Entertainment
1.6k voters

The Best Comedy Directors in Film History

Updated March 24, 2021 12.8k votes 1.6k voters 83.0k views120 items

List RulesVote up the directors you think make the funniest comedies.

These titans of comedy are the best comedy directors to ever make side-splitting movies. This list includes film directors that specialize in hilarious slapstick, comedy-dramas, directing their own work, or those who just know how to capture perfect comedic timing. Of all of these gems, who are 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 David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry 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! Then check back in to see if your favorite comedy directors topped the list! You might also enjoy this list of rom-com directors.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    459
    103

    Mel Brooks

    New York City, New York

    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)

    More Mel Brooks 

    The Best Mel Brooks Movies, Ranked#217 of 403 Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person

  • 2
    324
    94

    Harold Ramis

    Chicago, Illinois

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

    More Harold Ramis 

    #108 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#1325 of 2,753 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • 3
    272
    102

    Charlie Chaplin

    Walworth, United Kingdom

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

    More Charlie Chaplin 

    18 Surprising and Revealing Facts About Charlie Chaplin#5 of 220 The Greatest British Actors of All Time

  • 4
    256
    120

    Coen Brothers

    Minneapolis, MN

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

    More Coen brothers 

    All The Coen Brothers Movie References In The 'Fargo' SeriesThe Best Coen Brothers Films

  • 5
    250
    89

    John Hughes

    Lansing, Michigan

    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)

    More John Hughes 

    Things You'll Find In Most Every John Hughes Movie#18 of 23 23 Famous Nonsocial People

  • 6
    195
    80

    Terry Jones

    Colwyn Bay, United Kingdom

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

    More Terry Jones 

    #44 of 173 The Funniest British and Irish Comedians of all Time#154 of 163 Famous People Who Died In 2020

  • 7
    218
    76

    Rob Reiner

    New York City, New York

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

    More Rob Reiner 

    The Best Movies Directed by Rob Reiner#207 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities In The World

  • 8
    167
    69

    Billy Wilder

    Sucha Beskidzka, Poland

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

    More Billy Wilder 

    #10 of 139 The Greatest Auteurs in Film History#6 of 16 The Best Celebrity Tombstones

  • 9
    209
    93

    John Landis

    Chicago, Illinois

    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)

    More John Landis 

    #138 of 745 The Greatest Directors In Movie History#37 of 57 The Best Horror Directors in Film History

  • 10
    290
    90

    Edgar Wright

    England, Poole

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

    More Edgar Wright 

    The Best Edgar Wright Movies#29 of 51 The Best Celebrity Star Wars Cameos, Ranked

  • 11
    106
    35

    Buster Keaton

    Piqua, Kansas

    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)

    More Buster Keaton 

    Buckwild Facts About Silent Comedy Legend Buster Keaton#62 of 115 The Best Short Actors

  • 12
    137
    53

    David Zucker

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    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)
     

  • 13
    145
    44

    Terry Gilliam

    Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

    More Terry Gilliam 

    #483 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time#46 of 64 The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscars

  • 14
    198
    83

    Ivan Reitman

    Komárno, Slovakia

    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)

  • 15
    101
    32

    Blake Edwards

    Tulsa, Oklahoma

    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)

    More Blake Edwards 

    #23 of 40 The Greatest Directors of the 1970s#430 of 466 Celebrities You Didn't Know Use Stage Names

  • 16
    101
    24

    Robert Zemeckis

    Chicago, Illinois

    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)

    More Robert Zemeckis 

    #311 of 583 The Greatest Entertainers Of All Time#74 of 140 The Greatest Hollywood Screenwriters Of All-Time, Ranked

  • 17
    219
    137

    Woody Allen

    New York City, New York

    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)

    More Woody Allen 

    ‘Allen V. Farrow’ Sheds Light On A Dark Hollywood Secret#410 of 1,017 The Best Actors In Film History

  • 18
    114
    44

    Frank Oz

    Hereford, England

    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)

    More Frank Oz 

    #100 of 250 The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked#452 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021

  • 19
    216
    133

    Kevin Smith

    Red Bank, New Jersey

    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)

    More Kevin Smith 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of ‘Clerks’#292 of 439 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With

  • 20
    141
    70

    Mike Judge

    Guayaquil, Ecuador

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

    More Mike Judge 

    #26 of 127 The All-Time Best Voice Actors#40 of 84 The Best Voiceover Performances in Film

  • 21
    162
    91

    Wes Anderson

    Houston, Texas

    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)

    More Wes Anderson 

    The Best Movies Directed by Wes Anderson18 Amazing Easter Eggs in Wes Anderson Films

  • 22
    197
    117

    Judd Apatow

    Flushing, New York City

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

    More Judd Apatow 

    The Best Judd Apatow Movies#136 of 260 The Greatest Male Celebrity Role Models

  • 23
    142
    80

    Adam McKay

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    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)

    More Adam McKay 

    #169 of 432 Famous Tall Men Over 6'2#19 of 39 Famous People Rejected By 'Saturday Night Live'

  • 24
    116
    50

    Chris Columbus

    Spangler, Pennsylvania

    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)

  • 25

    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)