Comedy The Best Comedy Directors in Film History  

Ranker Film
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Titans of comedy! These kings of clowning are the best comedy directors ever to make side-splitting movies. This list includes film directors that specialize in hilarious slapstick, comedy-dramas, directing their own work, or just know how to capture perfect comedic timing. The prove comedy may be tough, but they're tougher, earning a spot among the top comedy directors in the entire world of film. 

This list includes frequent Hollywood collaborators like the Farrelly Brothers (known for Dumb & Dumber and There's Something About Mary, among others) and Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker, responsible for Airplane!, one of the funniest movies of all time. This list of the funniest directors spans the history of the big screen, starting with Charlie Chaplin, who made his first silent movie in 1921.

Vote up the directors with the most successful comedies under their belts or who just make you laugh the most!

1
461 96
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Mel Brooks age 92

The Producers (1968)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Silent Movie (1976)
History of the World, Pt. 1 (1981)
Spaceballs (1987)
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

2
352 87
Harold Ramis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Harold Ramis Died at 70 (1944-2014)

Caddyshack (1980)
National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
Groundhog Day (1993)
Multiplicity (1996)
Analyze This (1999)
Year One (2009)

3
252 95
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Charlie Chaplin Died at 88 (1889-1977)

The Tramp (1915)
The Kid (1921)
City Lights (1931)
Modern Times (1936)
The Great Dictator (1940)

4
217 92
John Landis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
John Landis age 68

The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)
Animal House (1978)
The Blues Brothers (1980)
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Trading Places (1983)
Spies Like Us (1985)
¡Three Amigos! (1986)

5
294 104
Coen Brothers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Coen Brothers

The Ladykillers (2004)
Burn After Reading (2008)
A Serious Man (2009)
Hail, Caesar! (2016)

6
253 89
John Hughes is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
John Hughes Died at 59 (1950-2009)

Sixteen Candles (1984)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Weird Science (1985)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
She's Having a Baby (1988)
Uncle Buck (1989)
Curly Sue (1991)

7
203 89
Ivan Reitman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Ivan Reitman age 72

Meatballs (1979)
Stripes (1981)
Ghostbusters (1984)
Twins (1988)
Ghostbusters II (1989)
Kindergarten Cop (1990)
Dave (1993)
Junior (1994)
Fathers' Day (1997)
No Strings Attached (2011)

8
216 78
Rob Reiner is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Rob Reiner age 71

This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
The Princess Bride (1987)
When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
Rumor Has It... (2005)
The Bucket List (2007)

9
199 72
Terry Jones is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Terry Jones age 76

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983)
 

10
286 80
Edgar Wright is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Edgar Wright age 44

Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Hot Fuzz (2007)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
The World's End (2013)

11
268 148
Kevin Smith is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Kevin Smith age 48

Clerks (1994)
Mallrats (1995)
Chasing Amy (1997)
Dogma (1999)
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
Clerks II (2006)
Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

12
164 88
Wes Anderson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Wes Anderson age 49

Bottle Rocket (1996)
Rushmore (1998)
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Isle of Dogs (2018)

13
208 117
Judd Apatow is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Judd Apatow age 51

The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
Knocked Up (2007)
Funny People (2009)
This Is 40 (2012)
Trainwreck (2015)

14
163 72
Mike Judge is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Mike Judge age 56

Office Space (1999)
Idiocracy (2006)
Extract (2009)
 

15
224 118
Ben Stiller is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Ben Stiller age 53

Reality Bites (1994)
The Cable Guy (1996)
Zoolander (2001)
Tropic Thunder (2008)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Zoolander 2 (2016)

16
151 73
Billy Wilder is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Billy Wilder Died at 96 (1906-2002)

Sabrina (1954)
The Seven Year Itch (1955)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
One, Two, Three (1961)
Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)

17
134 73
Carl Reiner is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Carl Reiner age 96

Oh, God! (1977)
The Jerk (1979)
The Man with Two Brains (1983)
Summer Rental (1985)
Summer School (1987)

18
133 31
Terry Gilliam is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Charley Feldman added Terry Gilliam age 78

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

19
231 132
Woody Allen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Woody Allen age 83

What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972)
Annie Hall (1977)
Manhattan (1979)
A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982)
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
Husbands and Wives (1992)
Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)
Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
Mighty Aphrodite (1995)
Everyone Says I Love You (1996)
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001)
Match Point (2005)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Midnight in Paris (2011)
To Rome with Love (2012)
Blue Jasmine (2013)
Café Society (2016)

20
147 89
Adam McKay is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Adam McKay age 50

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
Step Brothers (2008)
The Other Guys (2010)
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

21
113 66
Christopher Guest is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Christopher Guest age 70

Waiting for Guffman (1997)
Best in Show (2000)
A Mighty Wind (2003)
For Your Consideration (2006)
Mascots (2016)

22
166 76
Farrelly brothers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Farrelly brothers

Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Kingpin (1996)
There's Something About Mary (1998)
Me, Myself & Irene (2000)
Shallow Hal (2001)
Stuck on You (2003)
Fever Pitch (2005)
The Heartbreak Kid (2007)
Hall Pass (2011)
The Three Stooges (2012)
Dumb and Dumber To (2014)

23
106 67
Richard Linklater is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Richard Linklater age 58

Dazed and Confused (1993)
School of Rock (2003)
Bad News Bears (2005)
Bernie (2011)
Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

24
137 54
David Zucker is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
David Zucker age 71

Airplane! (1980)
Top Secret! (1984)
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991)
BASEketball (1998)
My Boss's Daughter (2003)
 

25
71 14
Robert Zemeckis is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added Robert Zemeckis age 67

Back to the Future (1985)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Back to the Future Part III (1990)
Death Becomes Her (1992)
Forrest Gump (1994)

26
88 27
Blake Edwards is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Charley Feldman added Blake Edwards Died at 88 (1922-2010)

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
The Pink Panther (1963)
The Great Race (1965)
The Return of the Pink Panther (1975)
The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)
Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)
10 (1979)
S.O.B. (1981)
Victor Victoria (1982)
Trail of the Pink Panther (1982)
Curse of the Pink Panther (1983)
That's Life! (1986)
Son of the Pink Panther (1993)

27
107 54
Frank Oz is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Frank Oz age 74

The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
What About Bob? (1991)
Housesitter (1992)
In & Out (1997)
Bowfinger (1999)
The Stepford Wives (2004)
Death at a Funeral (2007)

28
88 31
Buster Keaton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Charley Feldman added Buster Keaton Died at 71 (1895-1966)

Our Hospitality (1923)
The Three Ages (1923)
The Navigator (1924)
Sherlock Jr. (1924)
Seven Chances (1925)
Go West (1925)
Battling Butler (1926)
The General (1927)
Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928)

29
94 22
Gene Wilder is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added Gene Wilder age 85

The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975)
The World's Greatest Lover (1977)
The Woman in Red (1984)
Haunted Honeymoon (1986)

30
66 29
Frank Capra is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Charley Feldman added Frank Capra Died at 94 (1897-1991)

It Happened One Night (1934)
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1946)
You Can't Take It with You (1938)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

31
122 64
Tim Burton is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Tim Burton age 60

Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)
Beetlejuice (1988)
Ed Wood (1994)
Mars Attacks! (1996)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Dark Shadows (2012)
 

32
67 36
Danny DeVito is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added Danny DeVito age 74

Throw Momma from the Train (1997)
The War of the Roses (1989)
Matilda (1996)
Death to Smoochy (2002)
Duplex (2003)

33
88 55
Penny Marshall is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Penny Marshall age 75

Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986)
Big (1988)
A League of Their Own (1992)
Renaissance Man (1994)

34
106 58
Chris Columbus is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Chris Columbus age 60

Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
Home Alone (1990)
Only the Lonely (1991)
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Nine Months (1995)
I Love You, Beth Cooper (2009)

35
56 56
Howard Hawks is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
PeteBoyle added Howard Hawks Died at 81 (1896-1977)

Bringing Up Baby (1938)
His Girl Friday (1940)
Ball of Fire (1941)
I Was a Male War Bride (1949)
Monkey Business (1952)
Man's Favorite Sport? (1964)

36
100 75
Todd Phillips is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Todd Phillips age 48

Road Trip (2000)
Old School (2003)
Starsky & Hutch (2004)
The Hangover (2009)
Due Date (2010)
The Hangover Part II (2011)
The Hangover Part III (2013)

37
51 29
James L. Brooks is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Charley Feldman added James L. Brooks age 78

Broadcast News (1987)
I'll Do Anything (1994)
As Good as It Gets (1997)
Spanglish (2004)
How Do You Know (2010)

38
78 58
Peter Segal is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Peter Segal age 56

Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994)
Tommy Boy (1995)
My Fellow Americans (1996)
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000)
Anger Management (2003)
50 First Dates (2004)
The Longest Yard (2005)
Get Smart (2008)
Grudge Match (2013)

39
81 39
Jay Roach is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Jay Roach age 61

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
Meet the Parents (2000)
Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
Meet the Fockers (2004)
Dinner for Schmucks (2010)
The Campaign (2012)

40
73 50
Tom Shadyac is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Tom Shadyac age 60

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
The Nutty Professor (1996)
Liar Liar (1997)
Bruce Almighty (2003)
Evan Almighty (2007)

41
64 58
Amy Heckerling is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Amy Heckerling age 64

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985)
Look Who's Talking (1989)
Look Who's Talking Too (1990)
Clueless (1995)
Loser (2000)

42
78 47
Jim Abrahams is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Jim Abrahams age 74

Airplane! (1980)
Top Secret! (1984)
Big Business (1988)
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael (1990)
Hot Shots! (1991)
Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993)
Jane Austin's Mafia! (1998)

43
42 32
Spike Jonze is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added Spike Jonze age 49

Being John Malkovich (1999)
Adaptation. (2002)
 

44
49 29
Seth MacFarlane is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added Seth MacFarlane age 45

Ted (2012)
A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)
Ted 2 (2015)

45
32 37
Preston Sturges is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
qvetch added Preston Sturges Died at 61 (1898-1959)

46
30 24
Ernst Lubitsch is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Charley Feldman added Ernst Lubitsch Died at 55 (1892-1947)

47
24 7
Trey Parker is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Tom Islava added Trey Parker age 49

48
33 17
Mike Nichols is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added Mike Nichols age 87

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
The Graduate (1967)
Catch-22 (1970)
Carnal Knowledge (1971)
Biloxi Blues (1988)
Working Girl (1988)
Postcards from the Edge (1990)
The Birdcage (1996)
Charlie Wilson's War (2007)

49
28 24
Buck Henry is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added Buck Henry age 88

Heaven Can Wait (1978)
First Family (1980)

50
58 45
Greg Mottola is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Greg Mottola age 54

Superbad (2007)
Adventureland (2009)
Paul (2011)
Keeping Up with the Joneses (2016)