I love to see a good comedy team again and again. And what makes a good comedy team? There’s magic that happens when some people get together. Chemistry is key. Sometimes it just clicks and you know that you’re seeing something special. Part of it could be that the performers are just having so much fun themselves that it’s infectious. I would like to celebrate the top 10 Comedy Teams of All Time, by counting them down.
Creating the list was very difficult, because there are so many. I did not get to include many teams that were truly great. I would also like to shout out a few Honorable Mentions to a few of my favorites. Teams such as:
George Burns and Gracie Allen
The Smothers Brothers
Cheech and Chong
Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor
Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore
Don Knotts and Tim Conway
Now I can go on and on, because there are many more great teams. But eventually I will have to get to my top 10. So, with no further adeau… The Top 10 Comedy Teams of All Time:
#10 Simon Pegg and Nick Frost
I know, I know. They haven’t been around as long as some of the Honorable Mentioned teams, but these guys are awesome. They’re bromance is as entertaining as it is endearing. I would see anything with the two of them in it. Always funny. They work very well together and I want to see them continue to work together for many years to come. So, will they work together again? Nothing is set, but their true friendship is well documented and they’re always looking to spent time together. Why not get paid, and make many of us laugh in the process. Fun for them, and us.
A few of the projects they’ve done together are; Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul, The Adventures of Tintin, The World’s End, and The Boxtrolls. Keep it up guys, I can’t wait for the next one.
#9Amy Poehler and Tina Fey
These two amazing women are quickly climbing the ranks of the Best Female Comedians of All Time. And that’s saying something. They’re right up there with the best of the best. So, it should be no surprise to find them here. Now again, like number 10, they’re a great team and great friends. When it works, it works.
Here is a list of some of the projects they’ve done together; Chicago’s Improv, Olympics, Second City, Saturday Night Live, Martin & Orloff, Mean Girls, Baby Mama, and Sisters. Not to mention, they’ve hosted the Golden Globes together 3 times. All to rave reviews. May we continue to see them together in the future.
#8 Jack Lemmon and Walter Mattheu
I love these guys, and it’s not just because of Grumpy Old Men. They each have prolific careers in their own right, but put them together and something extra special happens. This original Odd Couple made some of the most memorable movies together. They will be greatly missed.
Here are a few of the highlights of their work together; The Odd Couple, The Fortune Cookie, The Front Page, Buddy Buddy, Kotch, JFK, Grumpy Old Men, Out to Sea, Grumpier Old Men, and The Odd Couple II.
#7 Bob Hope and Bing Crosby
These guys were well established before making their “Road” movies together. They filmed seven together beginning in 1940 and even had an 8th planned, but it was scrapped after Crosby died prematurely from a heart attack.
They performed many times together on the stage, television, and to the troops around the world. Both of them were well known supporters of men and women in uniform.
Their films together were; Road to Singapore, Road to Zanzibar, Road to Morocco, Road to Utopia, Road to Rio, Road to Bali, and Road to Hong Kong.
#6 Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
These two first teamed up in a night club routine, moved on to radio, and eventually into television and the movies. They performed together for 10 years, to the day. Much of their earlier material was improvised. They made over 17 feature films together and were hailed as “the hottest act in the 50’s!”
They split rather abruptly and it was widely publicized. Both went on to become very success on their own. Years later they reconciled, but they never officially performed together again.
Some of their most popular films were; My Friend Irma, Money From Home, Scared Stiff, The Caddy, Living It Up, and Hollywood or Bust.
#5 Monty Python
“Monty Python’s Flying Circus” first aired on October 5th, 1969 and the world would never be the same. After a very successful series of 45 episodes, Monty Python continued on with records, stage shows, books, specials, films, and much more. The team consisted of; Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam.
They have all gone on to successful solo careers and have performed periodically together for special occasions. Their films include; And Now For Something Completely Different, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl, and Monty Python’s Meaning of Life.
#4 Laurel and Hardy
This pair appeared in over 32 silent short films, 40 short sound films, 23 full length feature films, as well as television, radio, and stage productions together. Both of them were well known actors before they teamed up, but skyrocketed in popularity afterwards. They continued to work together for over 20 years.
Some of their most popular films are; Helpmates, Block-Heads, County Hospital, A Chump at Oxford, Way Out West, The Devil’s Brother, Babes in Toyland, Sons of the Desert, and The Music Box.
#3 The 3 Stooges
The 3 Stooges made 220 films. They appeared on television, cartoons, radio, books, and a lot of merchandise. The most famous Stooges were Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curly Howard. Other members were Shemp Howard, Joe Besser, and Curly Joe DeRita. We used to watch them every afternoon mixed in with our cartoons, as it ran continuously for many years in syndication. I doubt there is a person out there that doesn’t know who they are, even today. Their brand recognition is amazing.
Their most popular films are; Hoi Polloi, Three Little Pigskins, How High is Up?, Brideless Groom, Punch Drunks, Disorder in the Court, Sing a Song of Six Pants, Who Done It?, and Malice in the Palace.
#2 Abbott and Costello
These two created the best sketch of all time, “Who’s on First?”. It’s also what pushed them into the big leagues. They began performing together in Burlesque shows and made their way from the stage to radio to television and the movies. In a partnership that lasted for over 32 years, they made some of the most popular films during World War II.
Some of their most popular films were; Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd, Abbott and Costello Meet the Foreign Legion, The Time of Their Lives, Buck Privates, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Hold That Ghost, and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
#1 The Marx Brothers
These guys not only top most comedy lists I’ve seen, but they are my personal favorite for Best Comedy Teams Ever. They’re the best. Their movies are classic. Five of their thirteen films, were selected by the American Film Institute as among the Top 100 Comedies of All Time.
This family of performers honed their skills in vaudeville and their first two films, The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers, were originally stage plays. The team consisted of Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo (for five films), and Gummo (Manager for the brothers). And let’s not forget Margaret Dumont, who is considered by many to be the fifth Marx brother, as she appeared in most of their films as the “straight man” to Groucho’s zaniness.
Some of their best films are; Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, Duck Soup, A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, Room Service, and At the Circus.