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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.

    Mean Girls

    Mean Girls

    Jumanji: The Next Level

    Jumanji: The Next Level

    White Chicks

    White Chicks

    That's My Boy

    That's My Boy

    Hustlers

    Hustlers

    Fifty Shades of Black

    Fifty Shades of Black

    Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family

    Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family

    Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral

    Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral

    Project X

    Project X

    Jennifer's Body

    Jennifer's Body

    Romance and Cigarettes

    Romance and Cigarettes

    How High

    How High

    Forrest Gump

    Forrest Gump

    Harlem Nights

    Harlem Nights

    Madea's Family Reunion

    Madea's Family Reunion

    Daddy's Little Girls

    Daddy's Little Girls

    Bebe's Kids

    Bebe's Kids

    Dora and the Lost City of Gold

    Dora and the Lost City of Gold

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Zombieland: Double Tap

    Zombieland: Double Tap

    Tyler Perry's Good Deeds

    Tyler Perry's Good Deeds

    Bring It On: All or Nothing

    Bring It On: All or Nothing

    Think Like a Man

    Think Like a Man

    The Lie

    The Lie

    Dum Laga Ke Haisha

    Dum Laga Ke Haisha

    Tyler Perry's Madea's Neighbors From Hell The Play

    Tyler Perry's Madea's Neighbors From Hell The Play

    Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult

    Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult

    The Gentlemen

    The Gentlemen

    Bring It On: Fight to the Finish

    Bring It On: Fight to the Finish

    Grease 2

    Grease 2

    Ice Age

    Ice Age

    Honey 2

    Honey 2

    The Sandlot

    The Sandlot

    Hotel Transylvania

    Hotel Transylvania

    Little Man

    Little Man

    Hocus Pocus

    Hocus Pocus

    The Spectacular Now

    The Spectacular Now

    Popeye

    Popeye

    Mamma Mia!

    Mamma Mia!

    Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

    Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

    Charlie's Angels

    Charlie's Angels

    Instant Family

    Instant Family

    Major Payne

    Major Payne

    American Pie Presents: Beta House

    American Pie Presents: Beta House

    Green Book

    Green Book

    Smokey and the Bandit

    Smokey and the Bandit

    Happy Gilmore

    Happy Gilmore

    Dil To Pagal Hai

    Dil To Pagal Hai

    The Truman Show

    The Truman Show

    The Marriage Counselor: The Play

    The Marriage Counselor: The Play

    Nobody's Fool

    Nobody's Fool

    Legally Blonde

    Legally Blonde

    The Fighting Temptations

    The Fighting Temptations

    Soul Plane

    Soul Plane

    The Breakfast Club

    The Breakfast Club

    Rango

    Rango

    The Upside

    The Upside

    Charlotte's Web

    Charlotte's Web

    The Addams Family

    The Addams Family

    Paint Your Wagon

    Paint Your Wagon

    Happy New Year

    Happy New Year

    Superbad

    Superbad

    What's Done in the Dark: The Play

    What's Done in the Dark: The Play

    Drunken Master

    Drunken Master

    Spy Kids

    Spy Kids

    Ta Ra Rum Pum

    Ta Ra Rum Pum

    The Wood

    The Wood

    The Benchwarmers

    The Benchwarmers

    The Waterboy

    The Waterboy

    Fried Green Tomatoes

    Fried Green Tomatoes

    Big Momma's House 2

    Big Momma's House 2

    School Dance

    School Dance

    What Men Want

    What Men Want

    Badmaash Company

    Badmaash Company

    Friday

    Friday

    Red

    Red

    Trolls World Tour

    Trolls World Tour

    The Wolf of Wall Street

    The Wolf of Wall Street

    Staten Island Summer

    Staten Island Summer

    Ted

    Ted

    Frozen 2

    Frozen 2

    21 Jump Street

    21 Jump Street

    Addams Family Values

    Addams Family Values

    The Kissing Booth

    The Kissing Booth

    Garfield

    Garfield

    The Addams Family

    The Addams Family

    Made for Each Other

    Made for Each Other

    Cry Baby

    Cry Baby

    Dilwale

    Dilwale

    Jawbreaker

    Jawbreaker

    Fright Night

    Fright Night

    The Hustle

    The Hustle

    Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

    Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

    Down to Earth

    Down to Earth

    Like a Boss

    Like a Boss

    Maid in Manhattan

    Maid in Manhattan

    American Pie

    American Pie

    Isn't It Romantic

    Isn't It Romantic

    A Simple Favor

    A Simple Favor

    The Favourite

    The Favourite