'Annie Hall' Named Funniest Screenplay by Writers Guild

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Diane Keaton and Woody Allen in ‘Annie Hall’ (Everett Collection)

By Dave McNary

Annie Hall has been named the funniest screenplay in voting by the members of the Writers Guild of America.

The script by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman topped Some Like it Hot, Groundhog Day, Airplane! and Tootsie, which make up the rest of the top five. Young Frankenstein, Dr. Strangelove, Blazing Saddles, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and National Lampoon’s Animal House rounded out the top 10.

The awards for the 101 funniest screenplays were announced at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood at the conclusion of two hours of panel discussions and clips, hosted by Rob Reiner. He noted that his This Is Spinal Tap script had finished at the No. 11 spot — a coincidence that recalled the “go to 11” amplifier joke in the film. The Annie Hall screenplay won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1977. Allen had six other scripts on the list — Sleeper, Bananas, Take the Money and Run, Broadway Danny Rose, Love and Death and Manhattan.The late Harold Ramis had two scripts in the top 10 with Groundhog Day and Animal House, along with Ghostbusters at No. 14 and Caddyshack at No. 25. Preston Sturgess had four scripts on the list with The Lady Eve, Sullivan’s Travels, The Palm Beach Story and The Miracle of Morgan Creek. Mel Brooks had three scripts in the top dozen — Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles and The Producers.

The list included Charlie Chaplin’s 1925 silent The Gold Rush, which came in at No. 94 and was the oldest title on the list. One other silent, 1926’s The General, was on the list at No. 56 for the script written by Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman and adapted by Al Boasberg and Charles Smith.

The most recent title was 2011’s Bridesmaids by Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, which was voted No. 16. The second most recent film script was 2009’s The Hangover by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, which finished No. 30; the third most recent was 2007’s Superbad by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, which came in 68th.

Airplane! writers Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker received plenty of affection during the panel discussions. “‘Airplane’ is a towering masterpiece, as important to comedy as Psycho is to thrillers” said Alexander Payne, whose scripts for Sideways and Election made the list.

Buck Henry, whose scripts for The Graduate and What’s Up Doc? were on the list, received the evening’s only standing ovation. “Buck Henry and The Graduate is why I became a writer,” said Randi Mayem Singer, whose Mrs. Doubtfire was 99th on the list.

Don Roos received one of the biggest laughs of the night when Reiner asked him about his screenplay: “What is The Opposite of Sex?” “I’m living it,” Roos responded.

Roos then correctly predicted that Annie Hall would top the list.

The WGA East announced the winners in New York at the New School Auditorium in Greenwich Village.

The complete list follows:

1. Annie Hall
Written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman
1977
UA

2. Some Like It Hot
Screenplay by Billy Wilder & I.A. L. Diamond, Based on the German film
Fanfare of Love by Robert Thoeren and M. Logan
1959
UA

3. Groundhog Day
Screenplay by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis, Story by Danny Rubin
1993
Columbia

4. Airplane!
Written by James Abrahams & David Zucker & Jerry Zucker
1980
Paramount

5. Tootsie
Screenplay by Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal, Story by Don McGuire
and Larry Gelbart
1982
Columbia

6. Young Frankenstein
Screenplay by Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks, Screen Story by Gene Wilder
and Mel Brooks, Based on Characters in the Novel Frankenstein by Mary
Wollstonecraft Shelley
1974
20th Century Fox

7. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Peter George and Terry Southern
1964
Columbia

8. Blazing Saddles
Screenplay by Mel Brooks, Norman Steinberg, Andrew Bergman, Richard
Pryor, Alan Uger, Story by Andrew Bergman
1974
Warner Bros.

9. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Written by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle,
Terry Jones, Michael Palin
1975
Cinema 5

10. National Lampoon’s Animal House
Written by Harold Ramis & Douglas Kenney & Chris Miller
1978
Universal

11. This Is Spinal Tap
Written by Christopher Guest & Michael McKean & Rob Reiner & Harry Shearer
1984
Embassy

12. The Producers
Written by Mel Brooks
1967
AVCO Embassy

13. The Big Lebowski
Written by Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
1998
Gramercy

14. Ghostbusters
Written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis
1984
Columbia

15. When Harry Met Sally…
Written by Nora Ephron
1989
Columbia

16. Bridesmaids
Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
2011
Universal

17. Duck Soup
Story by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, Additional Dialogue by Arthur
Sheekman and Nat Perrin
1933
Paramount

18. There’s Something About Mary
Screenplay by John J. Strauss & Ed Decter and Peter Farrelly & Bobby
Farrelly, Story by Ed Decter & John J. Strauss
1998
20th Century Fox

19. The Jerk
Screenplay by Steve Martin, Carl Gottlieb, Michael Elias, Story by
Steve Martin & Carl Gottlieb
1979
Universal

20. A Fish Called Wanda
Screenplay by John Cleese, Story by John Cleese & Charles Crichton
1988
MGM

21. His Girl Friday
Screenplay by Charles Lederer, Based on the Play “The Front Page” by
Ben Hecht & Charles MacArthur1940
Columbia

22. The Princess Bride
Screenplay by William Goldman, Based on Goldman’s Novel of the Same Name
1987
20th Century Fox

23. Raising Arizona
Written by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
1987
20th Century Fox

24. Bringing Up Baby
Screenplay by Hagar Wilde and Dudley Nichols, Story by Hagar Wilde
1938
RKO

25. Caddyshack
Written by Brian Doyle-Murray & Harold Ramis & Douglas Kenney
1980
Orion

26. Monty Python’s Life Of Brian
Written by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle,
Terry Jones, Michael Palin
1979
Orion

27. The Graduate
Screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry, Based on the Novel by
Charles Webb
1967
Embassy

28. The Apartment
Written by Billy Wilder & I.A.L. Diamond
1960
UA

29. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation
of Kazakhstan
Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham & Dan
Mazer, Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Peter Baynham & Anthony Hines &
Todd Phillips, Based on a Character Created by Sacha Baron Cohen
2006
20th Century Fox

30. The Hangover
Written by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
2009
Warner Bros.

31. The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Written by Judd Apatow & Steve Carell
2005
Universal

32. The Lady Eve
Screenplay by Preston Sturges, Story by Monckton Hoffe
1941
Paramount

33.Ferris Bueller’s Day Off *TIE
Written by John Hughes
1986
Paramount

###

Trading Places *TIE
Written by Timothy Harris & Herschel Weingrod
1983
Paramount

35. Sullivan’s Travels
Written by Preston Sturges
1941
Paramount

36. Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Written by John Hughes
1987
Paramount

37. The Philadelphia Story
Screenplay by Donald Ogden Stewart, Based on the Play by Philip Barry
1940
MGM

38. A Night at the Opera
Screen Play by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, From a Story by
James Kevin McGuinness
1935
MGM

39. Rushmore
Written by Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson
1998
Touchstone/BV

40. Waiting for Guffman
Written by Christopher Guest & Eugene Levy
1996
Sony Pics Classics

41. The Odd Couple
Screenplay by Neil Simon, From the Play by Neil Simon as Produced on
the Stage by Saint-Subber
1968
Paramount

42. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
Written by Jerry Zucker & Jim Abrahams & David Zucker & Pat Proft,
Based on the Television Series Police Squad! Created by Jim Abrahams &
David Zucker & Jerry Zucker
1988
Paramount

43. Office Space
Written for the Screen by Mike Judge, Based on the “Milton” Animated
Shorts by Mike Judge
1999
20th Century Fox

44. Big
Written by Anne Spielberg & Gary Ross
1988
20th Century Fox

45. National Lampoon’s Vacation
Screenplay by John Hughes
1983
Warner Bros.

46. Midnight Run
Written by George Gallo
1988
Universal

47. It Happened One Night
Screenplay by Robert Riskin, Based on the Short Story by Samuel Hopkins Adams
1934
Columbia

48. M*A*S*H
Screenplay by Ring Lardner, Jr., From the Novel by Richard Hooker
1970
20th Century Fox

49. Harold and Maude
Written by Colin Higgins
1971
Paramount

50. Shaun of the Dead
Written by Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright
2004
Focus (Universal)

51. Broadcast News
Written by James L. Brooks
1987
20th Century Fox

52. Arthur
Written by Steven Gordon
1981
Orion

53. Four Weddings and a Funeral
Written by Richard Curtis
1994
Gramercy

54. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy *TIE
Written by Will Ferrell & Adam McKay
2004
Dreamworks

###

Dumb and Dumber *TIE
Written by Peter Farrelly & Bennett Yellin & Bob Farrelly
1994
New Line

56. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Written by Mike Myers
1997
New Line

57. The General
Written by Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman, Adapted by Al Boasberg
and Charles Smith
1926
United Artists

58. What’s Up, Doc?
Screenplay by Buck Henry and David Newman & Robert Benton, Story by
Peter Bogdanovich
1972
Warner Bros.

59. Wedding Crashers
Written by Steve Faber & Bob Fisher
2005
New Line

60. Sleeper
Written by Woody Allen & Marshall Brickman
1973
United Artists

61. Galaxy Quest
Screenplay by David Howard and Robert Gordon, Story by David Howard
1999
Dreamworks

62. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Screenplay by William and Tania Rose, Story by William and Tania Rose
1963
United Artists

63. Best in Show
Written by Christopher Guest & Eugene Levy
2000
Warner Bros.

64. Little Miss Sunshine
Written by Michael D. Arndt
2006
Fox Searchlight

65. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
Written by Trey Parker & Matt Stone & Pam Brady
1999
Paramount

66. Being There
Screenplay by Jerzy Kosinski, Inspired by the Novel by Jerzy Kosinski
1979
United Artists

67. Back to the Future
Written by Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale
1985
Universal

68.Superbad
Written by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg
2007
Columbia

69. Bananas
Written by Woody Allen, Mickey Rose
1971
United Artists

70. Moonstruck
Written by John Patrick Shanley
1987
MGM

71. Clueless
Written by Amy Heckerling
1995
Paramount

72. The Palm Beach Story
Written by Preston Sturges
1942
Paramount

73. The Pink Panther
Written by Maurice Richlin & Blake Edwards
1963
United Artists

74. The Blues Brothers
Written by Dan Aykroyd and John Landis
1980
Universal

75. Coming to America
Screenplay by David Sheffield & Barry W. Blaustein, Story by Eddie Murphy
1988
Paramount

76. Take the Money and Run
Screenplay by Woody Allen and Mickey Rose, Story by Jackson Beck
1969
Cinerama

77. Election
Screenplay by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, Based on the Novel by Tom Perrotta
1999
Paramount

78. Love and Death
Written by Woody Allen
1975
United Artists

79. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels *TIE
Written by Dale Launer and Stanley Shapiro & Paul Henning
1988
Orion

###

Lost in America *TIE
Written by Albert Brooks & Monica Johnson
1985
Warner Bros.

81. Manhattan
Written by Woody Allen & Marshall Brickman
1979
United Artists

82. Modern Times
Written by Charles Chaplin
1936
United Artists

83. My Cousin Vinny
Written by Dale Launer
1992
20th Century Fox

84. Mean Girls
Screenplay by Tina Fey, Based on the Book Queen Bees and Wannabes by
Rosalind Wiseman
2004
Paramount

85. Meet the Parents
Screenplay by Jim Herzfeld and John Hamburg, Story by Greg Glienna &
Mary Ruth Clarke
2000
Universal

86. Fargo
Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
1996
Gramercy

87. My Favorite Year
Screenplay by Dennis Palumbo and Norman Steinberg, Story by Dennis Palumbo
1982
MGM

88. Stripes
Written by Len Blum & Dan Goldberg and Harold Ramis
1981
Columbia

89. Beverly Hills Cop
Screenplay by Daniel Petrie, Jr., Story by Danilo Bach and Daniel Petrie, Jr.
1984
Paramount

90. City Lights
Written by Charles Chaplin
1931
United Artists

91. Sideways
Screenplay by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, Based on the Novel by Rex Pickett
2004
Fox Searchlight

92. Broadway Danny Rose
Written by Woody Allen
1984
Orion

93. Swingers
Written by Jon Favreau
1996
Miramax

94. The Gold Rush
Written by Charles Chaplin
1925
United Artists

95. The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek
Written by Preston Sturges
1944
Paramount

96. All About Eve
Screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Based on the Short Story and Radio
Program “The Wisdom of Eve” by Mary Orr
1950
20th Century Fox

97. Arsenic and Old Lace
Screenplay by Julius Epstein & Philip G. Epstein, Based on the Play by
Joseph Kesselring
1944
Warner Bros.

98. The Royal Tenenbaums
Written by Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson
2001
Touchstone/BV

99. Mrs. Doubtfire
Screenplay by Randi Mayem Singer and Leslie Dixon, Based on Alias
Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine
1993
20th Century Fox

100. Flirting with Disaster
Written by David O. Russell
1996
Miramax

101. Shakespeare in Love
Written by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard
1998
Miramax