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The Funniest Classic Wacky Comedies, Ranked

Updated July 27, 2020 2.3k votes 273 voters 6.0k 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.

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  • Young Frankenstein1
    124
    23

    Young Frankenstein

    Gene Hackman, Mel Brooks

    Released1974

    Directed byMel Brooks

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  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail2
    128
    28

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

    Released1975

    Directed byTerry Gilliam, Terry Jones

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1975 British comedy film written and performed by the...  more

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  • Blazing Saddles3
    131
    31

    Blazing Saddles

    Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder

    Released1974

    Directed byMel Brooks

    Blazing Saddles is a 1974 satirical Western comedy film directed by Mel Brooks. Starring...  more

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  • Airplane!4
    113
    27

    Airplane!

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen

    Released1980

    Directed byJerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker

    Airplane! is a 1980 American satirical disaster comedy film directed and written by David...  more

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  • History of the World, Part I5
    79
    36

    History of the World, Part I

    Mel Brooks, Orson Welles

    Released1981

    Directed byMel Brooks

    History of the World, Part I is a 1981 comedy film written, produced, and directed by Mel...  more

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  • Monty Python's Life of Brian6
    79
    37

    Monty Python's Life of Brian

    George Harrison, John Cleese

    Released1979

    Directed byTerry Jones

    Monty Python's Life of Brian, also known as Life of Brian, is a 1979 British comedy film...  more

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  • The Jerk7
    75
    47

    The Jerk

    Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters

    Released1979

    Directed byCarl Reiner

    The Jerk is a 1979 American comedy film directed by Carl Reiner and written by Steve Martin,...  more

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  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World8
    74
    52

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

    Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy

    Released1963

    Directed byStanley Kramer

    It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is a 1963 American epic comedy film produced and directed by...  more

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  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb9

    Released1964

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, more commonly known as...  more

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  • Duck Soup10
    60
    40

    Duck Soup

    Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx

    Released1933

    Directed byLeo McCarey

    Duck Soup is a 1933 Marx Brothers anarchic comedy film written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby,...  more

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  • Up in Smoke11
    60
    48

    Up in Smoke

    Dick Elliott, Huntz Hall

    Released1957

    Directed byWilliam Beaudine

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

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  • High Anxiety12
    42
    40

    High Anxiety

    Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn

    Released1977

    Directed byMel Brooks

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  • A Shot in the Dark13
    42
    40

    A Shot in the Dark

    Peter Sellers, Elke Sommer

    Released1964

    Directed byBlake Edwards

    A Shot in the Dark is a 1964 comedy film directed by Blake Edwards and is the second...  more

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  • The Kentucky Fried Movie14
    35
    36

    The Kentucky Fried Movie

    Donald Sutherland, Tina Louise

    Released1977

    Directed byJohn Landis

    The Kentucky Fried Movie is an 1977 American anthology comedy film, released in 1977 and...  more

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  • The Nutty Professor15
    38
    43

    The Nutty Professor

    Jerry Lewis, Stella Stevens

    Released1963

    Directed byJerry Lewis

    The Nutty Professor is a 1963 American comic science fiction feature film produced, directed,...  more

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  • The Pink Panther16
    64
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    The Pink Panther

    Peter Sellers, Claudia Cardinale

    Released1963

    Directed byBlake Edwards

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  • Bananas17
    28
    40

    Bananas

    Sylvester Stallone, Woody Allen

    Released1971

    Directed byWoody Allen

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  • His Girl Friday18
    21
    38

    His Girl Friday

    Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell

    Released1940

    Directed byHoward Hawks

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  • Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein19
    51
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    Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

    Vincent Price, Bela Lugosi

    Released1948

    Directed byCharles Barton

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  • The General20
    17
    48

    The General

    Boris Karloff, Mike Donlin

    Released1926

    Directed byBuster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman

    The General is a 1926 American silent comedy film released by United Artists. Inspired by the...  more

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  • City Lights21
    23
    92

    City Lights

    Charlie Chaplin, Jean Harlow

    Released1931

    Directed byCharlie Chaplin

    City Lights is a 1931 American romantic comedy film written by, directed by, and starring...  more

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