Is Annie Hall The Funniest Screenplay Of All Time? The Experts Think So…

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • We take a look at the Writers' Guild of America's top 10 comedies and celebrate their funniest quotes. Which one is your favourite?

    The Writers’ Guild of America have achieved the impossible by naming their favourite comedies of all time – with Woody Allen’s Annie Hall occupying the top spot – but do you agree?

    It’s certainly a tough act to beat. Annie Hall regularly tops the expert polls and for good reason: described by Woody Allen himself as “a major turning point”, this 1977 classic is so much more than a simple romantic comedy. Defying convention, Allen’s ‘romance’ explores the disintegration of a relationship as his character tries to understand what went wrong with Annie – a role written specifically for Diane Keaton. The screenplay’s razor-sharp existential dialogue paved the way for modern comedy. Without it, When Harry Met Sally would never have happened and Sex and the City would be something entirely different.

    Conceived as Allen walked around New York, Annie Hall is as much a love letter written for his beloved city as it is to a lost relationship. Many have imitated this classic film since it hit the big screen nearly 40 years ago, yet very few have captured its magic.

    Which brings us to the Writers’ Guild of America’s ultimate top 10 funniest screenplays of all time. We take a look and celebrate their funniest quotes…

    1. Annie Hall, 1977

    “It reminds me of that old joke- you know, a guy walks into a psychiatrist’s office and says, hey doc, my brother’s crazy! He thinks he’s a chicken. Then the doc says, why don’t you turn him in? Then the guy says, I would but I need the eggs. I guess that’s how I feel about relationships. They’re totally crazy, irrational, and absurd, but we keep going through it because we need the eggs.”

    2. Some Like It Hot, 1959

    ‘Joe: Jerry, Jerry, will you take my advice? Forget about the whole thing, will ya? Just keep telling yourself: you’re a boy, you’re a boy.
    Jerry: I’m a boy.
    Joe: That’s the boy.’

    3. Groundhog Day, 1993

    ‘I was in the Virgin Islands once. I met a girl. We ate lobster, drank Piña Coladas. At sunset we made love like sea otters. That was a pretty good day. Why couldn’t I get that day over and over and over?’

    4. Airplane!, 1980

    ‘Ladies and gentleman, this is your stewardess speaking. We regret any inconvenience the sudden cabin movement might have caused. This is due to periodic air pockets we encountered. There’s no reason to become alarmed and we hope you enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?’

    5. Tootsie, 1982

    ‘George: You played a tomato for 30 seconds – they went a half a day over schedule because you wouldn’t sit down.
    Michael: Yes – it wasn’t logical.
    George: You were a tomato! A tomato doesn’t have logic. A tomato can’t move.
    Michael: That’s what I said. So if he can’t move, how’s he gonna sit down, George? I was a stand-up tomato: a juicy, sexy, beefsteak tomato. Nobody does vegetables like me. I did an evening of vegetables off-Broadway. I did the best tomato, the best cucumber…I did an endive salad that knocked the critics on their ass.’

    (TM & copyright 20th Century Fox)

    6. Young Frankenstein, 1974

    ‘Igor: You know, I’ll never forget my old dad. When these things would happen to him… the things he’d say to me.
    Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: What did he say?
    Igor: “What the hell are you doing in the bathroom day and night? Why don’t you get out of there and give someone else a chance?”‘

    7. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, 1964

    ‘There’s no fighting in the War Room!’

    8. Blazing Saddles, 1974

    ‘Bart: What’s your name?
    Jim: My name’s Jim, but most people call me…Jim.’

    9. Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 1975

    ‘Guard: Who goes there?
    King Arthur: It is I, Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon, from the castle of Camelot. King of the Britons, defeater of the Saxons, Sovereign of all England!
    Guard: Pull the other one!’

    10. National Lampoon’s Animal House, 1978

    ‘Eric ‘Otter’ Stratton: You guys up for a toga party?
    John ‘Bluto’ Blutarsky: Toga! Toga!
    Eric ‘Otter’ Stratton: Ah, I think they like the idea, Hoov.’

    Reading now