There is no better cure to any ailment than laughter. Comedy has the versatility to promote happiness, get through grief, distract the mind, and find true meaning. Still, like any other artform, comedy tends to evolve as time goes on, meaning what was funny 20 years ago might not hold up today.
Regardless, there are plenty of comedic films that still give the same level of laughs as they did in the past. Without further ado, below will list seven of what I feel are incredibly iconic comedy films that are as funny today as they once were. Keep in mind, a film has to be at least twenty years old to fall on this list, and these aren’t the only films that could fall on this list. Nevertheless, let’s take a look!
1. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Logline: An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a War Room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.
What’s not to love about Stanley Kubrick? Kubrick’s masterful 1964 political satire took a spin on the war-room setting that wasn’t commonly seen. Originally blasted for being unpatriotic, the film has become a staple on how pushing the boundaries can influence film forever.
2. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
Logline: A man must struggle to travel home for Thanksgiving with a lovable oaf of a shower curtain ring salesman as his only companion.
When you combine the genius of Steve Martin and John Candy, you’re only going to get comedic genius. Both pioneers in comedy, Planes, Trains and Automobiles take everything to love about the two into a solid film.
3. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Logline: King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table embark on a surreal, low-budget search for the Holy Grail, encountering many ridiculous obstacles.
Any of the Monty Python skits or films could’ve fallen on this list, but many agree that Monty Python and the Holy Grail takes the grail at being the best of the bunch. It’s unpredictable, hilarious, bloody, and has the most ridiculous ending in any film ever.
4. The Big Lebowski (1998)
Logline: Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire of the same name, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it.
Joel and Ethan Coen have such a stylistically unique way of crafting dialogue, with it being heavily on display in The Big Lebowski. Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, and Philip Seymour Hoffman; what’s not to love?
5. Groundhog Day (1993)
Logline: A Pittsburgh weatherman finds himself inexplicably trapped in a small town as he lives the same day over and over again.
Bill Murray takes the ultimate nihilistic and pessimistic route in Groundhog Dog, creating the ultimate comedic film about living the same day, literally and figuratively.
6. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Logline: Spinal Tap, one of England’s loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.
The mockumentary genre would not be the same without This Is Spinal Tap. Rob Reiner created a masterful mockumentary that felt believable and absurd at the same time.
7. Young Frankenstein (1974)
Logline: An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.
Who would’ve guessed a spin on the Frankenstein premise would be so hilarious? Arguably Gene Wilder’s most outstanding performance, Young Frankenstein is just as funny today as it was almost 50 years ago.