Top Ten Funnies

The Radio Times and the BBC, in an exercise in cheap TV have resorted to that old perennial of "Top 10..." in this case the Top 10 Comedy films of all time. First they compiled their top 100 then asked readers/viewers to vote for their favourites... The results can be found here... But it got me thinking about my top 10, and why. In order to thin them out I imposed a few rules over and above those imposed by the Radio Times list

a) No Musicals... even though many of them may be funnier than the others on the list (eg. High Society or Singing in the Rain)... I might do a top 10 musicals when I'm bored some time.

b) No Animated Features... as above.

c) As few as possible by any one writer/director, leading to the impossible choice between Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles and The Producers, or Life of Brian and Holy Grail.

d) Nothing with Ben Stiller in it or Judd Apatow directing... like any of them were going to feature anyway!

By the way, if you are expecting any perceptive, sociological or theological reflections on these films go check out Gareth Higgins blog... This is just a bit of fun... But I would be interested in your selections...

1) The Producers: the original non-musical version with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. Nearly laughed myself sick at the "Springtime for Hitler" number... For it comes out top of all and so "Young Frankenstein" and "Blazing Saddles" don't feature at all which I'll admit is a travesty.

2) Monty Python and the Holy Grail: completely insane and just displaces "The Life of Brian" in my book, not because of any quibbles re the latter's blasphemy (which is nonsense) but simply because I think Holy Grail is marginally funnier.

3) Gregory's Girl: A perfect evocation of the awkwardness of being a teenage boy. Bill Forsythe has never done better.

4) Groundhog Day: Ramis and Murray at their best as director and actor respectively. So wonderful even Andi McDowell couldn't spoil it.

5) Kind Hearts and Coronets: Not so much black and white, as gloriously black British comedy.

6) Some Like it Hot: Marilyn Munroe shows herself to be a wonderful comic actress under Billy Wilder's deft direction, with superb performances by Curtis and Lemmon, and the finest closing line of any film.
7) Duck Soup: The Marx Brothers at their anarchic best.

8) Carry on Screaming: Carry on films are one of my guilty secrets... and this (or Cleo) has to be the sharpest of these cinematic equivalents of the saucy seaside postcard.

9) Airplane: the original, and best over the top movie spoof.

10) When Harry Met Sally: the original, and best of that dreaded genre - "RomCom..."

What do you think? Am I a complete philistine for missing out Woody Allen? Have I had a sense of humour bypass for omitting Steve Martin? Am I unpatriotic for omitting any Richard Curtis movie?


Gary said…
Interesting list David, but did you not break rule (a) by putting The Producers as your top pick?
As I said, the original non-musical version, which is however about staging a musical... Haven't actually seen the musical version yet!
jools said…
Holy Grail - could not agree more. Simply stunning.

But Im afraid I would have to stick in a dickie curtis there VM ... 4 weddings is simply brilliant ... and dare I say it ........... Love Actually, although nonsense, is a cracker - but it's the whole package rather than just comedy.
Love actually made me want to barf in a bucket, tho Emma Thompson's performance was nothing short of brilliant... And as for 4 Weddings... 2 words - Andi McDowell...

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