Comedy generates an immediate, undeniable audience response. If audiences are smiling and laughing, then there’s a good chance you made an effective funny movie. Thousands of comedies fall under the “effective funny movie” umbrella, of course, but what about the movies that exist beyond that, in another sphere? What about the films that are both hilarious and emotional, hilarious and innovative, hilarious and profound in a way that keeps us thinking about them years and even decades later? We’re here to talk about those movies—but first, a few caveats: One, for the purposes of brevity and sanity, we’re talking about English-language comedy movies only this time around. Two, nothing ages faster than comedy, so some films aren’t here by virtue of viewing them through a 2020 lens.