The Funniest American Comedies


   

The laughDB database is dedicated to the funniest comedy movies, stand-up comedy and TV series.

This section is for comedies from the USA. By default they are presented starting with the ones ranking highest on the laugh-o-meter, but you can also sort them by year, title or IMDB rating.


Funniest American Comedies sorted by Laugh-o-meter (descending) / page 17 of 23


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Tenure posterTenure
      2008 | USA | Laughs: 2.5 (Light-Hearted) | imdb: 6.1
      wikipedia | who was involved?

A professor at a small college is up for tenure, and discovers with anxiety that he will be competing with a recent hire from an ivy-league school.

This movie takes so long to get going that for a moment I had to wonder if it was Canadian—no disrespect implied, I enjoy Corner Gas as much as the next northerner.

I nearly gave up, but there was just enough to keep me watching (decent cast, endearing characters), and the second half was far superior to the first, starting with the sales seminar scene. Overall, probably not worth your time, not because the movie is bad, but because there are better ones to choose from. (Last viewed: April 2018)

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Car Wash DVDCar Wash
      1976 | USA | Laughs: 2.5 (Light-Hearted) | imdb: 6.1
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

Set around a car wash business as the title suggests, this movie feels a bit like a sitcom condensed to the ninety minutes of a feature film. The antics of the staff are not hilarious, but the movie is fun for a number of reasons—the 1970s texture, the gritty working class setting, the African-American culture, a sighting of George Carlin and a pumping soundtrack. Car Wash! (Last viewed: March 2013)

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God Bless America DVDGod Bless America
      2011 | USA | Laughs: 2.5 (Watch Once) | imdb: 7.2
      wikipedia | who was involved?

A fed-up man and an angry teenager decide it's time to rid America of all the people who "deserve to die", such as those who use their cell phones in movie theaters. Apart from one scene that's too heavy on the blood for my taste, this can be a pleasant watch if you go into it expecting to see something from the "cult" shelf—quirky rather than mainstream. If you can tune in to the director's sense of humor you may find the film funny, though it's not laugh-provoking material. And for those who haven't stepped inside the United States in a long time, some scenes offer a worthwhile look at the state of decay in that mighty country's culture. (Last viewed: March 2013)

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Beerfest DVDBeerfest
      2006 | USA | Laughs: 2.5 (Just Awful) | imdb: 6.3
      wikipedia | who was involved?

After laughing hard on Super Troopers, I looked for other movies by the Broken Lizard comedy group and settled on Beerfest, which had the highest IMDB rating (6.1) of director Jay Chandrasekhar's other films, most of them poorly rated. The plot has to do with the American branch of a German family training for a beer-drinking competition. If you enjoy movies with grotesque characters, Beerfest might make you laugh, but it just didn't work for me. (Last viewed: April 2011)

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Horse Feathers posterHorse Feathers
      1932 | USA | Laughs: 2.4 (Chuckle) | imdb: 7.6
      wikipedia | who was involved?

A college's new dean must redeem the battered institution by winning a football game.

Every once in a while, I break down and watch a Marx Brothers movie in the hope that it will be the one that finally makes me laugh and helps me recapture my childhood awe of that comedic quatuor. This one was pleasant and made me chuckle, but no laughs.

I liked that the movie was short and that the whole cast looked like they were having a good time. But the humor relies on the same five kinds of jokes (puns being the main one) and that formula just doesn't work for me. In fact, I challenge anyone born after 1960 to point to an actual Marx Brothers sequence that makes them laugh out loud today — as opposed to when they first watched the movie as a twelve-year-old.

This takes nothing from the movie's quality: it is fun, well put together, and I'm sure it was hilarious when it first came out.

(Last viewed: January 2019)

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Throw Momma from the Train DVDThrow Momma from the Train
      1987 | USA | Laughs: 2.1 (Broken Comedies) | imdb: 6.3
      wikipedia | who was involved?

You know these self-absorbed movies about people making a movie? This movie is not about making movies, but it's written by a writer who seems more interested in writing about writers than about making people laugh. A writing instructor wants to get rid of his ex-wife, one of his students wants to get rid of his mother. The actors are well-intentioned, but what can they do without a script? I picked this up because I realized the site didn't have anything with Danny DeVito, who is supposed to be funny. (Get Shorty might be fun, but it's not a laugh-out-loud comedy.) I will persevere. (Last viewed: September 2012)

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Three Amigos DVDThree Amigos
      1986 | USA | Laughs: 2.0 (Light-Hearted) | imdb: 6.5
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

Three actors known as the "three amigos" in a series of Western movies are naively called in by a Mexican village facing trouble with real bandits. They misunderstand the telegram and travel to Mexico assuming they have been hired to put on a well-paid show. Cute, but probably not worth watching unless you're about eight years old. (Last viewed: September 2012)

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Wanderlust posterWanderlust
      2012 | USA | Laughs: 2.0 (Don't Bother) | imdb: 5.6
      wikipedia | who was involved?

After losing their jobs, a couple of yuppies find themselves trying to live on a commune. The concept and cast were decent, but the script was severely lacking in the laughs department. The communal house looked more like a Beverly Hills mansion than the kind of building likely to be found on an intentional community, and most other things about the commune also felt fake. It's not just that the caricature was rough: it seemed that whoever wrote the script didn't bother doing any research and instead chose to follow the lines of the most common stereotypes. For instance, it was heavy on free love, but missed what in my experience is one of the main issues of communal living: division of labor. Why do the same people do all the work while others spend their days "sending energy" or plucking their guitar? There's a lot of humorous potential in such situations. A for concept, E for effort. (Last viewed: September 2015)

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Choke posterChoke
      2008 | USA | Laughs: 2.0 (Light-Hearted) | imdb: 6.5
      wikipedia | who was involved?

This is definitely not a laugh-out-loud comedy, but it is an excellent light-hearted movie. Summarizing the plot would do severe injustice to this beautifully layered film, so I'll just say that the story involves two men with addictions, a mother in a mental hospital run by nuns, a good friend, a nurse, Heimlich maneuvers, the staff of a historic colonial village, and a big surprise near the end. Despite the occasional nudity, there is none of the usual exploitation of the female body. The movie features the two least gratuitous scenes of intercourse I have ever seen on film. A must-watch. (Last viewed: October 2013)

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Adventureland posterAdventureland
      2009 | USA | Laughs: 2.0 (Light-Hearted) | imdb: 6.8
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

To pay for his first term at college, a high-school graduate spends the Summer working at an adventure park in his home town. There are good characters and the movie is endearing—just don't watch this expecting to laugh, as it's a light-hearted movie rather than a true comedy. (Last viewed: October 2013)

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Mr. Deeds DVDMr. Deeds
      2002 | USA | Laughs: 2.0 (Broken Comedies) | imdb: 5.8
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

When the owner of a rural pizza restaurant learns that he has inherited a controlling stake in a New York media conglomerate, he has to swim with the sharks, while they have to learn to handle a straight-shooting small-town boy. Adam Sandler tries his best, but the producers spent too much money on wardrobe and too little on the script. That's too bad, because the story had potential: the only missing ingredient is the laughs. In the instant-millionaire genre, forget this one and watch the very funny Trading Places instead. (Last viewed: October 2012)

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Shallow Hal posterShallow Hal
      2001 | USA | Laughs: 2.0 (Light-Hearted) | imdb: 5.9
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

A man who only judges women on their looks is hypnotized into seeing their inner beauty, and starts dating a large woman whom he believes to have a model-like figure. This was a sweet movie, and it could be recommended as a Sunday night rom-com to watch with your honey. I didn't laugh, but it certainly wasn't torture as I like Jack Black and Jason Alexander (George from Seinfeld). (Last viewed: June 2017)

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Go 1999 posterGo
      1999 | USA | Laughs: 2.0 (Smirk) | imdb: 7.2
      wikipedia | who was involved?

Three co-workers in a grocery store plan to party on Christmas eve, but everything goes wrong. The movie is split into three parts that follow different characters during the same time frame. The film features a rave party, some undercover cops trying to bust a dealer, and a trip to Las Vegas.

Although this comedy had no laughs in store for me, it was entertaining enough to watch with an occasional grin.

(Last viewed: January 2020)

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The Toy posterThe Toy
      1982 | USA | Laughs: 2.0 (Chuckle) | imdb: 5.9
      wikipedia | who was involved?

A magnate's son convinces his father to hire a grown man to be his toy for a week. The movie is light-hearted but a bit chaotic for my taste, a trademark of John Landis, whose comedies don't tend to be my cup of tea.

It's a long while since I've seen the original after which this movie was made, the 1976 French film Le Jouet, and even though it didn't leave me with lasting impressions, given that it featured Pierre Richard in his golden years I'm fairly certain it was superior to the remake on most counts, especially the one that matters the most: laughs.

(Last viewed: April 2020)

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Brewster's Millions posterBrewster's Millions
      1985 | USA | Laughs: 2.0 (Chuckle) | imdb: 6.5
      wikipedia | who was involved?

A man is the beneficiary of a huge inheritance that comes with a caveat: to keep it, he must spend thirty million dollars over the course of thirty days. This premise leads to extravagant expenses that are inherently funny, but I can't help but feel that more could have been made of the situation. Although likeable in the role, Richard Pryor gave the worst performance of his that I've seen on film.

Watchable, but with low expectations.

(Last viewed: April 2020)

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