“The comedy team is a sacred show-business relationship. From the beginning of time, when Eve asked Adam if he wanted a bite to eat, having two or more characters deliver the jokes has always meant more laughs for your money.
Whether the team was a husband and wife, a jokester and his straight man or an ensemble pun-fest, comedy teams have left us rolling in the aisles since, well, since there were aisles.
In no particular order, here’ our favorite top 20, guaranteed to split a rib or two.
Starting out with Mom always liked you better jokes, the real-life brothers evolved into a very liberal, very funny act.
Abbott & Costello
The classic buffoon meets the classic straight man. Who’s on First? is still one of the funniest routines ever.
The Three Stooges
Stars of TV and film, the Stooges invented comedic violence. Nyuck nyuck.
Cheech & Chong
Everything seems funny after you’ve sparked up a fatty. Especially these two stoners.
These two white guys were a hit back in the early days of TV and radio, wearing blackface and playing on every negative racial stereotype you can imagine. If you can put away your political correctness, you’ll admit they were pretty funny.
Laurel & Hardy
Early slapstick comedy as high art. Their Babes in Toyland remains a Christmas classic.
Some of the funniest Brits ever born. Between their Flying Circus and their uproarious movies, these guys kept busy.
Martin & Lewis
What happens when you pair a zany over-the-top Jewish guy with a suave, debonair Italian? Show business biggest duo for a decade.
Taking the groan-inducing pun to another dimension, Groucho and his brothers made one painfully funny movie after another. Go! And never darken my towels again!
Dan Aykroyd & John Belushi
Two of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live, Aykroyd and Belushi broke box-office records with their Blues Brothers.
Burns & Allen
This husband-and-wife team had an enormously popular radio and TV show in the 50s. Gracie played the ditzy wife; it wasn’t exactly clear who the real brains were in this pairing.
Lucy & Ethel
While their husbands were away, these best friends got themselves into more jams and fixes that any two women ever did. Their brief stint working at a candy factory is one of TV’s all-time funniest routines.
Another pair of best friends, these two took on the Midwest in the 50s with a cockeyed optimism. And they were pals with the Fonz.
Lemmon & Matthau
Two classic actors grew old together with a series of very funny movies. Being a crotchety old man never looked so good.
Gene Wilder & Richard Pryor
From Silver Streak to Stir Crazy, these stars worked some of their funniest bits together.
Mel Brooks & Carl Reiner
TV legends in their own rights, when they performed their 2,000 Year Old Man comedic history was made. Download it. Now!
Hope & Crosby
Bob Hope, the fast-talking wisecracker, and Bing Crosby, the smoothest crooner ever, were box-office boffo with their Road to series.
As if watching Carol Burnett do sketch comedy wasn’t enough, these two were much more than just co-stars of her TV show. Who laughed more the audience or this pair?
Breaking all the rules and we mean all of them this duo turned animation on its ear with South Park, and then took on Broadway with the hysterical Book of Mormon.
Ben Stiller’s parents were a dynamite husband-and-wife team that brought the funny to middle age. No wonder George Costanza was so screwed up.