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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Trading Places (1983)
In this classic ’80s film, a snobby investor (Dan Aykroyd) and a wily street con artist (Eddie Murphy) find their positions in life switched as part of a bet by two callous millionaires. The cast is great, and the two leads make the most of their characters (both as brokers and bums) but never overstep the mark, thanks partly to the tight editing. The plot becomes a little bizarre, but by that time you’re already hooked, and the ending is pure joy. To make a long story short, this might be Eddie Murphy’s finest moment.
A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
This extremely underrated movie is literally a work of comic genius. Like any good film, the screenplay is at the heart of the belly laughs. Every character is given a detailed personality quirk or two, and then it is shamefully exploited for laugh after laugh. British humor at its best, indeed.
Tropic Thunder (2008)
Through a series of freak events, a group of actors shooting a big-budget war movie are forced to become the soldiers they are portraying. Robert Downey Jr. playing a hard-core African American soldier is simply epic.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
“The Dude” Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire with the same surname, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it. I personally didn’t love this film, but I know tons of people who consider it one of the greatest comedies ever. I am still trying to figure out what the point of the story is and where the humor is. Sorry guys!
The Hangover (2009)
In what many consider the greatest comedy of this generation, three buddies wake up from a bachelor party in Las Vegas with no memory of the previous night and the bachelor missing. They make their way around the city in order to find their friend before his wedding. Zach Galifianakis is simply hilarious to watch.