The Ten Best Comedy Duos of All Time


There are so many factors that can make a comedy movie awesome but it really just comes down to the actors.  I mean you could have one guy sitting in a room for the entire film but if there’s just something funny about him (or her) you’re gonna be entertained no matter what.

And as an added bonus sometimes the comedy movie will throw in not one, but two great actors who can play off each other and amplify how funny the other one is.   It might be using a “polar opposite” strategy or it could be simply having the two fight.  Whatever the course of action, a good comedy team is one of my favorite elements in cinema.

Over the years we’ve seen our share of good and bad comedic duos.  Today I’m gonna focus on who I think are the 10 best comedy duos of all time….

Cheech and Chong

Obviously you can’t have a list like this without adding these two.  It’s impossible.

Laurel and Hardy

Hey it’s before my time and I’m not a huge fan of this kind of humor but you have to admit these guys set the stage for the comedy duo genre.  They played off each other better than just about anyone.

Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau

I’ve seen The Odd Couple and Grumpy Old Men.  Both were fantastic.  It’s a shame I haven’t seen the other films they’ve been in together but those two movies warrant a spot on this list.  The polar opposite thing worked to a tee with these two.

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly

You have to admit these guys work well together.  Notably in Step Brothers.   As long as Reilly is kind of a sidekick just acting dumb and Will Ferrell is yelling it’s tough not to laugh when these guys appear in a movie together.

David Spade and Chris Farley

It may have only been Tommy Boy in the movies (Black Sheep was bad) but that’s enough.  Plus all their work on SNL obviously.

Bill Murray and Chevy Chase

Whether it’s SNL or Caddyshack, back in the day people used to marvel watching these two guys together on screen.  It’s a shame Chase totally sucks now.  Bill Murray is still awesome though.

Steve Martin and Dan Ayckroyd

Two wild and crazy guys!  I hate this bit but it’s too popular to leave off.

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis

People forget about these two.  Of all the classic comedy duos they are right up there at the top.

Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor

These guys happen to be my favorite on this list.  Stir Crazy is one of my favorite comedies of all time and these two are the epitome of a great comedy duo.

Abbott and Costello

I just don’t think they’re funny but obviously you have to mention them when you’re talking history here.

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  1. Actually…Bill Murray and Chevy Chase weren’t on SNL together(as cast-mates) and were mortal enemies. Bill Murray joined SNL in season 2 after Chevy Chase gave the middle finger to the cast and tried to peruse an acting career. Rumor has it, Dan Aykroyd talked Bill Murray into punching Chevy Chase out when Chevy came back to SNL for the first time to host. Bill Murray and Harold Ramis on the other hand are solid gold.

  2. Great idea for a list! I can totally understand how you’d have to put the old school guys like Laurel and Hardy on here. Though as Brendan mentioned above, Bill Murray was Chase’s replacement on SNL, so they were really only in Caddyshack together. I think you could replace that particular entry with Bill Murray and ANYONE. Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, John Candy, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Woody Harrelson…come to think of it, Bill and Woody REALLY need to team up more.

    For a more modern addition, you could add Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey?

  3. No Bob Hope and Bing Crosby?
    Peter Cook and Dudley Moore?
    Nick Frost & Simon Pegg?
    Lenny and Squiggy?

    Abbott & Costello and the Marx Brothers are my all time favorite comedy teams.

    Watch “Buck Privates” or “Hold That Ghost” to see Bud & Lou in their prime.

  4. As I’m sure this website is predominately viewed by Americans I can understand there being a cultural bias towards representation of American comedy duos. BUT.

    I have to say that you have left out quite a significant number of memorable duos from other English speaking nations(well, two, and its a bit hard for me to not sound as xenophobic as this site while mentioning them)

    You left out Basil Fawlty and Manuel in the unbelievably good Fawlty Towers. And my personal bone of contention is the lack of Father Tid Crilly and Father Dougal Maguire…….

    I understand you may need to be Catholic and Irish to understand some of what was going on between the latter duo but I piss myself watching every episode and I have seen them at least ten times or more each.

    But, good list nonetheless. Sorry for the diatribe

  5. Frost/Pegg! I know everyone has seen Hot Fuzz and SotD, but have you guys seen the short lived Spaced? One of the best comedy series ever

  6. Ferrell/Reilly don’t belong on a list like this. They’ve been OK together, but I think Reilly could be replaced in any role he’s been in with Ferrell, and you’d get the same result (I’m not a huge fan of Ferrell so this isn’t a compliment to him, just a ding on Reilly and the team).

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