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Writers Guild of America Names 100 Funniest Screenplays

Everyone loves a good funny movie, and the Writers Guild of America knows that having a definitive list is important. That’s why they awarded the rankings to a hundred screenplays after a panel discussion and clips presentation at the Archlight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood on Wednesday night. The event was hosted by Rob Reiner who joked that it was apropos for the “This is Spinal Tap” script to be named number 11 in the rankings what with the amplifier joke fans of the film will remember well.

The top screenplays on the list won’t surprise many fans of film though their order may. Included in the top ten are “Annie Hall,” “Some Like It Hot,” “Groundhog Day,” “Airplane!“, “Tootsie,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” and “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” Have you watched all of these movies? They were all made, and they are all classic in the eyes of most film enthusiasts for one reason or another. I’m pretty proud of myself as a film goer that I have actually seen more than my fair share of this entire list.

Some of you will be interested to learn that there are a number of fairly recent screenplays on the list though the majority were written more than a decade ago. “Bridesmaids,” “The Hangover,” and “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” were all listed in the Top 30, and “Best in Show,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and “Election” all made the list.

Woody Allen‘s “Annie Hall” was named to the number one spot as I noted above, and his other scripts “Sleeper,” “Bananas,” “Take the Money and Run,” “Broadway Danny Rose,” Love and Death,” and “Manhattan” all were listed in the Top 100.

Now, in case you are in the market for an epic watch list for the coming winter (a whole new take on Netflix & Chill, y’all), here are all the winners from one to 100.

1. “Annie Hall”
Written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman
1977, UA

2. “Some Like It Hot”
Screenplay by Billy Wilder & I.A. L. Diamond, Based on the German film “Fanfare of Love” by Robert Thoeren and M. Logan
1959, UA

3. “Groundhog Day”
Screenplay by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis, Story by Danny Rubin
1993, Columbia

4. “Airplane!”
Written by James Abrahams & David Zucker & Jerry Zucker
1980, Paramount

5. “Tootsie”
Screenplay by Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal, Story by Don McGuire and Larry Gelbart
1982, Columbia

6. “Young Frankenstein”
Screenplay by Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks, Screen Story by Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks, Based on Characters in the Novel Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
1974, 20th Century Fox

7. “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”
Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Peter George and Terry Southern
1964, Columbia

8. “Blazing Saddles”
Screenplay by Mel Brooks, Norman Steinberg, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Alan Uger, Story by Andrew Bergman
1974, Warner Bros.

9. “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”
Written by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin
1975, Cinema 5

10. “National Lampoon’s Animal House”
Written by Harold Ramis & Douglas Kenney & Chris Miller
1978, Universal

11. “This Is Spinal Tap”
Written by Christopher Guest & Michael McKean & Rob Reiner & Harry Shearer
1984, Embassy

12. “The Producers”
Written by Mel Brooks
1967, AVCO Embassy

13. “The Big Lebowski”
Written by Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
1998, Gramercy

14. “Ghostbusters”
Written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis
1984, Columbia

15. “When Harry Met Sally…”
Written by Nora Ephron
1989, Columbia

16. “Bridesmaids”
Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
2011, Universal

17. “Duck Soup”
Story by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, Additional Dialogue by Arthur Sheekman and Nat Perrin
1933, Paramount

18. “There’s Something About Mary”
Screenplay by John J. Strauss & Ed Decter and Peter Farrelly & Bobby Farrelly, Story by Ed Decter & John J. Strauss
1998, 20th Century Fox

19. “The Jerk”
Screenplay by Steve Martin, Carl Gottlieb, Michael Elias, Story by Steve Martin & Carl Gottlieb
1979, Universal

20. “A Fish Called Wanda”
Screenplay by John Cleese, Story by John Cleese & Charles Crichton
1988, MGM

21. “His Girl Friday”
Screenplay by Charles Lederer, Based on the Play “The Front Page” by Ben Hecht & Charles MacArthur
1940, Columbia

22. “The Princess Bride”
Screenplay by William Goldman, Based on Goldman’s Novel of the Same Name
1987, 20th Century Fox

23. “Raising Arizona”
Written by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
1987, 20th Century Fox

24. “Bringing Up Baby”
Screenplay by Hagar Wilde and Dudley Nichols, Story by Hagar Wilde
1938, RKO

25. “Caddyshack”
Written by Brian Doyle-Murray & Harold Ramis & Douglas Kenney
1980, Orion

26. “Monty Python’s Life Of Brian”
Written by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin
1979, Orion

27. “The Graduate”
Screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry, Based on the Novel by Charles Webb
1967, Embassy

28. “The Apartment”
Written by Billy Wilder & I.A.L. Diamond
1960, UA

29. “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”
Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham & Dan Mazer, Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Peter Baynham & Anthony Hines & Todd Phillips, Based on a Character Created by Sacha Baron Cohen
2006, 20th Century Fox

30. “The Hangover”
Written by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
2009, Warner Bros.

31. “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”
Written by Judd Apatow & Steve Carell
2005, Universal

32. “The Lady Eve”
Screenplay by Preston Sturges, Story by Monckton Hoffe
1941, Paramount

33. *Tie*
“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
Written by John Hughes
1986, Paramount


“Trading Places”
Written by Timothy Harris & Herschel Weingrod
1983, Paramount

35. “Sullivan’s Travels”
Written by Preston Sturges
1941, Paramount

36. “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”
Written by John Hughes
1987, Paramount

37. “The Philadelphia Story”
Screenplay by Donald Ogden Stewart, Based on the Play by Philip Barry
1940, MGM

38. “A Night at the Opera”
Screen Play by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, From a Story by James Kevin McGuinness
1935, MGM

39. “Rushmore”
Written by Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson
1998, Touchstone/BV

40. “Waiting for Guffman”
Written by Christopher Guest & Eugene Levy
1996, Sony Pics Classics

41. “The Odd Couple”
Screenplay by Neil Simon, From the Play by Neil Simon as Produced on the Stage by Saint-Subber
1968, Paramount

42. “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!”
Written by Jerry Zucker & Jim Abrahams & David Zucker & Pat Proft, Based on the Television Series Police Squad! Created by Jim Abrahams & David Zucker & Jerry Zucker
1988, Paramount

43. “Office Space”
Written for the Screen by Mike Judge, Based on the “Milton” Animated Shorts by Mike Judge
1999, 20th Century Fox

44. “Big”
Written by Anne Spielberg & Gary Ross
1988, 20th Century Fox

45. “National Lampoon’s Vacation”
Screenplay by John Hughes
1983, Warner Bros.

46. “Midnight Run”
Written by George Gallo
1988, Universal

47. “It Happened One Night”
Screenplay by Robert Riskin, Based on the Short Story by Samuel Hopkins Adams
1934, Columbia

48. “M*A*S*H”
Screenplay by Ring Lardner, Jr., From the Novel by Richard Hooker
1970, 20th Century Fox

49. “Harold and Maude”
Written by Colin Higgins
1971, Paramount

50. “Shaun of the Dead”
Written by Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright
2004, Focus (Universal)

51. “Broadcast News”
Written by James L. Brooks
1987, 20th Century Fox

52. “Arthur”
Written by Steven Gordon
1981, Orion

53. “Four Weddings and a Funeral”
Written by Richard Curtis
1994, Gramercy

54. *Tie*

“Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”
Written by Will Ferrell & Adam McKay
2004, Dreamworks


“Dumb and Dumber”
Written by Peter Farrelly & Bennett Yellin & Bob Farrelly
1994, New Line

56. “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery”
Written by Mike Myers
1997, New Line

57. “The General”
Written by Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman, Adapted by Al Boasberg and Charles Smith
1926, United Artists

58. “What’s Up, Doc?”
Screenplay by Buck Henry and David Newman & Robert Benton, Story by Peter Bogdanovich
1972, Warner Bros.

59. “Wedding Crashers”
Written by Steve Faber & Bob Fisher
2005, New Line

60. “Sleeper”
Written by Woody Allen & Marshall Brickman
1973, United Artists

61. “Galaxy Quest”
Screenplay by David Howard and Robert Gordon, Story by David Howard
1999, Dreamworks

62. “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”
Screenplay by William and Tania Rose, Story by William and Tania Rose
1963, United Artists

63. “Best in Show”
Written by Christopher Guest & Eugene Levy
2000, Warner Bros.

64. “Little Miss Sunshine”
Written by Michael D. Arndt
2006, Fox Searchlight

65. “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut”
Written by Trey Parker & Matt Stone & Pam Brady
1999, Paramount

66. “Being There”
Screenplay by Jerzy Kosinski, Inspired by the Novel by Jerzy Kosinski
1979, United Artists

67. “Back to the Future”
Written by Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale
1985, Universal

68. “Superbad”
Written by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg
2007, Columbia

69. “Bananas”
Written by Woody Allen, Mickey Rose
1971, United Artists

70. “Moonstruck”
Written by John Patrick Shanley
1987, MGM

71. “Clueless”
Written by Amy Heckerling
1995, Paramount

72. “The Palm Beach Story”
Written by Preston Sturges
1942, Paramount

73. “The Pink Panther”
Written by Maurice Richlin & Blake Edwards
1963, United Artists

74. “The Blues Brothers”
Written by Dan Aykroyd and John Landis
1980, Universal

75. “Coming to America”
Screenplay by David Sheffield & Barry W. Blaustein, Story by Eddie Murphy
1988, Paramount

76. “Take the Money and Run”
Screenplay by Woody Allen and Mickey Rose, Story by Jackson Beck
1969, Cinerama

77. “Election”
Screenplay by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, Based on the Novel by Tom Perrotta
1999, Paramount

78. “Love and Death”
Written by Woody Allen
1975, United Artists

79. *Tie*

“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”
Written by Dale Launer and Stanley Shapiro & Paul Henning
1988, Orion


“Lost in America”
Written by Albert Brooks & Monica Johnson
1985, Warner Bros.

81. “Manhattan”
Written by Woody Allen & Marshall Brickman
1979, United Artists

82. “Modern Times”
Written by Charles Chaplin
1936, United Artists

83. “My Cousin Vinny”
Written by Dale Launer
1992, 20th Century Fox

84. “Mean Girls”
Screenplay by Tina Fey, Based on the Book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman
2004, Paramount

85. “Meet the Parents”
Screenplay by Jim Herzfeld and John Hamburg, Story by Greg Glienna & Mary Ruth Clarke
2000, Universal

86. “Fargo”
Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
1996, Gramercy

87. “My Favorite Year”
Screenplay by Dennis Palumbo and Norman Steinberg, Story by Dennis Palumbo
1982, MGM

88. “Stripes”
Written by Len Blum & Dan Goldberg and Harold Ramis
1981, Columbia

89. “Beverly Hills Cop”
Screenplay by Daniel Petrie, Jr., Story by Danilo Bach and Daniel Petrie, Jr.
1984, Paramount

90. “City Lights”
Written by Charles Chaplin
1931, United Artists

91. “Sideways”
Screenplay by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, Based on the Novel by Rex Pickett
2004, Fox Searchlight

92. “Broadway Danny Rose”
Written by Woody Allen
1984, Orion

93. “Swingers”
Written by Jon Favreau
1996, Miramax

94. “The Gold Rush”
Written by Charles Chaplin
1925, United Artists

95. “The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek”
Written by Preston Sturges
1944, Paramount

96. “All About Eve”
Screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Based on the Short Story and Radio Program “The Wisdom of Eve” by Mary Orr
1950, 20th Century Fox

97. “Arsenic and Old Lace”
Screenplay by Julius Epstein & Philip G. Epstein, Based on the Play by Joseph Kesselring
1944, Warner Bros.

98. “The Royal Tenenbaums”
Written by Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson
2001, Touchstone/BV

99. “Mrs. Doubtfire”
Screenplay by Randi Mayem Singer and Leslie Dixon, Based on Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine
1993, 20th Century Fox

100. “Flirting with Disaster”
Written by David O. Russell
1996, Miramax

101. “Shakespeare in Love”
Written by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard
1998, Miramax

HT Variety

Image Apatow Productions, Relativity Media

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