Classic Comedies:

Funniest Movie
Moments and Scenes


Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

A Day at the Races (1937)

  • the classic "Tootsie-Frootsie" ice cream/code book scene in which vendor and racetrack tipster Tony (Chico Marx) sold a racing tips book to gullible horse doctor and sanitarium head Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush (Groucho Marx)
  • the scene in which Hackenbush played half-deaf "Colonel Hawkins" of the Florida Medical Board to infuriate Whitmore (Leonard Ceeley)
  • the two absurd medical examination scenes ("Just put the gown on, not the nurse") - first with Stuffy (Harpo Marx) and then with Mrs. Upjohn (Margaret Dumont)
  • the famous one-liners: "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped!" and "If I hold you any closer, I'll be in back of ya"
  • the climactic Big Race
  • the film's highlight - in which villainess Miss Nora "Flo" (Esther Muir) was wallpapered to the wall

Death Becomes Her (1992)

  • glamorous musical star Madeline Ashton's (Meryl Streep) incredulous response to Lisle Von Rhuman's (Isabella Rosselini): "But first, a warning..." after Madeline has already drunk the potion: "NOW a warning?!"
  • the jaw-dropping, award-winning visual effects used to comic effect, including the "backwards walk" when Madeline's head was rotated 180 (and later 360) degrees, and her shocked cry: "My ass! I can see my ass!"
  • the blasting of a double-barreled shotgun into arch rival Helen Sharp's (Goldie Hawn) abdomen (a beaming Madeline: "These are the things that make life worth living!"), then Helen crawling out of the pool, ignorant of the large non-fatal hole in her stomach, and growling: "Look at me, Ernest! Just look at me! I'm soaking wet!"
  • the bitch fight with shovels between Helen and Madeline (with her chortle: "You're a walking lie Helen, and I can see right through you!" while peeking through the hole)
  • the ending when undead Madeline and Helen shattered after falling down the steps, with a disembodied hand annoyedly drumming its fingers, and Helen muttering: "Do you remember where you parked the car?"

Defending Your Life (1991)

  • in this philosophical comedy, yuppie Daniel Miller's (Albert Brooks) 39th birthday speech during his office party: ("This is a great present, and I wish I could squeeze you all into one pretty woman. And if you'd like to go to my office, I'll try")
  • his screaming death as he crashed his new Mercedes into the front of a charter bus
  • the scenes in post-death way-station Judgment City where he could eat whatever he wanted without gaining weight: ("It's not only the best food you'll ever have, but you can eat all you want....As long as you're here, you can eat all you want. It won't affect you physically, and you won't gain weight") - the ads tauted: "Want to eat a lot? Ted's House of Buffet says you can have everything you see, plus more. Our chefs will cook it, but they won't look"
  • Daniel's retort when asked by an unfunny comedian (Roger Behr) performing on-stage to entertain the recently-deceased: "How'd you die?" - "On stage, like you!"
  • Daniel's trial in the afterlife: ("You're here to defend your life"), prosecuted by Lena Foster (Lee Grant), aka "The Dragon Lady", who played a series of Daniel's past "misjudgments" (e.g. gargling with the wrong bottle, a chainsaw accident, a snow-mobile crash, his disastrous attempt to install a TV antenna on his roof, etc.)
  • holographic Shirley MacLaine (Herself in a cameo appearance) hosting The Past Lives Pavilion (with an off-screen woman exclaiming when she saw Shirley: "Oh my God!") -- and as Daniel looked in his mirror, he found out that in a former life, he was once a tribal native who became "dinner" for a lion

Diner (1982)

  • most of the scenes at the 1959 Fells Point Hilltop diner between a group of six post high-school graduate male friends - the many fast-paced, late night, often mindless discussions (with overlapping dialogue)
  • the scene of a pre-nuptial 140 question trivia test (65 was passing) about the Baltimore Colts pro football team required by virginal momma's boy and football fanatic Eddie (Steve Guttenberg) for his off-screen fiancee Elyse just before the wedding in a few days - friends and family members gathered around the basement to keep score where he grilled her - and his declaration: "The marriage is off"
  • Earl's (Mark Margolis) attempt to eat all the items listed on the left side of the diner's menu
  • the intensely passionate debate about the best make-out music (Johnny Mathis vs. Frank Sinatra) with the blunt answer: "Presley"
  • Fenwick's (Kevin Bacon) drunk destruction of the city's Nativity scene
  • the scene at Eddie's bachelor party when Billy (Tim Daly) suggested: "Are we gonna pick up the beat?!"), and took a place at the piano to increase the tempo, as Eddie joined the stripper on stage
  • the set-piece joke in a movie theatre of scheming, hustling, indebted Boogie's (Mickey Rourke) macho movie-theatre wager with his friends that he could entice a girl on a first date to a certain level of intimacy - executed with the creative use of a popcorn box with blonde date Carol Heathrow (Colette Blonigan) when he stuck his privates into the bottom of the box to fool her into touching his "pecker"
  • the scene between a married couple - a neglected and under-appreciated Beth (Ellen Barkin in her screen debut) and exasperated music-obsessed 'Shrevie' (Daniel Stern) when he complained about her improper alphabetical/categorical filing of his treasured 45 rpm record collection according to year and genre category - she had placed a blues record in the R & B section - and her lack of knowledge of jazz saxophone player Charlie Parker (she asserted: "What are you gettin' so crazy about? It's just music, it's not that big a deal!")
  • the diner argument scene in which wise-cracking Modell (Paul Reiser) eyed an exasperated Eddie's roast-beef sandwich: ("You gonna finish that?") but Shrevie ended up taking a bite out of it

Dinner at Eight (1933)

  • platinum blonde Kitty Packard (Jean Harlow) in memorable assault scenes upon husband Dan (Wallace Beery)
  • the image of Kitty taking bites out of chocolates and putting the pieces back in the box
  • the famous show-stopping closing scene with priceless dialogue when vulgar Kitty made conversation with aging actress Carlotta (Marie Dressler) on their way into dinner: Kitty: "I was reading a book the other day." Carlotta (staggering at the thought): "Reading a book!" Kitty: "Yes. It's all about civilization or something, a nutty kind of a book. Do you know that the guy said that machinery is going to take the place of every profession?" Carlotta (eyeing Kitty's costume and shapely physical charms): "Oh, my dear, that's something you need never worry about"

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)

  • the train dining room sequence, when the loud and obnoxious American con-artist Freddy Benson (Steve Martin), used his frequent ploy to acquire a free meal from a gullible female - "Waiter, give this man whatever he wants": ("I'll have a double turkey sandwich on rye, a side order of fries, one of those large knockwurst, three bags of potato chips, chocolate milk and two beers. Why don't you have a beer. Three beers")
  • Freddy's persuasive discussion with his competition in one of the train compartments - suave pseudo-aristocrat Briton Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine), about the female sex (Lawrence called females "the weaker sex") - and the need to fleece them: ("We're the weaker sex. Men don't live as long as women. We get more heart attacks, more strokes, more prostate trouble. I say, it's time for a change. I say, let them give us money. Let's live off them for a while. That probably shocks a guy like you, right?...Look what I did in the dining car! She gave me 100 francs. That's like uh, twenty bucks! Do you have any idea what it feels like to take a woman for $20 bucks?")
  • the duo's battle for $50,000 (or sex) from sweet American soap opera actress and heiress Janet Colgate (Glenne Headley) on the French Rivera
  • Freddy's relegation, after drawing the short straw, to the role of impersonating Lawrence's younger idiot and spastic brother - "monkey boy" Prince Ruprecht, a la Jerry Lewis
  • the goal: to scare off marriage-minded heiresses after their money was acquired: 'Prince Ruprecht' ate with a cork on the end of his fork to prevent him from hurting himself; he also asked: "Excuse me, may I go to the bathroom first?" and appeared to pee under the table into his pants
  • in another scene, he lubricated a yellow latex glove on his left hand after being asked the question: "What did we do when Uncle Ted was here?" and then hugged too tightly one of Lawrence's newest prospects until being threatened: "Ruprecht, do you want the genital cuff?"
  • the film's last line, revealing that Janet was the elusive "Jackal" who had stolen their money, and was ready to join them in fleecing others: "Fellas, last year I made three million dollars. But your fifty thousand was the most fun. Are you ready? Then, let's go get 'em."

Divorce, American Style (1967)

  • the clever opening title credits scene (beginning with a surreal montage of LA traffic and cars pulling into driveways after a day of work) in which a god-like lawyer with an attache case walked to a Hollywood Hills hillside in the Los Angeles area, placed his briefcase on a pedestal, clothed himself in his judicial robe, and started conducting the cacophony of vituperative arguments that were heard among bitterly-married couples in the upper-middle-class suburbanite houses below (i.e., "You comin' out of there soon, so if I could get something....You been in there 20 minutes already, what are you reading?...Will you stop that please!?...That thing you do with your nose. It's disgusting")
  • the classic scene in which angry married couple Richard and Barbara Harmon (Dick Van Dyke and Debbie Reynolds) with marital problems ("We're choking to death"); after a shouting match, the two went into their bedroom and proceeded through their synchronized nightly routine including opening and closing closet doors - without saying a word
  • the scene in which the extended families and parents of divorce in six carloads tried to sort out the various two dozen children - with commentary: ("That's Susie. She's Fred's second daughter by his first marriage. And that's her stepfather, Ed, whose Rosie was Jim's first wife. She had two kids by her first marriage, and...") - and one little girl was overlooked and left behind by the scene's end

Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)

  • a comedic remake of Jean Renoir's classic Boudu Sauvé des Eaux (1932) (aka Boudu Saved From Drowning)
  • during the opening credits, the brilliant use of The Talking Heads' Once in a Lifetime ("And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful Wife / And you may ask yourself / Well, how did I get here?") - intercut scenes of real-life Los Angeles homeless with charismatic, iconoclastic, charming but disheveled vagrant Jerry Baskin (Nick Nolte) pushing his possessions across a street
  • the scene of Jerry attempting suicide by drowning in the Whiteman family's pool after his little beloved dog Kerouac abandoned him during the Thanksgiving season, and his rescue ("Call 911!") by the head of household - millionaire coat-hanger manufacturer Dave Whiteman (Richard Dreyfuss)
  • Jerry's insinuation into the Whiteman's nouveau-riche Beverly Hills household by "giving them everything they wanted"
  • the many scene-stealing scenes of neurotic family dog Matisse (black-and-white border collie Mike the Dog), who required a dog therapist
  • Jerry's seduction of sexually-repressed, New Agey, spaced-out Barbara Whiteman (Bette Midler), whose ecstatic screaming reverberated around the neighborhood (Matisse convulsed and panted, the phallic cable antenna vibrated, the sprinklers erupted, etc.) and Barbara's post-coital singing of You Belong to Me
  • Dave's initial bonding with Jerry that soured because of Jerry's:
    (1) seduction of Mexican maid Carmen (Elizabeth Peña) - whom Dave was also having an affair with
    (2) encouragement of androgynous, sexually-confused and obsessive son Max (Evan Richards) to come out to him, and
    (3) sexual relations with anorexic college student Jenny Whiteman (Tracy Nelson)
  • the wild, climactic New Year's Eve party at the Whitemans (Helicopter pilot: "What a f--king party!"), as next door neighbor and record producer Orvis Goodnight (Little Richard) performed Tutti Frutti on the piano, and fireworks exploded (and everyone jumped in the pool)
  • Jerry's decision to leave: (Dave: "You lied" Jerry: "What did you want to hear, Dave? REAL heartbreak? REAL sorrow?")
  • the final sequence of Jerry being invited back into the house by the entire family - who awaited his entrance from the back alley, and Dave's unsure look about joining everyone - to the book-ended strains of Once in a Lifetime

Dr. Strangelove: Or... (1968)

  • the opening credits sequence of the genre-bending black comedy - the view of a B-52 jet aircraft refueling in mid-air - looking like a sexual act (mechanical copulation)
  • the caricatures of all the major characters: the belligerent military leaders and politicians
  • the character of delusionally-demented, cigar-chomping renegade Gen. Jack D. Ripper's (Sterling Hayden) babbling about "precious bodily fluids"
  • the egg-head ineffectual American President Merkin Muffley's (Peter Sellers also) classic, polite hot-line phone call (a monologue) to the drunken Soviet premier Dmitri Kissof to explain an erroneous bombing attack: ("...It's a friendly call. Of course it's a friendly call. Listen, if it wasn't friendly, probably wouldn't have even got it. They will not reach their targets for at least another hour!")
  • the priceless dialogue in the War Room
  • militarist Gen. "Buck" Turgidson's (George C. Scott) dalliance with his Playmate 'secretary' and his cold calculations about nuclear destruction and the lone bomber's chances against Soviet defenses
  • "Buck's" scuffle in the War Room before the buffet table with the Soviet Ambassador de Sadesky (Peter Bull) that concluded with Muffley's reprimanding line: "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the War Room"
  • the scene of the British RAF attache Capt. Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers) not having enough spare change to telephone the White House to save the world and Col. "Bat" Guano's (Keenan Wynn) refusal to shoot at a Coca Cola machine for fear of retribution by the company
  • the sinister and peculiar wheelchair-bound ex-Nazi mad German scientist Dr. Strangelove (Peter Sellers) with a falsetto- and German-accent, and an uncontrollable, independently-minded mechanical-arm Nazi salute (and his wrestling with his own gloved hand)
  • Strangelove's giggling pleasure as he described his duty to populate the human race with women (at a ratio of 10 females to one male) in deep underground, mine-shaft caverns, and his ultimate exclamation: "Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!"
  • gung-ho redneck cowboy commander of the B-52 bomber plane Major T.J. "King" Kong's (Slim Pickens) patriotic speech: ("I'd say that you're all in line for some important promotions an' personal citations when this thing's over with")
  • the image of Kong rodeo-riding the nuclear bomb like a bucking bronco toward its target and crying "Yaahooo" while waving his cowboy hat
  • the finale with multiple H-bomb mushroom clouds blossoming to Vera Lynn's rendition of "We'll Meet Again" ("We'll meet again / Don't know where, don't know when / But I know we'll meet again / Some sunny day")

Duck Soup (1933)

  • the many satirical, anarchic, and slapstick scenes that ridiculed pomp, government, corrupt dictators and authority
  • the many pricelessly funny lines: (Firefly: "I suggest that we give him ten years in Leavenworth, or eleven years in Twelveworth." Chicolini (Chico): "I'll tell you what I'll do: I'll take five and ten in Woolworth")
  • the opening coronation scene and Freedonian inauguration (and late arrival) of fast-talking, swindling, impertinent, and indecorous behavior of Freedonia's new cigar-chomping President Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx)
  • Firefly's familiar teasing of wide and widowed millionaire benefactress Mrs. Gloria Teasdale (Margaret Dumont): Mrs. Teasdale: "I welcome you with open arms." Firefly: "Is that so? How late do you stay open?"
  • the lampooning Cabinet meeting scene
  • the scenes of the two confrontations with the lemonade stand vendor (Edgar Kennedy) including a classic three-headed, hat-switching sequence, the burning of the vendor's bowler hat on the flaming hot dog cooker, and the barefooted Pinkie (Harpo) paddling around in the lemonade tank
  • the classic, inventive perfectly-timed scene of the inspired, celebrated mirror pantomime - a superlative, lyrical, artistic example of mute physical comedy (a revival of a classic vaudeville routine) with two (actually three) of the Marx Brothers identically dressed in nightshirt and cap and duplicating each other's movements
  • Pinkie's sight-gags and the revelation of his tattoos (especially the one of a doghouse on his stomach - complete with the head of a real live, barking dog that peeps out)
  • the parody of the Paul Revere ride
  • Groucho's retort to Ambassador Trentino (Louis Calhen) about war: ("Go, and never darken my towels again!")
  • the final battle-war sequence (with Firefly walking around blindly with a flower vase on his head paint-decorated with features of his 'Groucho' face) (Firefly: "I've already paid a month's rent on the battlefield")

Dumb & Dumber (1994)

  • the scene of Lloyd Christmas' (Jim Carrey) run out of an airport's jetway and flip onto the tarmac after the Aspen-bound plane had departed
  • the scene of a motorcycle cop pulling over the Poochmobile for speeding, and testing a beer bottle for alcohol, not knowing it was filled with Lloyd's urine, and their offer after he had a swig: "Tic Tac, sir?"
  • the following scene of the two picking up hitchhiker Joe Mentalino (Mike Starr), who was quickly driven crazy by the pair playing tag on either side of him - with inane antics: (Harry: "You're it....Anti-quitsies, you're it, quitsies, no anti-quitsies, no startsies!...Can too, double stamp it, no erasies!...No, you can't do that... you can't triple stamp a double stamp, you can't triple stamp a double stamp! Lloyd!"); and then they began a duet before picking up a family of hitchhikers
  • the Dante's Inferno restaurant scene of Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd trying out atomic hot peppers on a dare: ("I'll do it if you will, Lloyd") - their argument: "You go first!" "No, you go first!" - and then their reactions, including cooling their mouths with mustard and ketchup bottles
  • the sight of Harry and Lloyd in bright orange and powder blue tuxedos
  • idiotic Lloyd's wild chopsocky fantasy in a restaurant, defending the honor of his dream date and culminating in ripping the heart out of the chef's chest and putting it in a doggy bag
  • the imbecilic Lloyd's sentimentally-happy response after pursuing married dream girl Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly) from Providence to Aspen in a customized sheep-dog Poochmobile van after she told him that their chances were "one in a million" - "So you're saying there's a chance?! Yeah!"
  • Harry's compliment to Mary about her owls: "Nice set of hooters you got there!...The owls. They're beautiful!"
  • the scene of Lloyd (and his group all wearing ugly Christmas sweaters) in front of a fireplace performing his schtick, and deciding (for laughs) to light his fart on fire
  • the excruciatingly-funny yet gross scene of Harry's extreme agony on the toilet while suffering a reaction to a large dose of a laxative put in his coffee by Lloyd - and Mary's comment to him: "I hope you're not using the toilet, it's broken...the toilet doesn't flush" - and his response: "I was just shaving"
  • the famous scene in which brain-dead Harry exclaimed: "Ooh, look, frost" to Mary as they rode on a ski-lift chair - and his tongue became fused to the frozen metal frame pole - and the hilarious scene as they pried him free while his tongue stretched elastically
  • their refusal to take up an offer to be oil boys for a bus group of bikinied females on tour representing Hawaiian Tropics: ("Hi, guys. We're going on a national bikini tour, and we're looking for two oil boys who can grease us up before each competition") - and their realization that they had made a mistake - giving the bus driver the wrong directions! ("The town is back that way!")

Greatest Funniest Movie Moments and Scenes
(alphabetical order, by film title)
Intro | A1 | A2 | B1 | B2 | C | D | E-F | G | H-I | J-K-L
M1 | M2 | N-O | P1 | P2 | Q-R | S1 | S2 | T | U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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