283 voters

The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked

Updated July 27, 2020 2.2k votes 283 voters 6.3k views21 items

List RulesVote up the funniest comedies with zany plots and slapstick humor that were released before 1980.

Slapstick comedy can create the type of belly laughter that is all but impossible to hold back. The best wacky comedy films feature over-the-top characters endangering their physical well-being for a hilarious punchline. This is a list of the top classic comedy movies including everything from Blazing Saddles to The Pink Panther to Duck Soup.

What films will you find on this list of the funniest classic movies? Maybe you'll vote? Monty Python and the Holy Grail to the very top. The scene during which the Black Knight gets his arm cut off and declares it “just a flesh wound” has been tickling funny bones for generations. Young Frankenstein – starring Gene Wilder – is another one of the best classic comedies released before 1980. Jerry Lewis starred in several of the best slapstick films of all time, including the iconic 1963 version of The Nutty Professor. Other good movies featured on this list include Bananas, City Lights, and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Which classic comedy deserves the top spot on this list? Give your favorites a thumbs up, and please add any great films that are missing.

  • 1

    Young Frankenstein

    Gene Hackman, Mel Brooks


    Directed byMel Brooks

    Young Frankenstein is a 1974 American comedy film directed by Mel Brooks and starring Gene Wilder as the title character, a descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The supporting cast...  more

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  • 2

    Blazing Saddles

    Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder


    Directed byMel Brooks

    Blazing Saddles is a 1974 satirical Western comedy film directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder, the film was written by Brooks, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Norman...  more

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  • 3

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    John Cleese, Terry Gilliam


    Directed byTerry Gilliam, Terry Jones

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1975 British comedy film written and performed by the comedy group of Monty Python, and directed by Gilliam and Jones. It was conceived during the hiatus between...  more

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  • 4


    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen


    Directed byJerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker

    Airplane! is a 1980 American satirical disaster comedy film directed and written by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker and released by Paramount Pictures. It stars Robert Hays and Julie...  more

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  • 5

    Monty Python's Life of Brian

    George Harrison, John Cleese


    Directed byTerry Jones

    Monty Python's Life of Brian, also known as Life of Brian, is a 1979 British comedy film starring and written by the comedy group Monty Python, and directed by Jones. It tells the story of Brian...  more

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  • 6

    History of the World, Part I

    Mel Brooks, Orson Welles


    Directed byMel Brooks

    History of the World, Part I is a 1981 comedy film written, produced, and directed by Mel Brooks. Brooks also stars in the film, playing five roles: Moses, Comicus the stand-up philosopher, Tomás de...  more

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  • 7

    The Jerk

    Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters


    Directed byCarl Reiner

    The Jerk is a 1979 American comedy film directed by Carl Reiner and written by Steve Martin, Carl Gottlieb, and Michael Elias. This was Martin's first starring role in a feature film. The film also...  more

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  • 8

    The Pink Panther

    Peter Sellers, Claudia Cardinale


    Directed byBlake Edwards

    The Pink Panther is a 1963 Technicolor American comedy film filmed in 70mm Super Technirama directed by Blake Edwards and co-written by Edwards and Maurice Richlin, starring David Niven, Peter...  more

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  • 9


    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, more commonly known as Dr. Strangelove, is a 1964 political satire black comedy film that satirizes fears of a nuclear conflict...  more

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  • 10

    It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

    Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy


    Directed byStanley Kramer

    It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is a 1963 American epic comedy film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer and starring Spencer Tracy with an all-star cast, about the madcap pursuit of $350,000 in...  more

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  • 11

    Duck Soup

    Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx


    Directed byLeo McCarey

    Duck Soup is a 1933 Marx Brothers anarchic comedy film written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, with additional dialogue by Arthur Sheekman and Nat Perrin, and directed by Leo McCarey. First released...  more

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  • 12

    Up in Smoke

    Dick Elliott, Huntz Hall


    Directed byWilliam Beaudine

    Up in Smoke is a film directed by William Beaudine released on Dec 22, 1957....  more

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  • 13

    Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

    Vincent Price, Bela Lugosi


    Directed byCharles Barton

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  • 14

    A Shot in the Dark

    Peter Sellers, Elke Sommer


    Directed byBlake Edwards

    A Shot in the Dark is a 1964 comedy film directed by Blake Edwards and is the second installment in The Pink Panther series. Peter Sellers is featured again as Inspector Jacques Clouseau of the...  more

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  • 15

    High Anxiety

    Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn


    Directed byMel Brooks

    High Anxiety is a 1977 comedy film produced and directed by Mel Brooks, who also plays the lead. This is Brooks' first film as a producer and first speaking lead role. Veteran Brooks ensemble members...  more

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  • 16

    The Kentucky Fried Movie

    Donald Sutherland, Tina Louise


    Directed byJohn Landis

    The Kentucky Fried Movie is an 1977 American anthology comedy film, released in 1977 and directed by John Landis. The film's writers were the team of David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker, who...  more

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  • 17

    The Nutty Professor

    Jerry Lewis, Stella Stevens


    Directed byJerry Lewis

    The Nutty Professor is a 1963 American comic science fiction feature film produced, directed, co-written and starring Jerry Lewis. The score was composed by Walter Scharf. The film is a parody of...  more

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  • 18


    Sylvester Stallone, Woody Allen


    Directed byWoody Allen

    Bananas is a 1971 American comedy film directed by Woody Allen and starring Allen, Louise Lasser, and Carlos Montalban. Written by Allen and Mickey Rose, the film is about a bumbling New Yorker who,...  more

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  • 19

    The General

    Boris Karloff, Mike Donlin


    Directed byBuster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman

    The General is a 1926 American silent comedy film released by United Artists. Inspired by the Great Locomotive Chase, which happened in 1862, the film stars Buster Keaton who co-directed it with...  more

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  • 20

    City Lights

    Charlie Chaplin, Jean Harlow


    Directed byCharlie Chaplin

    City Lights is a 1931 American romantic comedy film written by, directed by, and starring Charlie Chaplin. The story follows the misadventures of Chaplin's Tramp as he falls in love with a blind girl...  more

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  • 21

    His Girl Friday

    Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell


    Directed byHoward Hawks

    His Girl Friday is a 1940 American screwball comedy film directed by Howard Hawks, from an adaptation by Charles Lederer, Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur of the play The Front Page by Hecht and...  more

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