film The Best Comedy Directors in Film History  

Ranker Film
Originally by
10.9k votes 1.0k voters 65.0k views 115 items Embed

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
380 79
Mel Brooks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Mel Brooks age 91

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)

The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films The Best Swimsuit Brands

2
300 79
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
184 75
John Landis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
John Landis age 67

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)

4
214 80
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 4 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)

5
256 88
Coen Brothers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Coen Brothers

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

6
219 77
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
179 64
Rob Reiner is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Rob Reiner age 70

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

8
173 79
Ivan Reitman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Ivan Reitman age 71

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)

9
165 63
Terry Jones is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Terry Jones age 75

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

10
244 65
Edgar Wright is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Edgar Wright age 43

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

11
244 133
Kevin Smith is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Kevin Smith age 47

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
184 102
Judd Apatow is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Judd Apatow age 50

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

13
141 63
Mike Judge is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Mike Judge age 55

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

14
130 62
Billy Wilder is listed (or ranked) 14 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)

15
194 105
Ben Stiller is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Ben Stiller age 52

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

The Best Comedy Films On Amazon Prime Mythical Creatures That Were Found in Real Life

16
125 81
Wes Anderson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Wes Anderson age 48

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)

17
116 65
Carl Reiner is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Carl Reiner age 95

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

18
201 112
Woody Allen is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Woody Allen age 82

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)

19
109 27
Terry Gilliam is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Charley Feldman added Terry Gilliam age 77

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

20
127 85
Adam McKay is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Adam McKay age 49

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
92 61
Christopher Guest is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Christopher Guest age 69

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

22
92 63
Richard Linklater is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Richard Linklater age 57

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

23
140 71
Farrelly brothers is listed (or ranked) 23 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)

24
121 49
David Zucker is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
David Zucker age 70

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
72 22
Blake Edwards is listed (or ranked) 25 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)

26
76 19
Gene Wilder is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added Gene Wilder age 84

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

27
89 53
Frank Oz is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Frank Oz age 73

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
67 27
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
47 13
Robert Zemeckis is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added Robert Zemeckis age 66

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)

The Best Stand-Up Comedy Movies on Netflix Instant People We Wish Were Still Alive

30
102 60
Tim Burton is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Tim Burton age 59

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

31
71 47
Penny Marshall is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Penny Marshall age 74

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

32
92 67
Todd Phillips is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Todd Phillips age 47

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)

33
48 28
Frank Capra is listed (or ranked) 33 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)

34
92 54
Chris Columbus is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Chris Columbus age 59

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
52 33
Danny DeVito is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added Danny DeVito age 73

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

36
46 52
Howard Hawks is listed (or ranked) 36 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)

37
40 25
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 77

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

38
65 53
Peter Segal is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Peter Segal age 55

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
70 38
Jay Roach is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Jay Roach age 60

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
70 41
Jim Abrahams is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Jim Abrahams age 73

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)

41
63 47
Tom Shadyac is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Tom Shadyac age 59

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

42
51 55
Amy Heckerling is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Amy Heckerling age 63

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)

43
26 19
Buck Henry is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added Buck Henry age 87

Heaven Can Wait (1978)
First Family (1980)

The Best '70s Comedy Movies The Best Smart Video Games Ever Made

44
54 41
Greg Mottola is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Greg Mottola age 53

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

45
32 29
Spike Jonze is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added Spike Jonze age 48

Being John Malkovich (1999)
Adaptation. (2002)
 

46
36 22
Seth MacFarlane is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added Seth MacFarlane age 44

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

47
26 34
Preston Sturges is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
qvetch added Preston Sturges Died at 61 (1898-1959)

48
28 26
Bobcat Goldthwait is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added Bobcat Goldthwait age 55

Shakes the Clown (1991)
Sleeping Dogs Lie (2006)
World's Greatest Dad (2009)

49
22 21
Ernst Lubitsch is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
Charley Feldman added Ernst Lubitsch Died at 55 (1892-1947)

50
22 12
Robert Altman is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Comedy Directors in Film History
CraigAlarm added Robert Altman Died 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)