In a modern sense, comedy refers to any discourse or work generally intended to be humorous or to amuse by inducing laughter, especially in theater, television, film, and stand-up comedy. The origins of the term, however, can be traced to ancient Greece, from where the word comedy derives (komodia). During the age of Athenian democracy, people enjoyed themselves and had a wonderful time at the theaters of that golden era, whereas today people usually do so in front of their home TV screens. With the spread of film throughout the world in the twentieth century, the talent of comedians reached the general public, and Charlie Chaplin, through silent film, became the first global comedic icon. Since Chaplin’s times, however, there have been numerous other comedians who starred in some of the most hilarious films. From Peter Sellers and Gene Wilder, to Chevy Chase and Jim Carrey, these funny and talented actors have made generations of people laugh from their hearts while enjoying a good comedy. So, are you one of those people who loves a good comedy, and if so, which ones are your favorites? Hopefully you find many of them in the 25 Most Hilarious Comedy Films Of All Time that follow.
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Young Frankenstein (1974)
Young Frankenstein might not be your typical Mel Brooks film because Gene Wilder, who not only stars but also co-wrote it with Mel, was the inspiration behind the movie. This is one of those odd films that is so outlandish and makes fun of itself so much that it sucks the viewer into its twisted world and doesn’t let up until the final credits roll. If you love comedies but haven’t seen Young Frankenstein, you’re in for a real treat. After four decades, it still makes people who see it for the first time laugh themselves stupid.
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
The gritty, ugly reality of rock music is on display in director Marty DiBergi’s unsparing rockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, which chronicles the British metal band’s tour through the United States in the latter part of 1982. Rolling Stones called it the funniest film ever about rock ‘n’ roll.
The Jerk (1979)
An idiotic man struggles to make it through life on his own in St. Louis, and this is the best Steve Martin movie ever. Now that we think about it, Steve was pretty funny back then.
The Great Dictator (1940)
In this side-splitting film, dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution by Hynkel’s regime. This is arguably the best film of the king of comedy Charlie Chaplin, where he picks on Adolf Hitler and delivers a comedic masterpiece.
It’s rare for a director to pull off a successful blend of two different movie genres, but the creators of Ghostbusters did this quite well. On the one hand, you have the comedic charm of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, and on the other, a genuine ghostly spookiness that makes you want to hide under the blanket. This ’80s classic is ideal for all seasons and all ages.