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Thursday November 12, 2015

Writers Choose 101 Funniest Screenplays

Annie Hall Tops List – Followed by Some Like It Hot, Groundhog Day, Airplane!, and Tootsie

101FunniestLogo-East(red)New York and Los Angeles (November 11, 2015) –The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) tonight released the list of the 101 Funniest Screenplays. From the classics – The Gold Rush (#94, Written by Charles Chaplin) – to the contemporary – Bridesmaids (#16, Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig) the list spans 86 years of outstanding comedy screenwriting.  

Rank Film Screenwriting Credits Release Date Studio
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 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off *TIE Written by John Hughes 1986 Paramount
### Trading Places *TIE 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 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy *TIE Written by Will Ferrell & Adam McKay 2004 Dreamworks
### Dumb and Dumber *TIE 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 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels *TIE Written by Dale Launer and Stanley Shapiro & Paul Henning 1988 Orion
### Lost in America *TIE 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



Voted on by members of both Guilds, films were eligible if they were exhibited theatrically; live-action, animation, silent, and documentary features were all eligible; and films must have been written in English. Short films (under 60 minutes in length), films that initially premiered on television, and films that do not feature on-screen writing credits were not eligible for consideration.

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Events honoring the screenwriters took place in Los Angeles and New York. The WGAW, in sponsorship with ArcLight Hollywood, held its celebration at one of Hollywood’s landmarks, the Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard. Writer-director-actor-producer Rob Reiner hosted the evening’s program, which included screenings of film clips and panel discussions on topics ranging from “Classic Comedy” and “Satire/Spoof” to “Buddy Movies & Rom-Coms” and “High Concept.” A panel titled “Not on the List” paid tribute to diverse comedy screenwriters and their notable works.

Panelists included Peter Bogdanovich (What’s Up, Doc?), Kay Cannon (Pitch Perfect), Jon Favreau (Swingers), Peter & Bobby Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber), Randi Mayem Singer (Mrs. Doubtfire), Alexander Payne (Sideways, Election), the “ZAZ” comedy team of Jim Abrahams & David Zucker & Jerry Zucker (Airplane!, The Naked Gun), Buck Henry (The Graduate, What’s Up, Doc?), Karen McCullah & Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith (Legally Blonde), Dale Launer (My Cousin Vinny, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Marc Norman (Shakespeare in Love), Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein), George Gallo (Midnight Run), Robert Townsend (Hollywood Shuffle), Patricia Resnick (9 to 5), Carl Gottlieb and Michael Elias (The Jerk), Daniel Petrie, Jr. (Beverly Hills Cop), Bennett Yellin (Dumb & Dumber), Don Roos (The Opposite of Sex), and Josh Goldsmith & Cathy Yuspa (13 Going on 30). WGAW President Howard A. Rodman introduced the evening.

In New York, Wayne Federman (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) and Julie Klausner (Difficult People) hosted the WGAE’s celebration at The New School Auditorium in Greenwich Village. An official event of the 2015 New York Comedy Festival, the program featured Upright Citizens Brigade performers Brooke Van Poppelen (Hack My Life), Matt Klinman (Funny or Die News), Naomi Ekperigin (Difficult People) and Achilles Stamatelaky (Broad City) reading memorable scenes from the 101 Funniest Screenplays as the hosts paid tribute to honorees in attendance Norman Steinberg (My Favorite Year, Blazing Saddles), Andrew Bergman (Blazing Saddles), John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck) and Jim Taylor (Election, Sideways).  The live reading was produced and directed by Wayne Federman and Christopher Rose (Late Night Basement).

The 101 Funniest Screenplays is a project of the WGAW’s Publicity & Marketing Committee, whose members include  Aaron Mendelsohn (Chair); W. Bruce Cameron, Michael Conley, Diane Driscoll, Aaron Fullerton, Gary Goldstein, Katherine Fugate, Margaret Howell, Felischa Marye, Ken Pisani, Ari B. Rubin, Michael Walker, and Susan Walter.

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) are labor unions representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, new media, and broadcast news.  The Guilds negotiate and administer contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of their members; conduct programs, seminars, and events on issues of interest to writers; and present writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, West, visit  For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit


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