Regardless of genre, the films on this list possess a total comedic impact that creates an experience greater than the sum of the smiles. These movies provide laughs that echo across time, enriching America's film heritage and inspiring artists and audiences today.
A wide array of funny films — from slapstick comedy to romantic comedy; from satire and black comedy to musical comedy; from comedy of manners to comedy of errors — were nominated for this distinction.
AFI distributed a ballot with 500 nominated films to a jury of 1800 leaders from the film community, including film artists (directors, screenwriters, actors, editors, cinematographers, etc.), critics, historians and film executives. The jurors were asked to consider the following criteria while making their selections:
Feature-Length Fiction Film: The film must be in narrative format typically over 60 minutes in length;
American Film: The film must be in the English language with significant creative and/or financial production elements from the United States;
Funny: Regardless of genre, the total comedic impact of a film's elements that creates an experience greater than the sum of the smiles;
Legacy: Laughs that echo across time, enriching America's film heritage and inspiring artists and audiences today.