The 10 Greatest Movie Comedies Of The 70s

Let’s get nostalgic… and take a look at some of the funniest movies from back in the day… the 1970s that is. Whether you liked the intellectual humor of Annie Hall or the straight-up hilarity of Monty Python flicks, there’s something for everyone on our rundown of the 10 greatest comedies of the 70s.

10. Slap Shot (1977)

Paul Newman
Strother Martin
Micheal Ontkean

Wannabe sports comedy film writers/directors, take note – Slap Shot is the granddaddy of them all, showcasing Paul Newman among an undeniably hilarious cast. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a die-hard hockey fan or sport illiterate – if you know funny, this one can’t miss. The Hanson Brothers bring on plenty of hockey brawling to lift the down-and-out-team, with raunchy and funny results:

9. Annie Hall (1977)

Woody Allen
Diane Keaton

They don’t make romantic comedies like Woody Allen’s Annie Hall much these days. The intellectual humor is amazingly well written and acted – making it the smartest comedy on our list. This scene featuring Alvy and Annie standing in line while a loud windbag behind them rattles off his intellectual analysis of Fellini and Marshall McLuhan is but one of the amusing moments of the film:

8. The Return of the Pink Panther (1975)

Peter Sellers
Christopher Plummer
Catherine Schell
Herbert Lom
Burt Kwouk

You can probably name a long list of comedy sequels that didn’t come close to being as funny as the original, but in the 70s, the Pink Panther sequels didn’t fail to disappoint. The Return of the Pink Panther features the return of comedy genius Peter Sellers as clueless Inspector Jacques Clouseau, with plenty of slapstick and memorable scenes that make this one film that seems to get better with repeat viewings.

This Cato vs. Clouseau fight scene never gets old:

7. Animal House (1978)

John Belushi
Tim Matheson
John Vernon
Verna Bloom
Thomas Hulce

Animal House has widely been imitated by other campus comedies, but none come close to the hilarity of the fratboy craziness of this 70s comedy. With memorable scenes like John Belushi’s Bluto Blutarsi shoving food into his piehole to impersonate a zit, to the mother of all food fights – to the toga party and the brilliant sabotage of the homecoming parade – Animal House is full of comedy gold.


6. Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)

Graham Chapman
John Cleese
Terry Gilliam
Eric Idle
Terry Jones
Michael Palin

The funny moments of Life of Brian may be too numerous to count, but let’s get a few choice moments out: the stoning scene (“Come on! Who threw that? Who threw that stone, come on!”), the sermon on the mount, where those too far from Jesus Christ hear phrases such as “Blessed are the cheesemakers” and “The Greek shall inherit the Earth”… and of course the ending, which does a brilliant job of reminding us to “always look on the bright side of life:”

5. Up in Smoke (1978)

Cheech Marin
Tommy Chong

Up in Smoke also makes our list of Best Stoner Flicks – and with good reason. This shit is hilarious, whether you’re stoned or not. Following Cheech and Chong around, there’s never a dull moment, especially in this classic car scene where the boys smoke one of the hugest joints ever to grace the big screen, even if it is part Labrador (because the dog ate the stash):

4. Young Frankenstein (1974)

Gene Wilder
Peter Boyle
Marty Feldman
Cloris Leachman
Teri Garr
Madeline Kahn

Young Frankenstein is a gem of a comedy – pure genius, served up Mel Brooks style. Not only do we have the amazingly talented Gene Wilder as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (“It’s pronounced Frohn-ken-Shteeeen”), but an all-star cast that brings the funny effortlessly. A smart satire about old-school Frankenstein horror films, the good Doctor gets a little help from his friends – assistant Inga (Teri Garr), Igor (the marvelously bug eyed Marty Feldman) and Frau Blucher (Cloris Leachman). Peter Boyle does an amazing turn as the monster, while Madeline Kahn makes a lovely bride.

One of the great scenes below, when Frankenstein warns “Do not open this door…”

3. The Jerk (1979)

Steve Martin
Bernadette Peters

Steve Martin wasn’t a jerk in the traditional sense of a complete asshat – but he did play dimwitted dufus with hilarious precision. From the intro of “I was born a poor black child…” to finding his “special purpose” and his rise and fall, Naven R. Johnson made audiences laugh for the whole ride. As we see his many successes and missteps along the way, we love him more and more for his ridiculous stupidity than any other brainless character in movie history.

Here’s a great rundown of highlights from The Jerk:

2. Blazing Saddles (1974)

Cleavon Little
Gene Wilder
Slim Pickens
Harvey Korman
Madeline Kahn
Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks pushed the politically correct envelope in 1974’s Blazing Saddles, peppering the dialog with the “n” word and pulling no punches to make fun of, well… basically every stereotype. And it worked brilliantly. Would a movie like Blazing Saddles work if it was released today? Maybe not, so let’s just be glad that Mel Brooks got in his brilliant jabs during a time when it wasn’t such a crime to be politically incorrect.

For your viewing enjoyment, the cowboy fart scene for the adolescent in all of us:

1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Graham Chapman
John Cleese
Terry Gilliam
Eric Idle
Terry Jones
Michael Palin

The Monty Python films owned 70’s comedy – just try to argue it. Monty Python and the Holy Grail took fans on an adventure with King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table and… duh… the search for the Holy Grail. And all with hilarious results – part slapstick, part crazy comedy, Holy Grail offered up some of the most quotable lines of any movie of its era.

Here’s but a taste of one of the great scenes from Holy Grail, where King Arthur cuts off all of the Black Knight’s limbs:

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