Coming up with the 50 funniest scenes in the history of cinema turned out to be much easier than I expected, thanks to the stellar efforts of our readership, who essentially nominated hundreds of clips to choose from. Narrowing it down to 50 was another matter, and then attempting to rank them in order of hilariousness was an almost impossible task. But we rank, therefore we are. There’s not a lot of fun to be had in a perfect list; it forecloses the possibility of discussion. And if I haven’t left off a few of your favorite scenes, then you haven’t seen enough comedies, and if you’re completely happy with the way these scenes are ranked, you are either an idiot, separated at me from birth, or both. There’s no scientific method to ranking funny — it’s largely a matter of weighing a film’s classic status along with the amount of pain each scene caused my ribs. It was essentially an all day exercise, and by the end of it, I had to have my spleen removed.
That said, if you’re a fan of Peter Sellers, Bill Murray, John Cleese, or Steve Martin, you’re probably going to like this list more than not. But if you’re knowledge of comedies extends only back to 1990 or so, you’ll probably be a little lost. Like no Guide we’ve ever put together, this one goes back even to the silent era, though obviously modern sensibilities were weighed in the decision-making factor. I will also note that many of the movies that scenes were taken from had dozens of scenes to choose from, but out of fairness, there’s only one scene per movie included among the top 50, which offers yet another opportunity for you folks to take umbrage.
At any rate, here are your 50 Funniest Movie Scenes of All Time. There’s a lot here NSFW, and there’s a couple of hours, at least, of humor to be had on this page. Bookmark it. Come back to it on days that life pummels you. If laughter is indeed the best medicine, there’s enough here for a few overdoses.
50. The Pink Panther Strikes Again featuring Peter Sellers
49. Duck Soup, featuring Harpo & Groucho Marx
48. Ghostbusters featuring Bill Murray
47. Wet Hot American Summer, featuring Michael Showalter and Christopher Meloni
46. Best in Show, featuring Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock
45. The Birdcage, featuring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane
44. Little Miss Sunshine featuring Abigal Breslin
43. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels featuring Steven Martin and Michael Caine
42. Austin Powers featuring Carrie Fisher, Seth Green, and Mike Meyers
41. Love and Death featuring Woody Allen and Diane Keaton