Many things have influenced my desire to become a comedy writer over the years. Among them, are the 11 brilliantly funny films below. Here are my pee in your pants, laugh till milk shoots out of your nose, favorite comedy films of all time. If you haven’t seen some of these, what are you waiting for? Invite me over – I’ll bring the popcorn and Junior Mints!
When I think back to the films that truly sparked my interest in comedy even as a young child, Airplane is right there at the very top of the list. The Zucker Brothers were truly before their time. And with stars like Leslie Nielsen, Peter Graves and Robert Hays – it doesn’t get any better. Never seen Airplane? Surely you can’t be serious.
Best in Show
In my book, Director/Writer, Christopher Guest, can do no wrong. As much as I loved his earlier films, Spinal Tap and Waiting for Guffman starring his recurring cast of misfits, Best in Show is hands down my fave and one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen. I mean, a movie tackling the bizarre world of show dogs and their weirdo handlers – sign me up!
Oh how I adore Kristen Wiig. I’m sort of obsessed with everything she does. No, really. I kinda want to wear her skin (in a totally non-serial killer way). I have a copy of the Bridesmaids script at home and reread it often as motivation for the bar I want to set for my own writing. I’m pretty sure I never went five minutes without a gut-busting laugh during this movie. My favorite is the airplane scene after Annie dopes up from fear of flying. I also love that with all the film’s craziness, it also manages to be totally relatable and full of heart.
To be honest, when this movie came out, I didn’t have much interest in seeing it. I thought, “I love Melissa McCarthy, but this looks kind of stupid.” Big mistake! Or as Trump would say, “YUGE!” When I finally rented it, I literally rewatched it twice the very next day – it was that funny. McCarthy was hysterical and endearing as ever, but the real star of the show is Jason Statham. Who knew this guy even had sense of humor? Doesn’t he usually just murder people?
Young Frankenstein & The Producers
Man, Gene Wilder really was the best, wasn’t he? I love, love, loved him and was reminded just how much recently after his sad passing. I’ve lumped Young Frankenstein and The Producers together because Wilder’s genius never shone so bright than when he worked with producer, Mel Brooks. These two flicks are oldies, but goodies for sure.
When Harry Met Sally
When Harry Met Sally is without a doubt my favorite romantic comedy of all time. No screenwriter has ever more perfectly captured the complexities between men and women than Nora Ephron. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are pure comedic dynamite on screen. I wanted to be them and be friends with them all at the same time. Crap, now I have the song Surrey with the Fringe on Top stuck in my head.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Office Space over the years, but it never ever gets old. From Lumbergh to Milton, (two of the best comedic characters ever created), this movie is something all of us who’ve ever had to endure office hell can relate too.
Though I’m sure 99% of the general population thinks Iron Man is Robert Downey Jr.’s greatest role, I’m the 1% who votes for his role as Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder. He was brilliantly funny at every turn. “I know who I am. I’m the dude playin’ the dude, disguised as another dude!”
Vince Vaughn, I love you so much. And when you pair up with Owen Wilson, I love you even more if that’s humanly possible. I’ve seen Wedding Crashers a million times and each go around, I catch new jokes I missed before. From the crazy brother obsessed with Vince Vaughn’s character to Isla Fisher’s turn as a total nutjob looking for love, it was all so, so good.
This is another prized script I have in my library at home and refer to over and over again. To this day, if I could write a role for any male actor in Hollywood, it would be Zach Galifianakis. His turn as the socially awkward and totally deranged future brother-in-law in The Hangover is one of my favorite comedic performances ever. Combine that with Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms, and you pretty much have comedy gold. (Sadly, I don’t recommend the sequels though – just let the original stand on its own.)
What are your favorite comedies of all time? I’m always on the lookout for new ones to add to my must-see list!