Published on May 31st 2010 by Leon Shepherd

This list contains the Top 10 funniest African-American comedy movies of all time. Consideration for this list consists of three factors: (A) The movie has to be very funny. (B) The movie has to have a predominately African American cast or an African American starring in the lead role. And (C), The movie must not portray any negative images of African Americans. So now that you know the guidelines, let the top 10 debate begin!

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10. Which Way Is Up?

  

Which Way is Up? is a 1977 comedy starring Richard Pryor. Pryor plays three roles: an orange picker named Leroy Jones, his father and a Reverend who gets the orange picker’s wife pregnant. When Leroy finds out that the Reverend Lenox Thomas has got his wife pregnant, he makes the moves on the reverend’s wife.

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9. Boomerang

 

Boomerang is a 1992 romantic comedy starring Eddie Murphy. Murphy, who also co-wrote the script, stars as Marcus Graham, a hotshot advertising executive who also happens to be an insatiable womanizer and male chauvinist. Thus, he is hardly prepared when his new boss Jacqueline, played by Robin Givens, enters the picture. In terms of things romantic, Jacqueline is essentially a female version of Marcus, and for the first time in his life, he is receiving the treatment he usually delivers to others, at times to much comic effect. Martin Lawrence, Halle Berry, David Alan Grier and Chris Rock also co-star.

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8. Friday

 

Friday is a 1995 comedy starring Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long, Bernie Mac, Tommy Lister, Jr. and John Witherspoon. The film revolves around 16 hours in the lives of Craig Jones (Ice Cube) and Smokey (Chris Tucker), who must pay a drug dealer $200 on Friday night by 10:00PM on the dot. The film also marks the first film appearance of Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile).

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7. Beverly Hills Cop 2

 

 

Beverly Hills Cop II is a 1987 action-comedy film starring Eddie Murphy. It is the first sequel in the Beverly Hills Cop series. Murphy returns as Detroit police detective Axel Foley, who returns to Beverly Hills, California to track down a group of international munitions smugglers involved in a series of armed robberies. He reunites with Beverly Hills detectives Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and John Taggart (John Ashton) to stop the gang after their friend, Captain Andrew Bogomil (Ronny Cox), is a victim to one of their crimes.

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6. Coming to America

 

Coming to America is a 1988 comedy based on a story by Eddie Murphy. Murphy, who also stars in the film, plays an African prince, who heads to the United States in hopes of finding a woman he can marry. In the movie, Murphy and co-star Arsenio Hall showcase their talents by playing multiple characters. The movie also stars John Amos, and James Earl Jones.

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5. I’m Gonna Git You Sucka

 

I’m Gonna Git You Sucka is a humorous 1988 mock blaxploitation film written, directed and starring Keenen Ivory Wayans. Featured in this comedy are several African American actors who were part of the blaxploitation phenomenon; including Jim Brown, Bernie Casey, Antonio Fargas and Isaac Hayes. The movie centers around Jack Spade (Keenen Ivory Wayans) who returns from the Army to his old neighborhood following the death of his brother, Junebug. The police determine Junebug’s death to be the result of an “OG”, or “Over Gold” — the victim has overdosed on gold chains. A brief image of Junebug is shown featuring him covered, head-to-toe, with gold chains. Jack seeks revenge for his brother’s death.

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4. Uptown Saturday Night

 

Uptown Saturday Night is a 1974 comedy directed by Sidney Poitier. Poitier also stars in this film, along with Bill Cosby and Harry Belafonte. In the movie, Steve Jackson (Sidney Poitier), a blue-collar worker at a steel mill, has just begun a two-weeks-long vacation. He is convinced by his friend Wardell Franklin (Bill Cosby) to go to a party that Saturday night at Madame Senobia’s, an uptown nightclub. While the two are at the party, the club is robbed. The masked bandits steal their money and jewelry, including Steve’s wallet. The following day, while Steve is at home reading his newspaper, he learns he has won the lottery. However, he realizes that the lottery ticket was in the wallet that was stolen from him, and Steve and Wardell spend the remainder of the film tracking down his wallet by consulting with crooked politicians, fake detectives, con-artists, and underworld crime bosses.

 

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3. Hollywood Shuffle

 

Hollywood Shuffle is a comedy released in 1987 that satirizes the stereotyping of African Americans in both film and television. It was directed and produced by Robert Townsend, and written by Robert Townsend and Keenan Ivory Wayans. The movie focuses on Bobby (Townsend) and his quest to succeed as a Hollywood actor. He is stuck working at a fast-food stand with some hilarious and demented characters who consistently try to destroy his plans for the future. When he finally gets a break, he is forced to question his own morality. Should he join the system and play stereotypical roles? Or should he refuse, risking his dream of becoming an actor?

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2. Beverly Hill’s Cop

 

Beverly Hills Cop is a 1984 action-comedy movie starring Eddie Murphy. Murphy stars as Axel Foley, a street-smart Detroit cop, who heads to Beverly Hills, California to solve the death of his best friend. This first film in the Beverly Hills Cop series shot Murphy to international stardom, won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical. It earned an estimated $234 million at the box office, making it the biggest hit of 1984 (ahead of Ghostbusters).

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 1.Let’s Do It Again

 

Let’s Do It Again is a 1975 comedy starring Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby, Jimmie Walker and John Amos. Poitier also directed. The film is about blue-collar workers who decide to rig a boxing match to raise money for their fraternal lodge. This was the second film pairing of Poitier and Cosby following Uptown Saturday Night, and followed by A Piece of the Action (1977). Although their characters have different names in each film, the three Poitier-Cosby pictures are considered to be a trilogy. Of the three, Let’s Do It Again has been the most successful both critically and commercially.

Entertainment | Comments (32)


32 Responses to “Top 10 Funniest African American Movies”

  1. rod moore Says:

    What no Who got the hook up? Just kidding. This list gives me the chance to point out the talents of Ice Cube. Writer, director, actor, rapper you name he does it. He doesnt get the respect & attention he deserves in my opinion so it was nice to see his work on this list. Where was Barbershop? That was also hilarious. Thanks Brother & Peace

  2. Leon Says:

    Rod, I completely agree with you regarding Ice Cube. He’s multi-talented and a proven success. I hope his TV show does well.
    Barbershop was not considered because it made a humor-less joke about the Mother of the Civil Rights movement, Ms. Rosa Parks. And, as listed in the introduction (letter c), one of the qualifications to make the list was no negative portrayals of African-Americans.

  3. Shonee Says:

    Hi Leon, although Im bored with Eddie Murphy in movies because we only get to see one side of him, I think Coming to America is the funniest. Oha’s “Queen To Be” song is the best!

  4. Terrance Says:

    i always felt ‘lets do it again’ and ‘uptown saturday night’ were some of funniest movies of all time. the whole ‘friday’ series was funny to me.

  5. Leon Says:

    Thanks for sharing Shonee!

  6. Leon Says:

    Thanks for sharing Terrance!

  7. Trisha Says:

    Leon, as you might guess I have not seen them all but now you have me interested in tracking down the Sidney Poitier movies. Good Work again.

  8. Lenora Says:

    I love this list Leon. These really good funny movies. What about Claudine? Great Job!

  9. Leon Says:

    Trisha, be sure you at least try to rent the movies, because once you see them, you will become a fan, and you’ll understand why they are in my top 10.

  10. Leon Says:

    Thanks Lenora!
    And Claudine was considered, but I felt the others on the list were a little more humorous.

  11. rod moore Says:

    My smarter half asked about The nutty professer. Thats Eddie at his peak as a comedic versitale actor and funnier than any of the ones listed. Why not that one.

  12. Leon Says:

    Rod, I remember it being funny, but I don’t remember it being as funny as the ones listed. Maybe I need to watch it again.

  13. grapevine Says:

    Leon, i’m somewhat confused by this list. Eddie Murphy was much funnier in Coming To America, than Beverly Hills Cop 1 & 11, but to me his best movie was 48 Hrs ( the first one). Also, how could you omit House Party starring Kid N Play, and the late great Robin Harris?

  14. rod moore Says:

    Check it out again. Eddies talent & versatilty is tremendous. The ability to give all the characters he played a specific personality is amazing. Jack Nicholson said he voted for Eddie to be nominated for an oscar.Also let me clarify by saying I thought it was funnier than some of Eddies movies you have on the list. Coming to America yes But Boomerang & Beverly Hills Cop 2. Dont forget 48 hours. Im sure Grady will chime in with that one as will Shack on Nutty Professer. Peace

  15. Shack Says:

    All – Just getting the chance tor respond. There are too many Beverly Hills Cop selections all of which don’t do anything for me. RM’s better half is correct The first Nutty Professor is better/funnier than ANY of the Beverly Hills Cop (BHC) trilogy.

    Everyone is also correct regarding the talents of I Cube. Nothing more than an average actor but as writer producer, director he gets kudos. Look at his first effort “The Players Club” which is a classic and very well done movie with many stars.

    Speaking of Players – I’d drop one or any of the BHC movies and replace it with “How To Be A Player” with Bill Bellamy. Also the Wayans effort with “Dont Be A Menace In South Central While Drinking Juice”…Etc. warrants some consideration. Although silly, (understand your criteria) I laughed more during that movie (especially the great Helen Martin part) than at any time during Beverly Hills Cop!!!

  16. Shack Says:

    In reviewing this list again, I have both “Boomerang” and “Coming to America” WAY Ahead of any of the BHC Movies. Also I would have Coming To America as No. 1 AA Comedy movie of all time!

    What about “Stir Crazy” starring R. Pryor and directed by Sidney P. Would/does it warrant consideration? How about “Blazing Saddles” with Cleavon Little.

  17. Leon Says:

    Grady, I agree that 48 hrs. may have been Edddie’s best movie, but 48 hrs didn’t qualify for the list, because it wasn’t an Eddie Murphy movie, it was Nick Nolte & Eddie Murphy movie.
    Another disqualification is that the lead actor/star was Nick Nolte, not E. Murphy.
    And House Party was considered, but edged out by Which Way is Up.

  18. Leon Says:

    Shack , Stir Crazy does not qualify because Gene Wilder received top billing, not Pryor. Plus, the movie was not centered around Pryor, but centered around both lead actors, which makes it a buddy movie, not a Pryor movie. Much less a black movie.
    Blazing Saddles is a possibility because C. Little was the lead actor, and the movie was centered around him.

  19. Leon Says:

    Rod, I agree with you regarding Murphy’s outstanding talent & versatility in N. Professor. And he definitely should have been nominated for an Oscar. But keep in mind, that we’re talking about his funniest movie, not his greatest acting performance.

  20. grapevine Says:

    House Party edged out by Which Way Is Up? Like Jed Clampett said PITTTIFULL!!!

  21. Shack Says:

    I’m still having trouble designating “Lets Do It Again” as THE NO.1 African-American Comedy of All Time – Don’t Think So. The so-called Potier/Cosby Trilogy was AAB (Average At Best)!
    My top five = 1.Coming To America, 2.Friday, 3.The Nutty Professor, 4.Don’t Drink Your Juice… and 5.Blazing Saddles!

  22. Leon Says:

    Shack, after further review, I may have to move your top three into my top five.
    And by the way, because of it’s title, Don’t Drink Your Juice is disqualified. lol

  23. Shack II Says:

    Thank You sir

  24. Leon Says:

    Shack, since you claim to be old school, but refuse to give any love to “Let’s Do It Again” or “Uptown Sat. Night.”, I’m proud to announce that Will Smith & Denzel just signed on to do the remake of Uptown Sat. Night.

  25. Shack Says:

    So are we to assume Denzel will play the Sidney part and Will is Bill C. Okay lets fill out the rest of the cast…I nominate the following:
    Ice-T (Geechie Dan/Harry B.)
    Beyonce (Leggy Peggy/P. Kelley)
    Mike Epps – (Sharp Eye Washington/R. Pryor)
    C. The Enertainer – (The Reverend/F.Wilson)
    Steve Harvey (Congressman/R.L. Browne)
    Wesley Snipes (Silky Slim/C.Lockhart)
    And as Little Seymour – Gary Coleman (RIP) LOL

  26. Shack Says:

    Correction – W. Snipes has too many contractual demands and the part of Silky Slimm will now be played by Snoop Dogg!

  27. Leon Says:

    Shack, since Gary Coleman will be unable to do the role, what about Emmanuel Lewis as Little Seymour?

  28. Shack Says:

    Okay, either E. Lewis or the little guy (midget) thats very popular as he has been in “Penitentiary”, “Martin” “Friday” and many other TV shows & movies but no one knows his name. Do you know the actor I mean?

  29. Leon Says:

    The actors name is Tony Cox. And he would be an excellent choice.

  30. Shack Says:

    Deal – Wouldn’t it be interesting if a movie was actually cast as described above and you/we could sue them since its our idea!

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