Annie Hall Tops List – Followed by Some Like It Hot, Groundhog Day, Airplane!, and Tootsie
LOS ANGELES, NEW YORK -- The Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) tonight released the list of the 101 Funniest Screenplays. From the classics – The Gold Rush (#94, Written by Charles Chaplin) – to the contemporary – Bridesmaids (#16, Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig) the list spans 86 years of outstanding comedy screenwriting.
Voted on by members of both Guilds, films were eligible if they were exhibited theatrically; live-action, animation, silent, and documentary features were all eligible; and films must have been written in English. Short films (under 60 minutes in length), films that initially premiered on television, and films that do not feature on-screen writing credits were not eligible for consideration.
Events honoring the screenwriters took place in Los Angeles and New York. The WGAW, in sponsorship with ArcLight Hollywood, held its celebration at one of Hollywood’s landmarks, the Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard. Writer-director-actor-producer Rob Reiner hosted the evening’s program, which included screenings of film clips and panel discussions on topics ranging from "Classic Comedy" and "Satire/Spoof" to "Buddy Movies & Rom-Coms" and "High Concept." A panel titled "Not on the List" paid tribute to diverse comedy screenwriters and their notable works.
Panelists included Peter Bogdanovich (What’s Up, Doc?), Kay Cannon (Pitch Perfect), Jon Favreau (Swingers), Peter Farrelly & Bobby Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber), Randi Mayem Singer (Mrs. Doubtfire), Alexander Payne (Sideways, Election), the “ZAZ” comedy team of Jim Abrahams & David Zucker & Jerry Zucker (Airplane!, The Naked Gun), Buck Henry (The Graduate, What’s Up, Doc?), Karen McCullah & Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith (Legally Blonde), Dale Launer (My Cousin Vinny, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Marc Norman (Shakespeare in Love), Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein), George Gallo (Midnight Run), Robert Townsend (Hollywood Shuffle), Patricia Resnick (9 to 5), Carl Gottlieb and Michael Elias (The Jerk), Daniel Petrie, Jr. (Beverly Hills Cop), Bennett Yellin (Dumb & Dumber), Don Roos (The Opposite of Sex), and Josh Goldsmith & Cathy Yuspa (13 Going on 30). WGAW President Howard A. Rodman introduced the evening.
In New York, Wayne Federman (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) and Julie Klausner (Difficult People) hosted the WGAE’s celebration at The New School Auditorium in Greenwich Village. An official event of the 2015 New York Comedy Festival, the program featured Upright Citizens Brigade performers Brooke Van Poppelen (Hack My Life), Matt Klinman (Funny or Die News), Naomi Ekperigin (Difficult People) and Achilles Stamatelaky (Broad City) reading memorable scenes from the 101 Funniest Screenplays as the hosts paid tribute to honorees in attendance Norman Steinberg (My Favorite Year, Blazing Saddles), Andrew Bergman (Blazing Saddles), Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin), John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck) and Jim Taylor (Election, Sideways). The live reading was produced and directed by Wayne Federman and Christopher Rose (Late Night Basement).
The 101 Funniest Screenplays is a project of the WGAW’s Publicity & Marketing Committee, whose members include Aaron Mendelsohn (Chair); W. Bruce Cameron, Michael Conley, Diane Driscoll, Aaron Fullerton, Gary Goldstein, Katherine Fugate, Margaret Howell, Felischa Marye, Ken Pisani, Ari B. Rubin, Michael Walker, and Susan Walter.
The Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) are labor unions representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, new media, and broadcast news. The Guilds negotiate and administer contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of their members; conduct programs, seminars, and events on issues of interest to writers; and present writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America West, visit www.wga.org. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit www.wgaeast.org.