Throughout the selection process to find the funniest comedies, we kept echoing the same mantra: “Is this movie really that good?” The answer was consistent: shouts of “it’s hilarious!” were parried just as assuredly by “it sucks!” Comedy, we quickly discovered, is just as diverse and polarizing as drama. Really the two aren’t so different. The best of both make us think and elicit a strong emotional response; the worst of both make us reach for our Hollywood-producer-window-breakin’-brick. Both are near and dear to our hearts because we identify with them. After an irrational amount of hemming and hawing we came up with our fifty favorite funny movies, ranging from slapstick to black-as-they-come to downright strange. Regardless of their tone, each of our picks bring just the right amount of levity to keep us smiling.

Now, without further ado, grab some popcorn, queue up the comedy flick, sit back, and dim the lights. The show’s about to start.

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Methodology: like our books piece, the selections for our Definitive Men’s Movie Collection represent our favorites, “considered in the light of how much they changed our lives, and might change yours.” If it makes you feel any better that your favorite flick didn’t make the cut, consider that one of our auditors, in a moment of weakness, tried to get Nick Cage’s Ghostrider on the docket. Taste is subjective, so take this for what it’s worth.
dirty_rotten_scoundrels_xlg Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
When two rival con-men, played by Steve Martin and Michael Caine, realize that the French riviera isn’t big enough for the both of them, they engage in a friendly competition: the first one to con an American soap heiress out of $50,000 gets to stay.
Amazon DVD
Planes,-Trains-and-Automobiles-movie-poster Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Travel companions can suck. How much? Steve Martin finds out with the help of a clueless boob played beautifully by John Candy.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / Netflix / iTunes
austin-powers-international-man-of-mystery-1997 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Mike Meyers is at his best in the genius foil of 007. Stupid humor? Absolutely. But it hits the mark. This sort of thing is our bag, baby.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / iTunes
big_lebowski_ver1_xlg The Big Lebowski
A movie that is, in hindsight, about a whole lot of nothing…and bowling. There are a lot of ins, outs, what-have-yous, though. See what the obsessive quoting is all about.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / iTunes
swingers_ver2 Swingers
Vince Vaughn teaches Jon Favreau (both in significantly skinnier forms) how to be cool as they peruse the LA lounge scene. So Money.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / iTunes
graduate The Graduate
A classic coming of age film featuring Ann Bancroft, Katherine Ross and an Alfa Spider. Win, Win and Win.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / iTunes
trading-places-movie-poster-1983-1020193663 Trading Places
Eddie Murphy is a beggar and Dan Akroid is a slightly snobbish banker; they swap roles at the whim of two stodgy old dudes. Both Akroid and Murphy at their absolute best. For bonus points, watch it around Christmas time.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / Netflix / iTunes
caddyshack_ver2_xlg Caddyshack
The goings-on at an exclusive Country Club in the 80’s. The main plot centers around Chevy Chase as Danny, a caddy trying to save up for college. The movie also focuses on the club’s eccentric members, pesky rodents, and general Chase-, Murray- and Dangerfield-induced antics.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / iTunes
death_at_a_funeral Death at a Funeral
The funeral of an eccentric, dysfunctional family’s patriarch spirals out of control as his purported gay lover makes an appearance. Prepare yourself for quality British humor.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / Netflix / iTunes
hangover The Hangover
Guys being guys.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download/ iTunes
animal_house_ver1 National Lampoon’s Animal House
Belushi, Bacon, Sutherland, that cute girl from Raiders of the Lost Ark; the “College” sweatshirt, Germans bombing Pearl Harbor, and food fights. If you haven’t seen it, do so immediately.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / iTunes
Happy-Gilmore-1996-movie-poster Happy Gilmore
Before Adam Sandler did the actor equivalent of panhandling on a street corner by making Grown Ups (and Grown Ups 2), he played a hockey player-turned-golfer in this mid-90’s classic. The game of golf has never been the same…don’t act like you haven’t tried to drive the ball like him at the range.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / Netflix / iTunes
airplane_xlg Airplane!
“Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?”
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / iTunes
ferris_buellers_day_off Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
A fast-thinking student decides to take the day off. Hijinks ensue. We wish we had been this cool in high school.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / Netflix / iTunes
1984-this-is-spinal-tap-poster1 This Is Spinal Tap
So big that it defined its own genre, this rockumentary about Spinal Tap, the world’s loudest band, is still one of the funniest movies ever made.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / iTunes

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young_frankenstein_xlg Young Frankenstein
The infamous Dr. Frankenstein’s grandson returns to Transylvania as the sole heir to his family estate, where he becomes obsessed with reviving the dead. A black and white spoof-style send up of the original Mary Shelley story; Gene Wilder helms a monster cast in a genius masterpiece.
Amazon DVD
blazing-saddles-movie-poster-1974-1020167549 Blazing Saddles
In a dastardly plot to demolish the sleepy Wild West town of Rock Ridge in order to build a profitable railway, a new sheriff is installed in the hopes that he, a black man (!), will offend residents enough to drive them away. Classic, madcap, star-studded satire.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / iTunes
ghostbusters_ver3_xlg Ghostbusters
When Gozer the Gozerian tries to stage an unholy comeback via possessed persons, a crew of NYC-based parapsychologists are forced to battle evil itself (and a huge marshmallow man), all while covered in funky ectoplasm and spouting wit at every turn.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / Netflix / iTunes
blues_brothers_ver1_xlg The Blues Brothers
The Blues Brothers are on a mission from God to save the orphanage that saved them years before. To raise funds, they’ll have to get the band back together while evading capture from an increasing hoard of pissed-off people left in their wake. With more cameos than you can shake a tambourine at, this film is rife with quotable lines, timeless performances and incredible music.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / iTunes
duck_soup_xlg Duck Soup
In perhaps the most original, zany and classic comedy ever made, The Marx Brothers — fresh off the vaudeville circuit — are at their finest. Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) steps in as leader of Freedonia, a bankrupt country, to lead them to financial stability…though perhaps he wasn’t the best choice.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / Netflix / iTunes
army-of-darkness-movie-poster-1993-1020170568 Army of Darkness
The third installment in the Evil Dead trilogy, Army of Darkness is over the top cranked up to 11. Bruce Campbell is truly at his finest by Raimi’s side. The name’s Ash. Housewares.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / iTunes
dazedoct10 Dazed and Confused
All right, all right, all right…watch it, if only to see why everyone loves Matthew McConaughey.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / iTunes
fletch-movie-poster-1985-1020192873 Fletch
A quick-witted L.A. journalist and die hard Lakers fan snoops around a little too much when tapped for a favor, and calamity ensues, in typical mid-80s fashion. Chevy Chase in arguably one of his best roles.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / iTunes
beverly-hills-cop-poster Beverly Hills Cop
The movie that taught every man how to lose a tail — the old banana in the tailpipe trick.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / iTunes
Anchorman Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Outrageous. Completely over the top. And yet, it set the bar for all comedies that came out in the past decade. The mustache never looked so awesome, and the 1970s never looked so funny. Prepare yourself for Anchorman 2, coming out in December.
Amazon DVD / Amazon Download / iTunes

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