So before you go here for the whole list to see what made the cut, why not have a quick butchers at my own Top 10 that I submitted to them and the full notes to accompany.
Here’s just ten of my favourite comedies of all time. Tough to make a selection; could have certainly written a second ten featuring more Allen, Landis, ZAZ, Brooks, the Coens etc.
If you haven’t seen any of the ten (11) movies below, I suggest you rectify that and enjoy!
1 – RAISING ARIZONA (1987)
There is more visual and verbal wit in the opening 15 minutes than some comedy writers or directors manage in their entire career. And even better than that? The rest of the film lives up to it. Hugely influential, highly enjoyable. A film I can watch again and again and again.
2 – THIS IS SPINAL TAP (1984)
I know this movie off by heart. The best British accents by American actors, the best faux rock songs, the best improvisation. Started as a word of mouth cult, now recognised as an all time classic.
3 – AIRPLANE! (1980)
Though the ZAZ style was Xeroxed, ripped off and diluted over the years to lesser and lesser impact, this still stands tall as one of the funniest films of all time. Ruthlessly paced, phenomenally funny.
4 – DUCK SOUP (1933)
Lightning sharp verbal wit, legendarily terrible puns, incredible visual comedy and gags that broke the fourth wall gags before people knew what one was. The Marx Brothers at their peak of lunacy.
5 – TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN (1969)
Woody Allen has no right to dismiss his early work when it is this smart, this funny, this profound and this epically silly. The first of his movies and one of his best.
6 – MONTY PYTHON’S LIFE OF BRIAN (1979)
Satire so brilliantly executed that it makes you want to give up ever trying to better it. Six great minds working in glorious union.
7 – BLAZING SADDLES (1974)
Still outrageous by 2011 standards, this raucous movie is amazingly infectious in its scattergun mischief.
8 – NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE (1978)
The dawn of a new age of comedy, Landis’ movie was hugely influential on adult (and juvenile) comedy for decades after. Still an absolute blast.
9 – ELECTION (1999)
Alexander Payne’s brillant classroom comedy turns small town intrigue into full blown opera. Reece Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick never better.
10 – SOUTH PARK: BIGGER LONGER AND UNCUT (1999)
I have a vivid memory of laughing at this movie in a cinema until I hurt. As they would go on to prove with Book Of Mormon, Parker & Stone are incredible musical writers as well as savage comedy writers.
Honorable Mention – NUTS IN MAY (1976) (TV MOVIE)
One of the funniest movies of all time. But it was a Mike Leigh TV production for the BBC, not a theatrical release. Does it count?
NB. When the list was originally printed my Number 8 pick was erroneously listed as ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’. Not so!