10 Longest Comedy Movies, Ranked by Runtime


Since the youth of storytelling itself, comedy has been a crucial part of society’s creative collective. As such, it’s unsurprising that the genre has been present and growing in cinema since the dawn of the art form. From early hilarious silent masterpieces to modern cult classics, comedy has come a long way. Though a short runtime is most often all that’s needed for a well made, funny comedy, some filmmakers go in bolder directions.

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From international classics like Federico Fellini‘s surreal masterwork La Dolce Vita, to newer divisive works like Damien Chazelle‘s Babylon, certain comedies have proved that a longer movie can result in just as great and amusing an experience as any shorter comedy, if not even better an funnier. After all, more minutes of laughter will never be an unwelcome thing.

10 ‘3 Idiots’ (2009) — 2h 50m

Directed by Rajkumar Hirani

Indian filmmakers are no strangers to making extraordinarily long comedies, and 3 Idiots is one of the country’s most acclaimed. Clocking in at nearly three hours, this Hindi-language classic is about two friends searching for their long-lost companion, recalling the memories of their friend who inspired them to think differently.

3 Idiots is one of those « dumb » comedies that are actually quite ingenious. Witha star-studded cast, great music, and an energetic sense of humor, this modern Bollywood gem could serve as the perfect introduction to India’s very particular way of making comedies for those who are unfamiliar. Though its title may indicate otherwise, below the surface of 3 Idiots lies a surprisingly intelligent, compassionate, and cleverly made comedy that makes great use of its runtime.

3 Idiots
Release Date
December 23, 2009

Director
Rajkumar Hirani

Cast
Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Boman Irani, Madhavan, Omi Vaidya, Sharman Joshi

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
170

Main Genre
Comedy

Genres
Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Romance

Rent on Amazon

9 ‘La Dolce Vita’ (1960) — 2h 54m

Directed by Federico Fellini

Federico Fellini is often regarded as the single greatest Italian filmmaker ever, and his tremendous filmography stands by the title. La Dolce Vita is undoubtedly one of his best works, and one of the best Italian movies of all time. Sexy and surreal, it follows a series of stories focusing on a week in the life of a philandering tabloid journalist living in Rome.

A profoundly existential masterpiece about pleasure, desire, and the endless quest for life’s meaning, the film is guaranteed to leave viewers wanting more even after its daunting runtime is over. With a magnificent performance by the legendary Marcello Mastroianni and the typical extravagant energy that characterizes most of Fellini’s filmography, La Dolce Vita is by no means your traditional comedy, but it’s all the better because of that.

Editor’s Note: Not Available for Streaming

8 ‘Beau Is Afraid’ (2023) — 2h 59m

Directed by Ari Aster

Joaquin Phoenix sitting on a cruise ship in Beau is Afraid
Image via A24

Over the course of his three feature films, Ari Aster has successfully established himself as one of the most distinct and exciting new voices in horror. Beau Is Afraid is by far the most idiosyncratic and distinct film he’s made thus far, a creepy surrealist dramedy about a man afraid of everything, who must confront his fears as he embarks on a Kafkaesque odyssey back home after his mom’s death.

Dripping with existential dread and with frames full of some of the most messed-up imagery this decade’s cinema has seen thus far, Beau Is Afraid is an absolutely unforgettable experience with an out-of-this-world intense third act. The story is interestingly paced and may not be for everyone, but those looking for a movie that succeeds as both a creepy horror drama and a wacky surrealistic comedy ought to check out Aster’s latest extravaganza.

Beau Is Afraid
Release Date
April 21, 2023

Director
Ari Aster

Cast
Joaquin Phoenix, Parker Posey, Amy Ryan, Richard Kind, Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone

Rating
R

Runtime
179 minutes

Main Genre
Drama

Watch On Apple TV

7 ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (2013) — 3h

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Jordan Belfort standing amid a celebration at his office in The Wolf of Wall Street.
Image via Paramount Pictures

In many cinephiles’ eyes, Martin Scorsese is nothing short of the greatest filmmaker working today. His recent work has been every bit as remarkable as the good old stuff, and The Wolf of Wall Street proves that. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio in one of his most outstanding roles, as the stock-broker Jordan Belfort and his rise to a wealthy high life, followed by his downfall involving crime and corruption.

The Wolf of Wall Street isn’t only one of the longest comedies, but also one of the longest biopics of all time. Its nuanced depiction of Belfort and the implications of his life’s work is an emotional rollercoaster, made extremely powerful by one of the most opulent and outright hilarious tones of any movie Scorsese has ever directed. Far from just simplistic sensory overload, it’s an expertly crafted character study with excellent performances, a great sense of humor, and a wonderfully written script.

The Wolf of Wall Street
Release Date
December 25, 2013

Director
Martin Scorsese

Cast
Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie, Jonah Hill, Cristin Milioti, Jon Bernthal

Rating
R

Runtime
179

Main Genre
Crime

Genres
Crime, Biography, Comedy, Documentary, Drama

Studio
Paramount Pictures

Watch On Paramount Plus

6 ‘Short Cuts’ (1993) — 3h 8m

Directed by Robert Altman

Short Cuts - 1993

Known for his authentic and individualistic style that often went against Hollywood establishments, Robert Altman made some really outstanding classics throughout his career. One of his best yet most underappreciated films is Short Cuts, a real gem among the best anthology movies. Based on the writings of Raymond Carver, Altman’s film makes the best use of its stacked cast to show the day-to-day lives of several suburban L.A. residents.

One of only a few films whose only Oscar nomination was for Best Director, Short Cuts is brilliantly made by an auteur clearly at the top of his game. Each story beautifully adds to the overarching narrative’s themes of fate and people blindly looking to make sense of their lives. Expertly juggling different tones, but neaver ceasing to be delightfully comical, the film is an artful celebration of storytelling and the energetic ideas that populated Altman’s creative mind.

Editor’s Note: Not Available for Streaming

5 ‘Babylon’ (2022) — 3h 9m

Directed by Damien Chazelle

Damien Chazelle (who is, to date, the youngest person to win a Best Director Oscar) has time and time again proved that he’s one of the best newcomers to the Hollywood filmmaking scene. Babylon, his latest masterpiece, is a work of graphic excess and relentless hedonism, but also a deeply thoughtful critique of the movie capital of America and a celebration of cinema as an art form. It tells an outsized tale of ambition that traces the rise and fall of multiple characters, all players in an era of decadence and depravity in early Hollywood.

Babylon is one of the biggest box office flops of the 2020s thus far, but it deserved much better. It’s Chazelle’s most jaw-droppingly ambitious outing to date, proof that he can only get better from this point on. With a pitch-black sense of humor, an emotional story of love and desire, and a phenomenal cast of iconic stars, it’s one of the decade’s most impressive and fascinating efforts.

Babylon 2022 Film Poster

Babylon

A tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess, it traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of unbridled decadence and depravity in early Hollywood.

Release Date
December 23, 2022

Director
Damien Chazelle

Cast
Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jean Smart, Olivia Wilde, Diego Calva

Rating
R

Runtime
189 minutes

Main Genre
Drama

Watch on Amazon Prime

4 ‘Céline and Julie Go Boating’ (1974) — 3h 13m

Directed by Jacques Rivette

Celine and Julie Go Boating - 1974
Image via Films du Losange

Made by Jacques Rivette, one of the most experimental directors of the French New Wave (perhaps the most influential film movement in history), Céline and Julie Go Boating is a magical and intensely surrealistic adventure about a mysteriously linked pair of young women, who find their lives impacted by a strange boudoir melodrama playing itself out in a hallucinatory parallel reality.

Perfectly evoking a dreamscape and the magic of comedic meta-narratives, Céline and Julie is an experience that all movie fans should have at least once in their lives. Some may find the film’s challenging runtime tiresome, but those willing to engage with its wild imagination and wondrous dreamlike pacing will be impressed by Rivette’s magnum opus. A story about the art-making process and its impact on the artists’ daily lives, it’s a phenomenal comedy that justifies its length every chance it gets.

Watch on Criterion

3 ‘It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World’ (1963) — 3h 17m

Directed by Stanley Kramer

The Cast of It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
Credit: MGM/IMDb

Aside from having a hilarious cast of comedic stars and one of the most unique movie titles out there, Stanley Kramer‘s It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World can also brag about being one of the longest comedies ever—One whose every minute of runtime is a laugh-out-loud delight. It’s about a group of motorists who witness a car crash in the California desert, who race after the hidden treasure whose location the driver’s dying words revealed.

Kramer was best-known for his work in drama, so the fact that this departure from his usual genre turned out so remarkably well is rendered all the more admirable. Factors like studio interference have caused the movie to have multiple cuts throughout its history, but its recently restored version is still stunningly long. It hardly matters, because every set piece is so frantic, charming, and exquisitely excessive that the comedic epic resulting from all the spectacle is a treat to watch from start to finish.

Watch on Tubi

2 ‘Love Exposure’ (2008) — 3h 57m

Directed by Sion Sono

A woman praying, surrounded by multiple people ready to fight her in 'Love Exposure'

Far and away one of the weirdest rom-coms ever made, Sion Sono‘s Love Exposure is unlike anything else the genre has ever seen. Mixing action, comedy, religious symbolism, and upskirt photography, it’s a unique story about a bizarre love triangle between a young Catholic boy, a misandric girl and a manipulative cultist. Twisty, intricate, and vigorously funny, it’s an incredible merger between the sacred and the profane that studies these two concepts in depth.

Love, family, religion, and gender are all themes that populate Sono’s strange masterpiece. You don’t usually get comedies that go on for nearly a full four hours, but Love Exposure is fully aware of the level of attention it’s demanding from audiences and makes sure to reward their patience. As cynical and anti-establishment as the auteur at its helm, the movie is as entertaining as an arthouse rom-com can ever hope to get. It may not be great for date night, but that sure would make for a hell of an anecdote.

Editor’s Note: Not Available for Streaming

1 ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ (2012) — 5h 21m

Directed by Anurag Kashyap

Gangs of Wasseypur is a criminally underrated movie with Martin Scorsese‘s seal of approval. Directed by Anurag Kashyap, this Hindi-language Indian epic is an action comedy about a man who vows to take revenge on the man who killed his father decades earlier. Thus is sparked a crime saga about power struggles, politics, and the coal mafia, affecting multiple families and generations. It’s one of the most ambitious movies India has ever produced, and the result was nothing if not successful.

Gangs of Wasseypur is a two-part crime epic, which had to be exhibited as two separate films to the Indian market since no theater wanted to play a film over five hours long. Frantic, bloody, and an awful lot of fun, it’s a brilliant satirization of the genre made by a director in full control of his craft. Gangs of Wasseypur weaves an ambitious narrative made up of multiple storylines in admirable fashion, resulting in one of the most memorable crime comedies made in recent times.

Watch on Mubi

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