The 22 funniest movies to keep the laughs coming

Everyone loves a good laugh. Whether it’s slapstick or a good rom-com, tickling that funny bone with a hilarious movie is a nice way to put a smile on your face and let the chuckles fly.

So, if you’re looking for a comedy to entertain you, let us help you. Here are some great choices, ranging from classics of yesteryear to more recent offerings and everything in between. So, grab your popcorn, settle into your favorite spot on your couch and get ready to find the flick to tickle your funny bone.

“Airplane!”

Julie Hagerty, Robert Hays  in
Julie Hagerty, Robert Hays in

This 1980 slapstick masterpiece parodies the 1957 disaster movie “Zero Hour!” and is filled with rapid dialogue and visual gags.

Robert Hays stars as a war veteran who follows his ex-girlfriend onto a plane where she’s a flight attendant in the hopes of winning her back. He’s pressed into action to save the day when everyone onboard falls ill after eating the in-flight meal. Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges, Julie Hagerty and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (in a hilarious performance) also star.

If you like this one, you should also check out “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!,” which also came from the same team that made “Airplane!”

“The Hangover”

The Hangover, 2009. Zack Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Todd Phillips.  (Alamy)
The Hangover, 2009. Zack Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Todd Phillips. (Alamy)

This 2009 comedy with Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, Justin Bartha and Heather Graham focuses on a group of friends who have to retrace their steps to find the groom after his buddies wake up in Las Vegas following a night of debauchery at his bachelor party to find him missing with no memory of what happened the night before. There's also a very memorable appearance by Mike Tyson. The comedy spawned a pair of sequels.

“Some Like It Hot”

Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot, 1959. (Alamy )
Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot, 1959. (Alamy )

We’re going old school here with this 1959 critically acclaimed classic that the American Film Institute named the funniest movie ever.

A pair of musicians have to disguise themselves as women to avoid mobsters hot on their trail. Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe star. The movie was nominated for six Oscars, winning one.

Tootsie

Dustin Hoffman (Everett Collection)
Dustin Hoffman (Everett Collection)

The idea of mining the image of a man dressing as a woman for laughs was also immensely successful in 1982’s “Tootsie,” which, perhaps coincidentally, was named the second funniest movie in history by the AFI.

This time around, Dustin Hoffman plays a temperamental actor who pretends to be a woman in order to land a part on a soap opera. The film was a sensation, earning nine Academy Award nominations, including best picture and best actor for Hoffman. Jessica Lange won the film’s lone Oscar for best supporting actress.

“Barbie”

Ryan Gosling as Ken in “BARBIE.” (Jaap Buitendijk / Warner Bros.)
Ryan Gosling as Ken in “BARBIE.” (Jaap Buitendijk / Warner Bros.)

One of the biggest movies of 2023, this Greta Gerwig-directed film based on the iconic toy is alternately funny and moving, showcasing Margot Robbie in the title role as she navigates the real world and learns the pitfalls that go along with it, while Ryan Gosling is spectacular as Ken. He and America Ferrera earned Oscar nominations for their respective performances, while Robbie and Gerwig were snubbed. Will Ferrell, Kate McKinnon and Simu Liu also star.

“Beverly Hills Cop”

Eddie Murphy in
Eddie Murphy in

Eddie Murphy had already transitioned from “Saturday Night Live” to movies with “48 Hrs.” and “Trading Places” by the time “Beverly Hills Cop” came out in 1984.

He was at the top of his game here, playing wisecracking Detroit cop Axel Foley, who clashes with the Beverly Hills police when he comes to town to figure out who killed his best friend. The movie led to two sequels, with a long-awaited fourth installment in the series on the way.

“Dumb and Dumber”

DUMB AND DUMBER, Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, 1994 (Everett Collection)
DUMB AND DUMBER, Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, 1994 (Everett Collection)

In this 1994 laugh riot, Jim Carrey is a, well, dumb limo driver who enlists equally dumb pal Jeff Daniels (or is he the dumber one?) to go on a road trip to return a briefcase to a woman Carrey brought to the airport. Carrey and Daniels are excellent in their portrayal of two idiots, which helps set the stage for several hilarious moments.

“There’s Something About Mary”

There's Something About Mary (20th Century Fox)
There's Something About Mary (20th Century Fox)

Ben Stiller plays a man who hires a shady private detective to help him reconnect with high school crush Mary (Cameron Diaz) in this 1998 flick, which also starred Matt Dillon and Chris Elliott. The problem is everyone seems to have a thing for Mary. What's not a problem? Finding laughs, which are all over the place.

“This Is Spinal Tap”

Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean.  (Alamy )
Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean. (Alamy )

One of the earliest movies to introduce the concept of the mockumentary, Rob Reiner’s landmark 1984 effort chronicles the tour of fictitious British metal band Spinal Tap, whose giant tour runs into one problem after another. Turn it up to 11 and make sure to watch this — and get ready because a sequel is coming.

“Annie Hall”

Diane Keaton, Woody Allen, Annie Hall, 1977.   (Alamy )
Diane Keaton, Woody Allen, Annie Hall, 1977. (Alamy )

Woody Allen was a bona fide sensation in this 1977 movie that he starred in and directed. He plays a comedian trying to understand why his relationship with Annie Hall, played by Diane Keaton, ended. It’s the rare comedy that won best picture and took home three other Oscars, including one for best director for Allen and best actress for Keaton.

“Big”

Big (Everett Collection)
Big (Everett Collection)

Tom Hanks ushered in a new era in his career with “Big,” a 1988 hit about a boy whose wish to be big is taken quite literally when he wakes up one day to discover he is an adult. Hanks is sweet and on point as a boy trapped in a man’s body. The movie hits all the right notes with humor derived from Hanks’ effortlessly portraying a child, but he also showcased a vulnerability and dramatic side he would display in later roles.

“Bridesmaids”

Rose Byrne is a blonde now (Universal Pictures)
Rose Byrne is a blonde now (Universal Pictures)

Kristen Wiig plays a woman whose life is a mess in this 2011 comedy. Things don’t exactly get much better when she has to serve as maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding and help her prep for the big day. Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy — in a scene-stealing performance — also star.

“Legally Blonde”

Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blind, 2001.  (Alamy )
Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blind, 2001. (Alamy )

It’s hard to imagine, but Reese Witherspoon was not a superstar when this smash 2001 comedy was released, but she would be once it was. She plays cheery Elle Woods, who tries to win back her ex-boyfriend by following him to Harvard Law School and ultimately defies the prejudices against blondes and helps win a big case. The movie spawned a sequel and a Broadway show, while a third film is in the works.

“The 40-Year-Old Virgin”

Steve Carell in The 40 Year Old Virgin (Universal Pictures)
Steve Carell in The 40 Year Old Virgin (Universal Pictures)

In this 2005 hit, Steve Carell is the title character, Andy, whose co-workers at the electronics store where he works are determined to help him bust his four-decade slump, while Catherine Keener plays the woman who ultimately captures his heart. Plus, there’s the great scene where Carell gives a shoutout to Kelly Clarkson. Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen also star.

“Office Space”

Office Space (Alamy)
Office Space (Alamy)

Yeah, we're going to go ahead and need you to check this out. Anyone who’s ever felt frustrated or invisible working in a cubicle will relate to this comedy, which bombed when it came out in 1999, but has since developed a cult following.

Ron Livingston stars as a fed up worker at a tech company who decides to get revenge with some equally disgruntled colleagues. Jennifer Aniston plays his love interest and Gary Cole shines as his annoying boss.

“Spaceballs”

Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, John Candy in Spaceballs, 1987.  (Alamy )
Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, John Candy in Spaceballs, 1987. (Alamy )

“The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” “High Anxiety.” The Mel Brooks canon is the stuff of legend. We’ll suggest this 1987 parody of “Star Wars” and other iconic flicks. Bill Pullman plays a renegade pilot who must save a princess from the evil President Skroob and Darth Helmet. John Candy, Rick Moranis, Daphne Zuniga and Joan Rivers also star.

“Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”

Will Ferrell  (Alamy)
Will Ferrell (Alamy)

You simply can’t have a list of great comedies without Will Ferrell, right? In this 2004 offering, he plays Burgundy, a pompous San Diego anchorman in the 1970s who struggles to accept his new female colleague, played by Christina Applegate. Heck, Ferrell was so into the character that he once appeared as Burgundy on TODAY! Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner also star in this comedy, which sparked a 2009 sequel.

“National Lampoon’s Vacation”

National Lampoon's Vacation (Alamy )
National Lampoon's Vacation (Alamy )

In this 1983 smash, Chevy Chase is suburban dad Clark Griswold, who leads his family to the fictional Wally World amusement park on a road trip, where everything goes hilariously wrong. Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid and Christie Brinkley also star.

“National Lampoon's Animal House”

John Belushi  (Alamy )
John Belushi (Alamy )

The unruly and troublemaking Delta Tau Chi fraternity is at odds with the dean of Faber College in this 1978 comedy, which helped propel John Belushi to comedy superstar. Tim Matheson, Tom Hulce, James Widdoes, Peter Riegert and a very young Kevin Bacon also star.

If you like the subject matter, also give “Old School” a try. It’s a comedy where a group of friends in their 30s (Will Ferrell, Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn), decides to start a fraternity.

“Palm Springs”

Cristin Milioti and Andy Samberg (Alamy )
Cristin Milioti and Andy Samberg (Alamy )

The idea of someone living the same day over and over isn't new, but that didn't stop this movie from striking a chord with fans. Released during the pandemic in 2020, this movie follows a pair of guests at a destination wedding (Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti) trapped in a time loop who fall for each other, all while living the same day over and over.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

Alan Ruck (left), Matthew Broderick (center) and Mia Sara (right) had a day of fun skipping school in
Alan Ruck (left), Matthew Broderick (center) and Mia Sara (right) had a day of fun skipping school in

Matthew Broderick’s portrayal of a lovable and clever scamp’s day of hooky while outfoxing his principal determined to expose him in this 1986 flick continues to delight audiences and fans still love seeing Ferris and his best buddy, Cameron, get together. Will this be the last of Ferris we see? Who knows, since a spinoff film is in the works.

“Back to the Future”

still from Back to the Future (Alamy Stock Photo)
still from Back to the Future (Alamy Stock Photo)

It seems only fitting that a movie about time travel is as timeless as this one is. Michael J. Fox is Marty McFly, a teen in 1985 who accidentally winds up in 1955 and has to get back home. Christopher Lloyd, Thomas F. Wilson, Lea Thompson and Crispin Glover also star and the cast sends fans into a tizzy when they reunite. The movie spawned two sequels and was the inspiration for a Broadway musical.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com