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The very earliest films weren't very funny, but it didn't take filmmakers long to discover that one of the things that audiences liked to do was laugh, and once that discovery was made, comedy became one of the primary genres of film. Some of the earliest movie stars - Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin - were comic actors, and more than a century later, some the biggest stars of today - Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen, Melissa McCarthy - earned their stardom by making people laugh.

Those early Keaton and Chaplin movies were hits long before films even had sound, so getting giggles from moviegoers wasn't as easy as telling a funny joke. Comedy had to be physical, and the more spectacularly physical the better. Audiences learned to love the sight of actors falling down and doing improbable and embarrassing things. And physical comedy has never gone out of style, from Peter Sellers' Pink Panther movies in the 1960s to the clumsy bumbling of Will Ferrell and Melissa McCarthy.

A step up the intellectual scale - but only a small one - is the current trend of uncouth comedy. Bawdy, grungy comedy is nothing new - look back to Cheech and Chong or any National Lampoon movie - but contemporary stars like Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and, again, Melissa McCarthy have taken the gross-out laugh to new heights.

Truly intellectual comedy is much harder to come by. Laughs are biggest when they come from someplace visceral, but some filmmakers know how to make you think before (or after) you laugh. The Coen brothers do it in their funny movies (as opposed to their bleak ones), and Wes Anderson's films are so intellectually funny that, if you?re not paying attention, you might not realize that they're funny.

    Seed of Chucky
    Seed of Chucky
    Jumanji: The Next Level
    Jumanji: The Next Level
    Good Boys
    Good Boys
    Space Jam
    Space Jam
    The Dictator
    The Dictator
    Sonic the Hedgehog
    Sonic the Hedgehog
    Scary Movie
    Scary Movie
    Jennifer's Body
    Jennifer's Body
    Hustlers
    Hustlers
    Grease
    Grease
    That's My Boy
    That's My Boy
    Bride of Chucky
    Bride of Chucky
    Coming 2 America
    Coming 2 America
    The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
    The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
    The Bronze
    The Bronze
    The Gentlemen
    The Gentlemen
    The Original Kings of Comedy
    The Original Kings of Comedy
    Problem Child 2
    Problem Child 2
    Mamma Mia!
    Mamma Mia!
    Love, Rosie
    Love, Rosie
    Bring It On: All or Nothing
    Bring It On: All or Nothing
    What Men Want
    What Men Want
    She's All That
    She's All That
    The Sandlot
    The Sandlot
    Nacho Libre
    Nacho Libre
    Legally Blonde
    Legally Blonde
    Bruce Almighty
    Bruce Almighty
    Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
    Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
    Don Jon
    Don Jon
    The Truman Show
    The Truman Show
    Scary Movie 2
    Scary Movie 2
    Madea's Family Reunion
    Madea's Family Reunion
    Up in Smoke
    Up in Smoke
    Frozen 2
    Frozen 2
    Madea's Farewell Tour
    Madea's Farewell Tour
    How High
    How High
    Zombieland: Double Tap
    Zombieland: Double Tap
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    Big Hero 6
    Big Hero 6
    Red
    Red
    Bad Boys
    Bad Boys
    Daddy's Little Girls
    Daddy's Little Girls
    I Got the Hook Up
    I Got the Hook Up
    Six Days Seven Nights
    Six Days Seven Nights
    Bebe's Kids
    Bebe's Kids
    The Little Hours
    The Little Hours
    Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde
    Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde
    Rags
    Rags
    Good Luck Chuck
    Good Luck Chuck
    Spy Kids
    Spy Kids
    The Benchwarmers
    The Benchwarmers
    She's Out of My League
    She's Out of My League
    Harlem Nights
    Harlem Nights
    Ice Age
    Ice Age
    Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family
    Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family
    Madea's Witness Protection
    Madea's Witness Protection
    A Haunted House
    A Haunted House
    Think Like a Man
    Think Like a Man
    Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail - The Play
    Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail - The Play
    Charlie's Angels
    Charlie's Angels
    Dora and the Lost City of Gold
    Dora and the Lost City of Gold
    Meet the Blacks
    Meet the Blacks
    Madea's Big Happy Family: The Play
    Madea's Big Happy Family: The Play
    The Spectacular Now
    The Spectacular Now
    Little Man
    Little Man
    Napoleon Dynamite
    Napoleon Dynamite
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
    Splitting Adam
    Splitting Adam
    Honey 2
    Honey 2
    Crazy Rich Asians
    Crazy Rich Asians
    Tyler Perry's Good Deeds
    Tyler Perry's Good Deeds
    A Simple Favor
    A Simple Favor
    The Comedy Central Roast Of James Franco
    The Comedy Central Roast Of James Franco
    Sausage Party
    Sausage Party
    Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
    Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
    Maid in Manhattan
    Maid in Manhattan
    La La Land
    La La Land
    21 Jump Street
    21 Jump Street
    Green Book
    Green Book
    Cry Baby
    Cry Baby
    Big Momma's House 2
    Big Momma's House 2
    Hotel Transylvania
    Hotel Transylvania
    Drunken Master
    Drunken Master
    Ladybugs
    Ladybugs
    Nobody's Fool
    Nobody's Fool
    Inside Out
    Inside Out
    Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
    Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
    Roman Holiday
    Roman Holiday
    Eddie Murphy Raw
    Eddie Murphy Raw
    The Blues Brothers
    The Blues Brothers
    The Little Rascals Save the Day
    The Little Rascals Save the Day
    The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
    The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
    Bring It On: Fight to the Finish
    Bring It On: Fight to the Finish
    Friday
    Friday
    The Nutty Professor
    The Nutty Professor
    Piranha 3DD
    Piranha 3DD
    The Hustle
    The Hustle
    Bring It On
    Bring It On
    Central Intelligence
    Central Intelligence