all time.
List of Best Hollywood Comedy Movies
Duck Soup (1933)
Duck Soup is a 1933 classic comedy film starring The Marx Brothers. The film is directed by Leo McCarey and marks as the last film to feature all the four Marx brothers; Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo.
Surprising, Duck Soup was a box office disappointment, but it wasn’t a flop. The film has been termed as a masterpiece by many critics over the time and Duck Soup is even today considered as one of the iconic comedy films of all time in the Hollywood history.
The Great Dictator (1940)
Well, the first actor that comes to my mind when someone talks about comedy is definitely Charlie Chaplin. Hence, the list of best Hollywood comedy films would be incomplete without a Charlie Chaplin film.
And, that’s the reason, the 1940 Political satire comedy film The Great Dictator makes on our list. The film is Charlie Chaplin’s funny take on fascism that prevailed highly during those times primarily led by Adolf Hitler.
In the film, Charlie Chaplin plays a double role; one as a ruthless fascist dictator based on Adolf Hitler, and as a persecuted Jewish barber.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
If you are a man and a Hollywood black and white classic fan, then I bet you must be crazy over the beautiful actress Marilyn Monroe.
And that’s what brings us to our next film on the list, Some Like It Hot. Directed by Billy Wilder, Some Like It Hot is a 1959 classic romcom set in 1929. Starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon in the lead roles.
Some Like it Hot is about two musicians who dress in drag to hide from the Mafia gangsters whom they saw commit the Saint Valentine’s Day massacre. The film was first of its kind to feature cross-dressing as well as playing with the concept of homosexuality in films.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
If you are a fan of comedy as a genre, then you must have heard about the Monty Python group, a British Surreal Comedy group highly active during the 70s.
The group was famous for its sketch comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus premiered in 1969. But, we are talking about films and it will be unfair not to include one of their best works in Monty Python and the Holy Grail released in 1975.
Unlike their first film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail focused on a new material instead of relying on a compilation of sketches. The film was based on the legend of King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail.
The popularity of this film and the group can be assessed by the fact that the Monty Python’s influence on comedy is compared to the Beatles on music.
Annie Hall (1977)
Next on our list is a Woody Allen film Annie Hall released in 1977. The film is a fantastic rom-com starring Woody Allen as Alvy “Max” singer and Diane Keaton as his love interest.
Being a romantic comedy, the film follows the life of Max in a comical way while he is trying to figure out the reasons for the failure of his relationship with Annie Hall, played by Diane Keaton.
If you are aware of Woody Allen’s legacy, then you will be amazed to know that the film Annie Hall began his streak of directing at least one film every year and the run is still active as of 2016 as well!
Few of the brilliant Comedy films in Hollywood are actually parody films that are based on serious drama or action films. Airplane! is one such satirical parody film written and directed by David and Jerry Zucker as well as Jim Abrahams.
The film stars one of the best comedy actors of all time, none other than Leslie Nielsen, who is well-known for his antics and his comic timings. The film is basically a parody of 1957 disaster film Zero Hour! and at the same time, the film also borrows some elements from the film Airport 1975.
The film is highly regarded among the best comedy films of all time for its surreal humour and the visual as well as verbal puns and gags.
If you are the 80s or 90s kids, then you must be aware of the popular supernatural animation show, The Real Ghostbusters, and Extreme Ghostbusters.
Well, these supernatural series were actually produced after the Ghostbusters franchise debuted with the 1984 supernatural comedy film Ghostbusters. Directed by Ivan Reitman, the film starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis as the Ghostbusters, who start a ghost-catching business in the New York City.
Aykroyd and Ramis have also written the film’s story together.
Dumb & Dumber (1994)
If you prepare a list of iconic comedians in the Hollywood history, Jim Carrey would surely make it to the top 10 list.
One of his biggest hits and cult favourite film, Dumb & Dumber proves his mantle along with several other films as a comic actor. Directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly, the film follows the life of Lloyd Christmas, played by Jim Carrey, and Harry Dunne, played by Jeff Daniels. Both Christmas and Dunne are dumb guys as well as best friends and roommates.
The film becomes special with some comic goof-ups and idiotic moments beautifully crafted by the two lead actors justifying the title of the movie in true essence.
Four Weddings And A Funeral (1994)
Four Weddings And A Funeral is a 1994 British romantic comedy film starring Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell in the lead roles.
The unusual title of the film itself assures that the film will be something interesting and funny, to begin with. Well, the film follows the romantic story of Charles and Carrie, who meet each other at four weddings and a funeral and that justifies the unusual title of the film.
The film also marks the first of the several films featuring the collaboration of screenwriter Richard Curtis and Hugh Grant.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Just imagine what ruckus mistaken identities can cause in real life. Well, why to imagine when you can visualize it in the 1998 crime comedy film The Big Lebowski.
The cult favorite film follows the life of Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, who is mistaken for a millionaire also named Jeffrey Lebowski and is dragged into a mess that it involves all sorts of crimes.
Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, the film was a box-office disappointment at the time of its release but eventually became a cult favorite as it garnered accolades for its idiosyncratic characters, dream sequences, unconventional dialogues, and eclectic soundtrack.
American Pie (1999)
One of the most controversial films at the time of its release as well as one of the best sex comedies of all time, American Pie makes it to our list as well. Directed by Paul and Chris Weltz, the film is the first installment of the American Pie film series.
The film basically follows the life of five best friends, who make a pact, except Stifler, to lose virginity before their high school graduation. From there, a series of funny incidents follow in their conquest to score with girls to complete the pact.
Office Space (1999)
Office Space, as the title suggests, is a 1999 comedy-drama based on a typical office life in the IT industry of the 90s. Directed by Mike Judge; the film stars Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, Gary Cole, Stephen Root, David Herman, Ajay Naidu and Diedrich Bader.
Because of the widespread office culture because of the IT revolution during that time, the film Office Space earned a cult status among its fans and is considered to be one of the best films based on white-collar employees and workforce themes. The film is inspired by Mike Judge’s animated series Milton.
Also Read : Best Hollywood Cult Movies of All the Time
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
While Office Space was about the office culture of the IT industry in the 90s, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is a 2004 comedy film based on the 70s Action news format.
Basically, the film follows the life of Ron Burgundy, played by Will Ferrell, a famous anchorman for the local San Diego TV station. The film’s main theme is the rivalry between Ron and his new co-anchor Veronica, played by Christina Applegate, and a series of funny and hilarious moments caused by the fierce competition between the two.
The film also stars Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Chris Parnell, Kathryn Hahn, and many others.
Wedding Crashers (2005)
Wedding Crashers is a romantic comedy film starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, who play the titular characters as the wedding crashers.
The duo in the film plays John Beckwith and Jeremy Grey respective, who are divorce mediators in Washington D.C. They are expert playboys who crash wedding parties to meet and bed a woman.
However, things get complicated when John falls for Clair, the maid of honor, at one of the weddings they crash. The film also stars Christopher Walken, Rachel Adams, Isla Fisher, Bradley Cooper, and many others in important roles.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Presumably the first black comedy on our list, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is one of the best black comedies I have ever seen. Starring Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer in the lead roles, the film is adapted from Brett Halliday’s novel Bodies Are Where You Find Them.
Directed by Shane Black, the film is about Harry Lockhart, played by Robert Downey Jr., a petty thief who successfully auditions for a film while escaping police during a chase.
However, things turn ugly when he becomes involved in a murder mystery along with his Perry, played by Val Kilmer, the private investigator hired to help Harry study the role. Although dark, the film will make you laugh at the tragedies that follow in the life of Harry.
The 40-Year Old Virgin (2005)
The 40-Year Old Virgin is a 2005 American comedy film that follows the life of a 40-year old man Andy Stitzer, played by Steve Carell, who is a virgin and lives alone, collects action figures, plays video games and works at an electronics store named SmartTech.
When Andy’s co-workers find that he’s still a virgin, they team up to help Andy lose his virginity by making him do stuff that he has never done before while trying to hook him up with every possible woman they come across.
Directed by Judd Apatow, the film is a laughter ride as you see how the group unsuccessfully tries to help Andy lose his virginity. The film also stars Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks and many others.
Borat is one of the funniest films you will ever watch in the mockumentary comedy genre. The film is directed by Larry Charles and follows the life of the title character Borat Sagdiyev, a fictitious Kazakh journalist who is visiting the United States to record real-life interactions with Americans.
The film is written by Sacha Boran Cohen, who also plays the lead role of Borat in the film. Borat gets funnier and funnier as the Americans interviewed by Borat believe him to be a foreigner with no knowledge of American customs and results in funny and hilarious outcomes.