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The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked 

Ranker Film
Updated July 27, 2020 1.9k votes 266 voters 5.7k views 21 items

List Rules Vote 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.

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1
Monty Python and the Hol... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle

Released: 1975

Directed by: Terry 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 ...more

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2
Young Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Gene Hackman, Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder

Released: 1974

Directed by: Mel 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 ...more

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3
Blazing Saddles is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, Anne Bancroft

Released: 1974

Directed by: Mel 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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4
Airplane! is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Christine Hennig added Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen, Ethel Merman

Released: 1980

Directed by: Jerry 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 ...more

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5
History of the World, Pa... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Mel Brooks, Orson Welles, Hugh Hefner

Released: 1981

Directed by: Mel 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, ...more

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6
Life of Brian is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
George Harrison, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

Released: 1979

Directed by: Terry 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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7
The Jerk is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Rob Reiner

Released: 1979

Directed by: Carl 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 ...more

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8
The Pink Panther is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Peter Sellers, Claudia Cardinale, David Niven

Released: 1963

Directed by: Blake 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
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Ma... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy, Buster Keaton

Released: 1963

Directed by: Stanley 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 ...more

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10
Dr. Strangelove or: How ... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
James Earl Jones, Peter Sellers, George C. Scott

Released: 1964

Directed by: Stanley 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 ...more

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11
Duck Soup is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Zeppo Marx

Released: 1933

Directed by: Leo 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 ...more

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12
Up in Smoke is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Dick Elliott, Huntz Hall, David Gorcey

Released: 1957

Directed by: William Beaudine

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13
Abbott and Costello Meet... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Vincent Price, Bela Lugosi, Lou Costello

Released: 1948

Directed by: Charles Barton

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein, or Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein —although the film is usually referred to as simply Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein—is a 1948 ...more

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14
High Anxiety is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn, Dick Van Patten

Released: 1977

Directed by: Mel 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 ...more

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15
A Shot in the Dark is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Peter Sellers, Elke Sommer, George Sanders

Released: 1964

Directed by: Blake 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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16
The Kentucky Fried Movie... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Donald Sutherland, Tina Louise, Leslie Nielsen

Released: 1977

Directed by: John 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, ...more

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17
The Nutty Professor is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Jerry Lewis, Stella Stevens, Henry Gibson

Released: 1963

Directed by: Jerry 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 ...more

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18
Bananas is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Sylvester Stallone, Woody Allen, Danny DeVito

Released: 1971

Directed by: Woody 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 ...more

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19
City Lights is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Charlie Chaplin, Jean Harlow, Virginia Cherrill

Released: 1931

Directed by: Charlie 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 ...more

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20
His Girl Friday is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
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Released: 1940

Directed by: Howard 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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21
The General is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked
Boris Karloff, Mike Donlin, Glen Cavender

Released: 1926

Directed by: Buster 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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