5. Hot Fuzz (2007)
Region: UK, US
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost star as mismatched coppers Nicholas Angel and Danny Butterman, who do battle with evil swans and shady businessmen in a quaint English village. This second part of the Cornetto Trilogy - that began with Shaun of the Dead - feasts on the tropes of genre movies and spins them on their heads. The great thing is, Edgar Wright doesn't try to get clever and wink at the audience. This is a straight-up action comedy. It's satire, it's homage, and it's just plain brilliant. Angel and Butterman's love of Point Break also gives us one of the most beautifully-shot rural car chases based on a Californian surf actioner. Winning stuff.
4. Clueless (1995)
Amy Heckerling adapted Jane Austen's Emma into a '90s teen comedy. It plays loose with the plot, and reimagines its heroine as a wealthy Valley girl, portrayed by a charming Alicia Silverstone. What makes Clueless so timeless - despite its obsolete fashion trends and dated slang - is the razor-sharp script and bubbly visuals. It's a carefree tale about a wealthy girl realising she's not quite as switched on as she thinks she is, and one that continues to accrue loyal followers obsessed with its brilliant one-liners. The cast, especially Silverstone, have tons of great material to showcase their comedy skills. But it's Dan Hedaya - as Cher's lawyer father - who steals the show, grilling her potential suitor Christian in one of the film's best moments.
3. Young Frankenstein (1974)
Region: UK, US
Who can argue with a film that's got Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder at the top of their game? This early seventies flick mixes classic parody with its own unique humour. Simply put: it's one of the best comedies ever made. Taking a recognisable tale and spinning it into realms of utter silliness is the goal of most parodies. Young Frankenstein brings much more to the party. The story of Frederick Frankenstein's rebellion against his family packs in loads of genuine guffaws, slapstick, sight gags and one-liners, with some terrific performances from Wilder, Madeleine Kahn and Marty Feldman.
2. The Nice Guys (2016)
From the writer-director of the seriously underrated Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang comes another amusing caper, this time starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. Shane Black taps into the world of Los Angeles circa 1977 to tell a story of a missing woman and the strange death of a famous porn star. Thuggish enforcer Jackson Healy (Crowe) begrudgingly joins forces with Holland March (Gosling) to solve the case. As you might expect, nothing goes according to plan and therein lies the comedy gold. Both leading men are brilliant, showing off their comedy chops in such a way that this film begs for a sequel. Who knew that contemporary detective comedies styled after Raymond Chandler stories would make such great comedies?
1. Airplane! (1980)
Released in 1980, Airplane! parodies the disaster movie genre that had become a firm fixture in '70s multiplexes. Arguably the best spoof of all time, there's simply no joke too silly or too crass for writers Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker. Plot-wise, it doesn't really matter that there's a planeful of passengers slowly succumbing to food poisoning. It's being up in the air with people from every walk of life that's the source of the humor. The scenario spawns endlessly quotable one-liners and deadpan scenarios that it's hard to believe were played straight-faced by the likes of Leslie Nielsen. There's no other parody that's clung to its legacy for so long.