Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the College Humor “100 best comedies of all time” poll (Le Jardinier didn’t make IT!?). I’ve decided to test the fortitude of this list with a kind of data experiment. I will make no (outward) judgments, but work from the following concept: If these are the best comedies, then surely they contain the best comedic actors of our time.
I took a simple count of the number of times an actor appeared in these films (I took some liberty with listing supporting characters). The more great films in which you appear, the greater you must be. I also didn’t weight the position of that movie against the appearance count (so that 3rd counts more than 93rd) because it was too much work.
A Directorial Aside
Certain directors appear a whole bunch. Here are the best (have to have directed more than one):
tied for 4th – Trey Parker/Matt Stone, Broken Lizard, Judd Apatow
3rd – Adam McKay
2nd – Kevin Smith
1st – Mel Brooks
A Writorial Aside
I thought about this but it would also be too much work (sorry Harold Ramis).
Our Finest Comedic Actors
These are grouped by number of times appearing and in no particular order. They have to have appeared in more than one (sorry Zach Galifianakis).
Kinda Funny (appearing in two films):
Broken Lizard, Sasha Baron Cohen, Monty Python, Jason Segel, John Belushi, Trey Parker/Matt Stone, Owen Wilson, Clark Duke, Simon Pegg/Rick Frost, John C Reilly, Cameron Diaz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, John Heder, Russel Brand, John Candy, Chevy Chase, Michael Cera, Ryan Renolds, Justin Long, Eugene Levy, Jason Bigman, Johnny Knoxville, Eddie Murphy, Chris Farley/David Spade, Dana Carvey, Dave Chapelle, Steve Martin
Pretty Funny (three films):
Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Tara Reid, Leslie Neilsen, Jonah Hill, Steve Carrell, Dan Akroyd, Vince Vaughn, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Really Funny (four films):
Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Kevin Smith
Utterly Hilarious (five films):
Ben Stiller, Mel Brooks, Seann William Scott
Comedic Genius (six films):
Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell