America's 100 Greatest Comedies
100 YEARS...100 LAUGHS

by American Film Institute (AFI)





The American Film Institute in Los Angeles, California, in mid-June 2000 selected America's 100 Funniest Movies with a blue-ribbon panel or "jury" of more than 1,800 leaders of the American movie community including actors, directors, screenwriters, editors, cinematographers, historians, film executives and critics. AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs revealed America's 100 funniest movies from a ballot of 500 nominated movies. According to the AFI, these are "the films and film artists that have made audiences laugh throughout the century."

See also this site's sections on the Comedy Films Genre and the Greatest Comedies of All Time and Funniest Film Moments and Scenes.

Note: The films that are marked with a yellow star are the
films that "The Greatest Films" site has selected as the 100 Greatest Films


AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs
  1. Some Like It Hot 1959 - Billy Wilder
  2. Tootsie 1982 - Sydney Pollack
  3. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 1964 - Stanley Kubrick
  4. Annie Hall 1977 - Woody Allen
  5. Duck Soup 1933 - Leo McCarey
  6. Blazing Saddles 1974 - Mel Brooks
  7. M*A*S*H 1970 - Robert Altman
  8. It Happened One Night 1934 - Frank Capra
  9. The Graduate 1967 - Mike Nichols
  10. Airplane! 1980 - Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker
  11. The Producers 1968 - Mel Brooks
  12. A Night at the Opera 1935 - Sam Wood
  13. Young Frankenstein 1974 - Mel Brooks
  14. Bringing Up Baby 1938 - Howard Hawks
  15. The Philadelphia Story 1940 - George Cukor
  16. Singin' in the Rain 1952 - Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen
  17. The Odd Couple 1968 - Gene Saks
  18. The General 1927 - Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton
  19. His Girl Friday 1940 - Howard Hawks
  20. The Apartment 1960 - Billy Wilder
  21. A Fish Called Wanda 1988 - Charles Crichton
  22. Adam's Rib 1949 - George Cukor
  23. When Harry Met Sally... 1989 - Rob Reiner
  24. Born Yesterday 1950 - George Cukor
  25. The Gold Rush 1925 - Charlie Chaplin
  26. Being There 1979 - Hal Ashby
  27. There's Something About Mary 1998 - Peter Farrelly, Robert Farrelly
  28. Ghostbusters 1984 - Ivan Reitman
  29. This Is Spinal Tap 1984 - Rob Reiner
  30. Arsenic and Old Lace 1944 - Frank Capra
  31. Raising Arizona 1987 - Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
  32. The Thin Man 1934 - W. S. Van Dyke
  33. Modern Times 1936 - Charlie Chaplin
  34. Groundhog Day 1993 - Harold Ramis
  35. Harvey 1950 - Henry Koster
  36. (National Lampoon's) Animal House 1978 - John Landis
  37. The Great Dictator 1940 - Charlie Chaplin
  38. City Lights 1931 - Charlie Chaplin
  39. Sullivan's Travels 1941 - Preston Sturges
  40. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World 1963 - Stanley Kramer
  41. Moonstruck 1987 - Norman Jewison
  42. Big 1988 - Penny Marshall
  43. American Graffiti 1973 - George Lucas
  44. My Man Godfrey 1936 - Gregory La Cava
  45. Harold and Maude 1971 - Hal Ashby
  46. Manhattan 1979 - Woody Allen
  47. Shampoo 1975 - Hal Ashby
  48. A Shot in the Dark 1964 - Blake Edwards
  49. To Be or Not to Be 1942 - Ernst Lubitsch
  50. Cat Ballou 1965 - Elliot Silverstein
  51. The Seven Year Itch 1955 - Billy Wilder
  52. Ninotchka 1939 - Ernst Lubitsch
  53. Arthur 1981 - Steve Gordon
  54. The Miracle of Morgan's Creek 1944 - Preston Sturges
  55. The Lady Eve 1941 - Preston Sturges
  56. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein 1948 - Charles Barton
  57. Diner 1982 - Barry Levinson
  58. It's a Gift 1934 - Norman Z. McLeod
  59. A Day at the Races 1937 - Sam Wood
  60. Topper 1937 - Norman Z. McLeod
  61. What's Up, Doc? 1972 - Peter Bogdanovich
  62. Sherlock, Jr. 1924 - Buster Keaton
  63. Beverly Hills Cop 1984 - Martin Brest
  64. Broadcast News 1987 - James L. Brooks
  65. Horse Feathers 1932 - Norman Z. McLeod
  66. Take the Money and Run 1969 - Woody Allen
  67. Mrs. Doubtfire 1993 - Chris Columbus
  68. The Awful Truth 1937 - Leo McCarey
  69. Bananas 1971 - Woody Allen
  70. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town 1936 - Frank Capra
  71. Caddyshack 1980 - Harold Ramis
  72. Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House 1948 - H. C. Potter
  73. Monkey Business 1931 - Norman Z. McLeod
  74. 9 to 5 1980 - Colin Higgins
  75. She Done Him Wrong 1933 - Lowell Sherman
  76. Victor/Victoria 1982 - Blake Edwards
  77. The Palm Beach Story 1942 - Preston Sturges
  78. Road to Morocco 1942 - David Butler
  79. The Freshman 1925 - Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
  80. Sleeper 1973 - Woody Allen
  81. The Navigator 1924 - Buster Keaton, Donald Crisp
  82. Private Benjamin 1980 - Howard Zieff
  83. Father of the Bride 1950 - Vincente Minnelli
  84. Lost in America 1985 - Albert Brooks
  85. Dinner at Eight 1933 - George Cukor
  86. City Slickers 1991 - Ron Underwood
  87. Fast Times at Ridgemont High 1982 - Amy Heckerling
  88. Beetlejuice 1988 - Tim Burton
  89. The Jerk 1979 - Carl Reiner
  90. Woman of the Year 1942 - George Stevens
  91. The Heartbreak Kid 1972 - Elaine May
  92. Ball of Fire 1941 - Howard Hawks
  93. Fargo 1996 - Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
  94. Auntie Mame 1958 - Morton DaCosta
  95. Silver Streak 1976 - Arthur Hiller
  96. Sons of the Desert 1933 - William A. Seiter
  97. Bull Durham 1988 - Ron Shelton
  98. The Court Jester 1956 - Melvin Frank, Norman Panama
  99. The Nutty Professor 1963 - Jerry Lewis
  100. Good Morning, Vietnam 1987 - Barry Levinson

Facts (and Commentary) about the 100 Funniest Films Chosen:

Katharine Hepburn won the title as the most represented actress on the list with four films in the top 100:

Thanks to the Marx Brothers, Margaret Dumont had three films in the top 100:

Actors appearing in the most films were:

  • Cary Grant, with eight films (none in the top 10), the Marx Brothers and Woody Allen with five each, Spencer Tracy, Charlie Chaplin, and Bill Murray with four each
  • Peter Sellers was represented by three films: Dr. Strangelove (# 3), Being There (# 26), and A Shot in the Dark (# 48)
  • Marilyn Monroe, Myrna Loy, Rosalind Russell, and Robin Williams were each represented by two films

Dustin Hoffman also had two films on the list, but both made the top 10 -- Tootsie (2nd) and The Graduate (9th)

Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn each appeared in four of the top 100 comedies: Both were in Adam's Rib (22nd) and Woman of the Year (# 90); Tracy also starred in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (# 40) and Father of the Bride (# 83)
Hepburn also appeared in Bringing Up Baby (# 14) and The Philadelphia Story (# 15)

Danny Kaye, W.C. Fields, Laurel & Hardy, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin and Mae West only made the list once


Ruth Gordon co-wrote the screenplay for one film on the list -- Adam's Rib (# 22), and starred in another film -- Harold and Maude (# 45)

On the whole, voters found men funnier than women and verbal jousters such as Groucho Marx, Woody Allen and Bill Murray funnier than slapstick geniuses, such as Buster Keaton, Jerry Lewis and Peter Sellers.


Recent comedy star Jim Carrey did not get a mention

Four films, including the top two vote-getters, Some Like It Hot (# 1) and Tootsie (# 2), involved cross-dressing. Also, there were Mrs. Doubtfire (# 67) and Victor/Victoria (# 76).

Buster Keaton's The General (# 18) was the highest-ranked film from the silent era. The five other silent era films were: The Gold Rush (# 25), City Lights (# 38), Sherlock, Jr. (# 62), The Freshman (# 79), and The Navigator (# 81).

In summary, there were only three silent-era Keaton films and two silent-era Charlie Chaplin films. (Note: Chaplin's talkie era films, Modern Times (# 33) and The Great Dictator (# 37), brought his total to four).

Theoretically, Sherlock, Jr. (# 62) should have been disqualified - it was only a four-reeler with a run-time of 44 minutes.

Five Marx Brothers movies made the list:

The 1980s were easily considered the funniest decade, claiming 22 films on the list, while the 1930s were next on the list with 19 total. The 1920s (the heyday of slapstick) and the 1990s, however, were considered unfunny -- each with a total of only five films on the list.

Woody Allen was the most represented director - he directed the most films in the top 100 (five total), including the following:

Woody Allen and Billy Wilder both wrote five films in the top 100, and they both had the most nominations with 11 each. Billy Wilder also directed three of the top 100 comedies: Some Like It Hot (# 1), The Apartment (# 20), and The Seven Year Itch (# 51).

Directors of four films included:

George Cukor ( The Philadelphia Story (# 15), Adam's Rib (# 22), Born Yesterday (# 24) and Dinner at Eight (# 85))
Charlie Chaplin ( The Gold Rush (# 25), Modern Times (# 33), The Great Dictator (# 37) and City Lights (# 38))
Writer/director Preston Sturges ( Sullivan's Travels (# 39), The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (# 54), The Lady Eve (# 55), and The Palm Beach Story (# 77))


Frank Capra directed/produced three films: It Happened One Night (# 8), Arsenic and Old Lace (# 30), and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (# 70), as did Mel Brooks (Blazing Saddles (# 6), The Producers (# 11), and Young Frankenstein (# 13)).

Harold Ramis wrote (or co-wrote) four films on the list: Ghostbusters (# 28), Groundhog Day (# 34), Animal House (# 36), and Caddyshack (# 71). (And Ramis directed two of these: Caddyshack and Groundhog Day.) Director Blake Edwards was also represented by two films: A Shot in the Dark (# 48) and Victor/Victoria (# 76).

Mel Brooks was the director with the most top 15 appearances (three):

In the list of 500 nominated films, Cary Grant was the most represented actor with 17 films, and Myrna Loy was the most represented actress with 10 films. Jack Lemmon (at the time of the survey) was the most represented living actor with 14 films, and Shirley MacLaine was the most represented living actress with nine movies.

Was the dark film Fargo (# 93) really a comedy with lots of laughs?

The Farrelly brothers' 1998 gross-out There's Something About Mary (# 27) was the most recent film on the list, while silent film star Buster Keaton's two 1924 films Sherlock Jr. (# 62) and The Navigator (# 81) were the oldest.

Unfortunately, there were no comedies from Ron Howard (e.g., Night Shift (1982), Splash (1984), Cocoon (1985), and Parenthood (1989)) or from John Hughes (e.g. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), Sixteen Candles (1984), Home Alone (1990) (as producer), The Breakfast Club (1985), Weird Science (1985) and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)).
A number of other great "comedy" omissions included the following (in alphabetical order):

All of Me (1984)
Animal Crackers (1930)
Babe (1995)
Bachelor Mother (1939)
Back to the Future (1985)
The Blues Brothers (1980)
Charade (1963)
A Christmas Story (1983)
The Circus (1928)
Clerks (1994)
Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Fletch (1985)
Foul Play (1978)
The Great Race (1965)
Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)
The Kid Brother (1927)
Life with Father (1947)
Married to the Mob (1988)
Mary Poppins (1964)
Midnight Run (1988)
No Time for Sergeants (1958)
One, Two, Three (1961)
Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)
Pillow Talk (1959)
The Princess Bride (1987)
Risky Business (1983)
Romancing the Stone (1984)
Sabrina (1954)
Safety Last (1923)
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

The Sting (1973)
Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969)
Toy Story (1995)
Trading Places (1983)
Trouble in Paradise (1932)
The Truth About Cats and Dogs (1996)
Unfaithfully Yours (1948)



Previous Page