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!
list ordered by

1
472 98
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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
361 89
Harold Ramis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Dec. at 70 (1944-2014)

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

3
259 102
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Dec. at 88 (1889-1977)

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

4
221 96
John Landis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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
298 111
Coen brothers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History

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

6
260 92
John Hughes is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Dec. 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
208 92
Ivan Reitman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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
220 81
Rob Reiner is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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
205 74
Terry Jones is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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
292 83
Edgar Wright is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
age 44

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

11
270 154
Kevin Smith is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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
214 120
Judd Apatow is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
age 51

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

13
168 92
Wes Anderson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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)

14
166 73
Mike Judge is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
age 56

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

15
228 121
Ben Stiller is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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
155 75
Billy Wilder is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Dec. 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
138 75
Carl Reiner is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
age 96

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

18
139 33
Terry Gilliam is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Charley Feldman added age 78

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

19
152 92
Adam McKay is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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)

20
235 140
Woody Allen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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)

21
114 67
Christopher Guest is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
age 70

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

22
171 78
Farrelly brothers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History

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
107 69
Richard Linklater is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
age 58

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

24
140 54
David Zucker is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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
93 28
Blake Edwards is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Charley Feldman added Dec. 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)

26
110 55
Frank Oz is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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)

27
73 16
Robert Zemeckis is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added 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)

28
96 23
Gene Wilder is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added age 85

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

29
92 34
Buster Keaton is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Charley Feldman added Dec. 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)

30
71 32
Frank Capra is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Charley Feldman added Dec. 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
93 56
Penny Marshall is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
age 75

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

32
125 68
Tim Burton is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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)
 

33
112 59
Chris Columbus is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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)

34
68 37
Danny DeVito is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added age 74

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

35
58 58
Howard Hawks is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
PeteBoyle added Dec. 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
55 29
James L. Brooks is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Charley Feldman added age 78

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

37
102 78
Todd Phillips is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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)

38
79 60
Peter Segal is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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
82 41
Jay Roach is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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
75 51
Tom Shadyac is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
age 60

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

41
67 60
Amy Heckerling is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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
80 48
Jim Abrahams is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
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
43 35
Spike Jonze is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added age 49

Being John Malkovich (1999)
Adaptation. (2002)
 

44
33 26
Ernst Lubitsch is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Charley Feldman added Dec. at 55 (1892-1947)

45
37 18
Mike Nichols is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added 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)

46
50 31
Seth MacFarlane is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added age 45

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

47
30 24
Buck Henry is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added age 88

Heaven Can Wait (1978)
First Family (1980)

48
32 39
Preston Sturges is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
qvetch added Dec. at 61 (1898-1959)

49
48 46
Penelope Spheeris is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
age 73

Wayne's World (1992)
The Beverly Hillbillies (1993)
The Little Rascals (1994)
Black Sheep (1996)
Senseless (1998)
 

50
32 17
Robert Altman is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added Dec. at 81 (1925-2006)

MASH (1970)
Nashville (19750
A Wedding (1978)
Popeye (1980)
The Player (1992)
Short Cuts (1993)
Prêt-à-Porter (1994)
Cookie's Fortune (1999)
Dr. T & the Women (2000)
A Prairie Home Companion (2006)