How Many Have You Seen? Read Bill Hader’s List Of 200 Movies Every Comedy Writer Should See

How Many Have You Seen? Read Bill Hader's List Of 200 Movies Every Comedy Writer Should See

Here’s a fun fact about Bill Hader you might not know: he’s a major film buff. Yep, the "Saturday Night Live" veteran likes his Criterion Collection movies as much as the next cinephile. His knowledge rolls pretty deep, and now he’s sharing his love of cinema in a unique way. 

Inside the book "Poking A Dead Frog: Conversations With Today’s Top Comedy Writers" by Mike Sacks, Hader provides his list of 200 movies every comedy writer should see. Yes, you’ll see the usual staples from folks like Woody Allen, the Marx Brothers, Mel Brooks, and Charlie Chaplin, but there are some nice, not so obvious picks too. Billy Wilder‘s scathing "Ace In The Hole" notches a spot, as do Stanley Kubrick‘s "Eyes Wide Shut" and Robert Altman‘s "Nashville."

So now the big question: how many have you seen? Here’s all 200, let us know in the comments section. [XO Jane via First Showing]

1. 9 to 5 (1980)
2. 1941 (1979)
3. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
4. Ace in the Hole (1951)
5. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)
6. After Hours (1985)
7. Airplane! (1980)
8. Amarcord (1973)
9. American Graffiti (1973)
10. An American in Paris (1951)
11.Animal Crackers (1930)
12. Annie Hall (1977)
13. The Apartment (1960)
14. Army of Darkness (1992)
15. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
16. Back to the Future (1985)
17. The Bad News Bears (1976)
18. Bananas (1971)
19. The Band Wagon (1953)
20. The Bank Dick (1940)
21. Barton Fink (1991)
22. Beetlejuice (1988)
23. Being There (1979)
24. Best in Show (2000)
25. Better Off Dead (1985)
26. Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958)
27. The Big Lebowski (1998)
28. The Birdcage (1996)
29. Blazing Saddles (1974)
30. The Blues Brothers (1980)
31. Boogie Nights (1997)
32. Born Yesterday (1950)
33. Bottle Rocket (1996)
34. Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932)
35. Brazil (1985)
36. Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
37. Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
38. The ‘Burbs (1989)
39. Cabin in the Sky (1943)
40. Caddyshack (1980)
41. Catch-22 (1970)
42. The Circus (1928)
43. City Lights (1931)
44. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
45. Closely Watched Trains (1966)
46. The Cocoanuts (1929)
47. Coming to America (1988)
48. The Court Jester (1956)
49. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
50. Dames (1934)
51. A Day at the Races (1937)
52. Dazed and Confused (1993)
53. Design for Living (1933)
54. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
55. Down by Law (1986)
56. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
57. Drag Me to Hell (2009)
58. Duck Soup (1933)
59. Ed Wood (1994)
60. Election (1999)
61. The Evil Dead (1981)
62. Evil Dead 2 (1987)
63. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
64. Fargo (1996)
65. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
66. The Firemen’s Ball (1967)
67. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
68. The Foot Fist Way (2006)
69. The Fortune (1975)
70. Four Lions (2010)
71. Gates of Heaven (1978)
72. The General (1926)
73. Get Shorty (1995)
74. Ghostbusters (1984)
75. The Gold Rush (1925)
76. Good Morning (1959)
77. The Goonies (1985)
78. The Graduate (1967)
79. Grand Illusion (1937)
80. The Great Race (1965)
81. The Groove Tube (1974)
82. Groundhog Day (1993)
83. Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)
84. Heaven Can Wait (1943)
85. His Girl Friday (1940)
86. Horse Feathers (1932)
87. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
88. I Vitelloni (1953)
89. I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978)
90. I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988)
91. The Incredibles (2004)
92. It Happened One Night (1934)
93. It’s a Gift (1934)
94. It’s Always Fair Weather (1955)
95. The Jerk (1979)
96. Jules and Jim (1962)
97. The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)
98. The King of Comedy (1983)
99. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
100. L’Atalante (1934)
101. The Ladykillers (1955)
102. The Last Detail (1973)
103. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
104. Let It Ride (1989)
105. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
106. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
107. Little Murders (1971)
108. Lolita (1962)
109. The Long Goodbye (1973)
110. Lost in America (1985)
111. Love and Death (1975)
112. Loves of a Blonde (1965)
113. M*A*S*H (1970)
114. The Man in the White Suit (1951)
115. The Man with Two Brains (1983)
116. A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
117. The Merry Widow (1934)
118. Midnight Run (1988)
119. The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944)
120. Modern Romance (1981)
121. Mon Oncle (1958)
122. Monkey Business (1931)
123. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
124. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
125. Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)
126. Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (1953)
127. Mr. Mom (1983)
128. Mystery Train (1989)
129. The Naked Gun (1988)
130. Nashville (1975)
131. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
132. Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941)
133. A Night at the Opera (1935)
134. Noises Off (1992)
135. One, Two, Three (1961)
136. Orgazmo (1997)
137. Our Hospitality (1923)
138. Out of Sight (1998)
139. The Palm Beach Story (1942)
140. Parenthood (1989)
141. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
142. Play Time (1967)
143. The Player (1992)
144. The Princess Bride (1987)
145. The Producers (1968)
146. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
147. Radio Days (1987)
148. Raising Arizona (1987)
149. Real Life (1979)
150. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
151. Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)
152. Rushmore (1998)
153. Safe Men (1998)
154. Salesman (1968)
155. Schizopolis (1996)
156. A Serious Man (2009)
157. Shaolin Soccer (2001)
158. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
159. Sherlock Jr. (1924)
160. Shoot the Pianist (1960)
161. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
162. Short Cuts (1993)
163. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
164. Sixteen Candles (1984)
165. Songs from the Second Floor (2000)
166. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
167. The Squid and the Whale (2005)
168. Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
169. Stripes (1981)
170. Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
171. Take the Money and Run (1969)
172. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
173. Team America: World Police (2004)
174. This is Spinal Tap (1984)
175. Three Amigos! (1986)
176. Time Bandits (1981)
177. To Be or Not to Be (1942)
178. Toy Story (1995)
179. Toy Story 2 (1999)
180. Toy Story 3 (2010)
181. Trading Places (1983)
182. Trouble in Paradise (1932)
183. Twentieth Century (1934)
184. Unfaithfully Yours (1948)
185. Up (2009)
186. Used Cars (1980)
187. Vernon, Florida (1981)
188. Waiting for Guffman (1996)
189. A Wedding (1978)
190. Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
191. What’s Up, Doc? (1972)
192. What’s Up Tiger Lily? (1966)
193. The White Sheik (1952)
194. Withnail and I (1987)
195. You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man (1939)
196. You Can’t Take It with You (1938)
197. You the Living (2007)
198. Young Frankenstein (1974)
199. Zelig (1983)
200. Zero for Conduct (1933)

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Comments

Dean

103 if you want to count the fact that I gave up on that crap called Talladega Nights.

Dean

102.

E. Burt

There are some obvious ones missing, like: Funny Girl, Money Pit, Tootsie, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Odd Couple, Who's Killing The Great Chefs of Europe, Pink Panther, Rat Race, Wolf of Wall Street, Trains, Planes & Automobiles, Meatballs, Goodbye Girl….Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, How to Train Your Dragon….. : )

Tim

Good list, not great. Tootsie is arguably one of the best comedies ever written – how could it not be on this list??

Hannah

Monty Python's Life of Brian and Holy Grail, of course. BUT NO MEANING OF LIFE?! Come on Bill!

JC

What About Bob?…and everything that commentor Wayne posted. Great lists from everyone.

robert

Where's Tootsie?

Karan

A Wonderful List. I appreciate the time you must have given to this article. Good work. I really love it. I have seen a few of these…

DebTO

109 — Very interesting list but I def. would have added some of the ones other commenters have mentioned (Tootsie, Some Like it Hot, etc.) along with Ishtar (yes, Ishtar), When Harry Met Sally, The Proposal, Bull Durham, It Should Happen to You (starring Judy Holiday, screenplay by Garson Kanin) along with unintentionally hiLARious films like Legends of the Fall and classic TV shows like Gilmore Girls (yes, Gilmore Girls) and Seinfeld.

shake 'n bake!

I like the fact that the most overrated comedy of the last decade, Anchorman, is not on the list, but the far superior and funnier Talladega Nights is.

Travis

I think people missed the point this is a list every COMEDY WRITER should see, not a list of comedies. This could mean there is a well timed joke or well delivered line that comedy writers should watch and understand, not necessarily that the film itself is a comedy

Wayne

Bad Santa
Dumb and Dumber
Easy Money
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
High Anxiety
Napoleon Dynamite
National Lampoon’s Vacation
Office Space
Old School
Revenge of the Nerds
Slapshot
Sleeper
The Hangover
The In-laws
There's Something About Mary

wulfy7

Bill Hader loses so much credibility not including Some Like it Hot, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Tootsie, The Philadelphia Story, Moonstruck, Midnight in Paris, and Silver Linings Playbook

Mario C

Top Secret.

No

Unless I missed it, no "The Lady Eve"?

drzoon

this was a shit list. half right at best.

loudrockmusic

107!

Benjamin

Not a bad list at all, Hader's definitely got taste. Even though I honestly think the inclusion of the Maysles' Salesman is a bigger eyebrow-raiser than the presence of Eyes Wide Shut among comedies. Funny of him to include them.
Now, if you excuse. I've got 18 of these movies to see this weekend since I've only seen 182 of them.

Nick

Honestly Tropic Thunder should be included in this list – one of the funniest movies ever made. But since Bill Hader is in it he probably didn't want to look like he was advertising his own movie haha.

Michael

The big question is why anybody should care about a pointless, random list by Bill Hader..?
Anybody who cares about film should easily have seen more than have of these films, most of them are verified classics…

Arthur Digby Sellers

70 – and jazzed to see the 'burbs mentioned.

Steve Glansberg

I've seen 82. Some pretty interesting choices, and even more interesting exclusions. No In the Loop, Some Like it Hot, Death at a Funeral, Hot Fuzz, Bringing Up Baby, The Odd Couple, Charade, any Pink Panther or Thin Man movie, Ninotchka, Harvey, Napoleon Dynamite, Sideways, Good Morning Vietnam, Clue, or It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. And Talledega Nights is the one Will Ferral movie every comedy writer needs to see?

James Edward Marshall

83

JOsh

Eyes Wide Shut seems like an odd inclusion until you remember the scenes in the costume shop with the lolita minx, naked japanese men, and her ostentatious father.

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