Your top 3 comedies? (you may cite more than 3, but please first list #1, #2, & #3)

1. This Is Spinal Tap – The first time I saw it I thought it was the most brilliant work of comedy I have ever seen. My opinion has not changed.

2. The Big Lebowski – Just re-watched it the other day. Donny: “They posted the next round for the tournament.” Walter: “Donny, shut the f- when do we play?”

3. Young Frankenstein – I find much of Mel Brooks’ work strained and unfunny. YF is Brooks at his best.

Runners up:

  • Airplane
  • Annie Hall
  • The Apartment
  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • Lost in America
  • The Odd Couple
  • Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
  1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  2. Clerks
  3. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Anger Management
Harold and Kumar go to White Castle
Bad Santa

Dr. Strangelove

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

His Girl Friday

  1. Arthur
  2. Airplane!
  3. Harvey
  1. Airplane!

  2. Galaxy Quest

  3. Clerks

  4. Dr Strangelove

  5. Commando

  1. Amélie
  2. Withnail and I
  3. Hot Fuzz
  1. Blazing Saddles. Maybe not quite as funny as YF, but much more pointed and a better overall film for it.
  2. Airplane! Absolutely non-stop laughs. It’s frankly astonishing that they pulled it off.

I’m not sure if I have a #3. Those are the two I immediately think of when somebody asks my favorite comedies.

  1. The Dinner Game
  2. Some Like It Hot
  3. Cat Ballou
  1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  2. Duck Soup
  3. Airplane!
  1. There’s Something About Marry

  2. Bad Santa

  3. Super Bad

  1. Some Like It Hot
  2. Animal House
  3. Young Frankenstein

I wouldn’t call The Apartment a comedy, though it’s one of my favorite films.

Beat The Devil
Down By Law
The Brother from Another Planet, if that qualifies.

  1. What’s up, Doc --,Peter Bogdanovich’s homage to screwball comedies is screwier than any of the originals. Wonderful script by Buck Henry. several of the players (Kenneth Mars, Madeline Kahn – who was “introduced” in this movie, Liam Dunn) showed up a couple of years later in Young Frankenstein

  2. A Night at the Opera – purists might lament the nods to a more standard and “believable” plot than in their earlier more cartoonish comedies, but this remains my favorite Marx brothers movie, even if it hasn’t got Zeppo. It has some of their best bits (the “contract” scene, the “cabin” scene, the fiasco at the end).

  3. Airplane – I love the Zucker-Zucker-Abrahams series of films, from Kentucky Fried Movie through Top Secret through the Naked Gun series (afterwards they and their sort-of-continuations lost steam. But this is the funniest. I also have to give a shout-out to Airplane II, which they did NOT do, but which, amazingly, managed to carry on in much the same fashion, and managed to be funnier than the Hot Shots! movies

Others that deserve mention

The General – Buster Keaton’;s silent Civil War movie isn’t just one of the best silent movies ever made, it’s one of the best movies ever made. It doesn’t make my top three only because it isn’t purely a laugh-fest.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum – Having seen the play (with its pre-MAS*H Larry Gelbart script) and the movie (written by Doctor Who’s brother, who gave himself a cameo), I have to admit that I like the film better. I don’t mourn the loss of several songs. It stars both Zero Kostel (who played the role of Pseudolus on Broadway) and Phil Silvers (who turned it down, but who later took over the role on stage) and a young pre-Phantom Michael Crawford. And it’s got Buster Keaton!

The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob ( Les Aventures de Rabbi Jacob) – a French Italian comedy from 1973 that I haven’t seen anywhere – movies, YV, cable, VHS, or DVD – since it first came out. Hilarious stuff with French physical comedian Louis de Funès, who was immensely popular in France and Europe in general, but only made this one film that was widely released in the US. Worth hunting down.

Who’s Minding the Mint (1967) – ensemble comedy with a cast of comedians that is one hell of a lot better than It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. And has some of the same people.

Young Frankenstein – of course. Beautiful homage to the Universal monster films of the 30s and 40s with a surprisingly literate script by Gene Wilder (with additions by Mel Brroks). Funnier than Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

By the way, it’s probably just me, but I recently finally saw This is Spinal Tap and it did absolutely nothing for me. I don’t much care for on-camera improv, which this seems to have a lot of. Even the arguably funniest bits (“It goes to eleven!”) are mercilessly beaten over and over again into submission and have all the funny sucked out of them.

I don’t know if I can rank them really and I had to list 10 and then cull

  1. Best in Show
  2. Office Space
  3. Bridesmaids

Also a 2nd list because I really couldn’t not mention these and really all of these are interchangeable with #1 on the right day:

  1. Real Genius
  2. Clerks
  3. Clue

Honorable mention to All of Me (Steve Martin/Lily Tomlin underrated classic)

Spinal Tap
Office Space
Top Secret!

Young Frankenstein
Bill and teds excellent adventure
MP and the Holy Grail

Duck Soup (probably no surprise)
The Man in the White Suit (an Ealing comedy starring Alec Guiness)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

  1. After Hours. A downwardly spiraling black comedy in which everything that can go wrong does go wrong, and then it keeps going. It might be minor Scorsese, but it’s exquisite.
  2. Dr. Strangelove. I guess comedy doesn’t get any blacker than an end-of-the-world scenario. All the pieces of the story fit together so elegantly that everything that happens, no matter how outlandish or cartoonish, seems not just perfectly logical, but inevitable.
  3. This Is Spinal Tap. I’m not sure it was the first mockumentary, but it was certainly the breakthrough film for the genre. Stonehenge; “You can’t really dust for vomit”; “These go to eleven.”

If we’re quoting Spinal tap can I add?

Mick Shrimpton : As long as there’s, you know, sex and drugs, I can do without the rock and roll.

The Big Lebowski

Harold and Maude