7 Greatest Comedic Ensemble Casts Of All Time

Tuesday, January 15 by
 

On January 25th, Peter Farrelly will loan his raunchy comedic weight to Movie 43, a film that collects a ton of unlikely stars. The interconnected short films borrow a page from the classic ensemble comedies of the 70′s and 80′s to weave together stories about Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts as parents trying to socialize their home-schooled song, Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville as two guys who just caught a leprechaun, and Kristen Bell dressed as Supergirl.

Though it shares DNA with such well-loved films, that’s where the DNA jokes end. I’ll leave that to Peter Farrelly.

Best In Show

Christopher Guest toed the comedy team waters with Waiting For Guffman but it wasn’t until 2000′s Best In Show that his formula paid off. Longstanding Guest stars Fred Willard, Eugene Levy, Parker Poser, Catherine O’Hara, Michael McKean, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch and John Michael Higgins (amongst others) improvised their roles hopeful owners competing in a national dog show.

It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Starring Spencer Tracy and a murderer’s row of 1960′s comedians share the focus in It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The dying words of a thief cast a variety of strangers off on a cross state hunt for $350,000. It’s considered a classic chase film even though it doesn’t star Paul Walker or Vin Diesel.

Anchorman

Will Ferrell and Adam McKay had a crazy idea and Dreamworks let them take a chance on it. The result was not successful by box office standards, but Anchorman has exploded in the years since it’s release. It’s now one of the most quoted films in history and help launch the careers of Steve Carell and Paul Rudd. We wouldn’t have Dinner For Schmucks without this film. I mean that in a nice way.

Spaceballs

Mel Brooks’s take on sci-fi through the lens of Star Wars remains one of his greatest spoofs. It’s also the only list where a grown man dresses like a Jewish Yoda.

The Cannonball Run

A scavenger hunt film in the style of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Cannonball Run gathered the stars of the day and some of Burt Reynolds‘s buddies. To name a few, Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Sammy Davis Jr., Farrah Fawcett, Roger Moore, and Adrienne Barbeau star as competiters in an illegal cross country race. When you think about it, Burt Reynolds really was the Adam Sandler of his day.

Caddyshack

Bill Murray and his crazy brothers put together a script based on their adolescence spent at golf courses and the rest is history. Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, and Chevy Chase all in the same film. Not only that, but allowed to do whatever the Hell they wanted to in the same film. And people quote it all the time! So it’s got that going for it.

Airplane!

The Zucker Brothers and Jim Abrahams parlayed the buzz of The Kentucky Fried Movie into the making of Airplane! Based on the action drama films of the 70′s, the filmmakers decided to cast the stone serious actors of that genre. Lloyd Bridges, Leslie Nielsen, and Robert Stack launched successful second careers as comedic actors.

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