Spinal Tap top poll

Mockumentary voted best comedy film

This is Spinal Tap has been voted the best comedy movie of all time.

The 1984 mockumentary was followed by Airplane and Monty Python’s Life of Brian in the survey of industry insiders conducted by Time Out magazine.

Film critic David Jenkins said of the film: ‘It’s sublimely funny and sharp – a comedy built for the long haul which matures with each viewing. It’s so perfectly constructed and performed, the characters so rich and realistic, that it’s initially a challenge to determine the dividing line between reality and fiction.

‘But the thing that pushes Spinal Tap ahead of the pack is what a radical and immaculately crafted piece of cinema it is. Gags are built around deadpan edits and dialogue pauses rather than slick punchlines.’ 

The full top ten is:

  1. This is Spinal Tap (1984)
  2. Airplane! (1980)
  3. Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)
  4. Annie Hall (1977)
  5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
  6. Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004)
  7. Withnail And I (1987)
  8.   Groundhog Day (1993)
  9.   Some Like it Hot (1959)
  10. The Jerk (1979)

The rankings came from a panel of more than 200 comedy stars and industry experts and included Dan Aykroyd, Greg Proops, Jackie Mason, Greg Davies, Kevin Eldon, Russell Howard, Stephen Merchant and Nicholas Parsons.

Time Out’s editor-in-chief Tim Arthur said: ‘Everybody believes they have good taste and a sense of humour, but that’s blatantly not true. My grandmother, god rest her soul, thought it there was nothing funnier than watching my granddad use his false teeth as maracas – that’s why she wasn’t asked to contribute to our poll, well that and the fact that she died in 1997.’ 

Published: 15 Sep 2011

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