In Brief

Top 20 funniest screenplays ever written

Writers Guild of America lists its funniest films, from Airplane! to Some Like It Hot and Tootsie

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The Writers Guild of America has released a list of the 101 funniest screenplays, topped at number one by Annie Hall, the 1977 film starring Woody Allen and Diane Keaton.

The romantic comedy managed to thrill critics more than Billy Wilder's 1959 classic Some Like It Hot and Peter Sellers' 1964 Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. The most recent script on the list is Bridesmaids (2011), while the oldest is Charlie Chaplin's silent movie The Gold Rush (1925).

Apart from Annie Hall, Woody Allen penned another six of the 101 chosen screenplays (Sleeper, Bananas, Take the Money and Run, Broadway Danny Rose, Love and Death, and Manhattan), while screenwriter Harold Ramis (of Ghostbusters fame) has five screenplays on the list.

The top 101 isn't without controversy. Vulture notes that "the results showcase the best from almost a century of hilarious filmmaking, but they also underline more of the industry's historic and still-changing imbalance in behind-the-scenes diversity". 

Introducing the list for WGA, film critic Paul Brownfield admits that: "Comedy screenwriting has long been a playground that women and writers of colour have not had enough time in."

That said, there are no scripts written by women in the top ten, and only ten female-written screenplays in the full list: When Harry Met Sally, Bridesmaids, Big, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Clueless, Lost in America, Mean Girls, Meet the Parents and Mrs Doubtfire.

The screenplays were selected by the East and West Coast divisions of the WGA, and to be eligible, the films had to adhere to strict criteria: they had to have had theatrical releases, be written in English and be over an hour long. Live-action, animated, silent and documentary features were also eligible.

Here are the top 20 funniest screenplays, as voted by the WGA:

1. Annie Hall2. Some Like It Hot3. Groundhog Day4. Airplane!5. Tootsie6. Young Frankenstein7. Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb8. Blazing Saddles9. Monty Python and the Holy Grail10. National Lampoon’s Animal House11. This is Spinal Tap12. The Producers13. The Big Lebowski114. Ghostbusters15. When Harry Met Sally16. Bridesmaids17. Duck Soup18. There's Something About Mary19. The Jerk20. A Fish Called Wanda

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