Monologues are tough to write as writers can’t just go on writing the dialogue without a certain self-evaluation and caution. Giving monologues is a completely mammoth task. The entire shot depends on you; the whole team is waiting desperately to get the right take. In the midst of such pressure, there have been several occasions where actors have nailed it – especially the funny monologues – since everyone involved with the shot has to hold up their laughter. So, the credit for pulling off a funny monologue must go to everyone involved with it. To acknowledge them and give the readers a hilarious experience, here’s the list of the funniest monologues in movies.
13. Groucho Marx – Animal Crackers (1930)
Groucho Marx gives this hilarious monologue as Captain Jeffrey Spaulding about his experiences in Africa.
“Friends, I’m going to tell you of the great mysterious wonderful continent known as Africa. Africa, God’s country. And he can have it. Well, sir, we left New York drunk and early on the morning of February second. After fifteen days on the water and six on the boat, we finally arrived on the shores of Africa.
We at once proceeded 300 miles into the heart of the jungle where I shot a polar bear. This bear was 6 foot 7 in his stocking feet and had shoes on. This bear was anemic and couldn’t stand the cold climate. He was a rich bear and could afford to go away in the winter. From the day of our arrival, we led an active life. The first morning saw us up at six, breakfasted, then back in bed at seven. This was our routine for the first three months. We finally got so we were back in bed at six-thirty.
One morning I was sitting in front of the cabin smoking some meat. There wasn’t a cigar store in the neighborhood. As I say, I was sitting in front of the cabin when I bagged six tigers. I bagged them, I begged them to go away, but they hung around all afternoon. They were the most persistent tigers I’ve ever seen. The principal animals inhabiting the African jungle are moose, elk, and Knights of Pythias.
Of course, you all know what a moose is; that’s big game. The first day I shot two bucks that were the biggest game we had. As I say you all know what a moose is? A moose runs around on the floor, and eats cheese and is chased by the cats. The elks, on the other hand, live up in the hills, and in the spring, they come down for their annual convention. It is very interesting to watch them come down to the water-hole, and you should see them run when they find it is only water-hole. What they’re looking for is an elk-a-hole. One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I’ll never know. But that is entirely irrelevant to what I was talking about. We took some pictures of the native girls, but they weren’t developed. But we’re going back again in a couple of weeks.”
12 John Belushi – Animal House (1978)
When he finds out that he’s expelled from the school, Bluto, played by John Belushi, rants out this classic monologue.
“Over? Did you say ‘over?!’ Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! And it ain’t over now. ‘Cause when the goin’ gets tough…the tough get goin’! Who’s with me? Let’s go! Come on! What the f**k happened to the Delta I used to know? Where’s the spirit? Where’s the guts, huh? ‘Ooh, we’re afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble.’ Well just kiss my a** from now on! Not me! I’m not gonna take this. Wormer, he’s a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer.”
11. Leslie Nielsen – The Naked Gun (1988)
‘The Naked Gun’ has a hilarious yet, romantic monologue in the climax, given by Leslie Nielen, who plays Frank Drebin.
“Jane, it’s me, Funny-face. You love Frank Drebin. And Frank Drebin loves you. Jane, listen to me, if you don’t love me, you might as well pull that trigger because, without you, I wouldn’t want to live anyway.
I’ve finally found someone I can love – a good, clean love… without utensils. It’s a topsy-turvy world, Jane, and maybe the problems of two people don’t amount to a hill of beans, but this is our hill and these are our beans. Since I met you, I’ve noticed things I never knew were there – birds singing, dew glistening on a newly formed leaf, stop lights. Jane, this morning, I bought something for you. It’s not very much, but pretty good for an honest policeman’s salary. It’s an engagement ring. I’d have given it to you earlier, but I wanted to wait until we were alone. I love you, Jane.”
10. Gene Wilder – Blazing Saddles (1974)
Jim or the “The Waco Kid” gives a rib-tickling monologue about his life experience in ‘Blazing Saddles.’
“I don’t know if you ever heard of me before, but I used to be called ‘The Waco Kid.’ I was just walking down the street, and I heard a voice behind me say, “Reach for it, Mister!” I spun around and there I was face to face with a six-year-old kid. Well, I just threw my guns down and walked away, little ba***rd shot me in the a*s! So I limped to the nearest saloon, crawled inside a whiskey bottle, and I’ve been there ever since.”
9. Adam Sandler – Happy Gilmore (1996)
‘Happy Gilmore’ is one of the best Adam Sandler movies. His monologue proves that the film is among the most hilarious sports movies ever made.
“My name is Happy Gilmore. Ever since I was old enough to skate, I loved hockey… wasn’t the greatest skater though. But that didn’t stop my dad from teaching me the secret of slapping the greatest slapshot. My dad worshiped hockey, my mom didn’t, that’s why she moved to Egypt, where there’s not a hockey rink within 15 hundred miles. Dad always took me to games to cheer for our favorite player, Terry O’Riley, the Tasmanian Devil. He wasn’t the biggest guy in the league, but he feared nobody, just like me. Handsome fellow, huh? He always said that when I grew up, I could be anything I wanted to be, but I never wanted to be anything but a hockey player. Yeah, my childhood was going great, but life is full of surprises.
After the funeral, I was sent to live with my grandma in Waterberry. I was kinda nervous since I really didn’t know her that well, but she dressed like Gene Simmons from KISS to cheer me up, she’s the sweetest person in the world. See, after my dad died, I developed kinda a short fuse. You see that kid over there just stole my party blower, and instead of asking for it back, I felt that I had to belt him in the head a bunch of times with a hammer. Look at me go. But I was always quick to say I was sorry. During high school I played junior hockey and still hold two league records; most time spent in the penalty box, and I was the only guy to ever take off his skate and try to stab someone.
After I graduated, I had a lot of different jobs; I was a road worker, a janitor, a security guard, a gas station attendant, and a plumber. Lately, I’ve been working construction, it’s not a bad racket, I’m a pretty good shot with a nail gun, but one day my boss, Mr. Larson, uh got in the way. Apparently, he also has a short fuse. Look at that monster. He got a few lucky punches in there, but I still feel I won the fight. Anyways, those other jobs weren’t for me. I was put on this planet for one reason, to play hockey.”
8. Bill Murray – Caddyshack (1980)
‘Caddyshack’ ranks among the best Golf movies ever made, and the sheer comic strength of Bill Murray makes it one of the most hilarious sports movies, along with the aforementioned ‘Happy Gilmore.’ His performance in the movie as Carl Spackler involves a funny monologue about gophers.
“License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations. Man, free to kill gophers at will. To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case, my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit – ever. They’re like the Viet Cong – Varmint Cong. So you have to lie back on superior intelligence and superior firepower. And that’s all she wrote.”
7. Nicolas Cage – Raising Arizona (1987)
Nicolas Cage, as Herbert “Hi” McDunnough in the Coen brothers’ 1987 mystery-drama ‘Raising Arizona’ performs the following monologue about his dream regarding the future.
‘That night I had a dream. I dreamt I was as light as the ether, a floating spirit visiting things to come. The shades and shadows of the people in my life rassled their way into my slumber. I dreamt that Gale and Evelle had decided to return to prison. Probably that’s just as well. I don’t mean to sound superior, and they’re a swell couple of guys, but maybe they weren’t ready yet to come out into the world. And then I dreamed on, into the future, to a Christmas morn in the Arizona home where Nathan Junior was opening a present from a kindly couple who preferred to remain unknown.
I saw Glen a few years later, still having no luck getting the cops to listen to his wild tales about me and Ed. Maybe he threw in one Polack joke too many. I don’t know. And still, I dreamed on, further into the future than I’d ever dreamed before, watching Nathan Junior’s progress from afar, taking pride in his accomplishments, as if he were our own, wonderin’ if he ever thought of us, and hopin’ that maybe we’d broadened his horizons a little, even if he couldn’t remember just how they got broadened. But still, I had dreamt nothin’ about me and Ed until the end.
And this was cloudier, ’cause it was years, years away. But I saw an old couple bein’ visited by their children, and all their grandchildren too. The old couple wasn’t screwed up, and neither were their kids or their grandkids. And I don’t know. You tell me. This whole dream, was it wishful thinkin’? Was I just fleeing reality like I know I’m liable to do? But, me and Ed, we can be good, too. And it seemed real. It seemed like us, and it seemed like, well, our home. If not Arizona, then a land not too far away, where all parents are strong and wise and capable, and all children are happy and beloved. I don’t know. Maybe it was Utah.’
6. Bill Crystal – City Slickers (1991)
Bill Crystal delivers a hilarious speech on the career day of his character Mitch’s kids. This can easily be said as the icing on the cake of his brilliant and funny performance in the movie ‘City Slickers.’
‘Value this time in your life kids, because this is the time in your life when you still have your choices, and it goes by so quickly. When you’re a teenager you think you can do anything, and you do. Your twenties are a blur. Your thirties, you raise your family, you make a little money, and you think to yourself, “What happened to my twenties?” In your forties, you grow a little pot belly you grow another chin. The music starts to get too loud, and one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother. Your fifties you have a minor surgery. You’ll call it a procedure, but it’s a surgery.
Your sixties you have a major surgery, the music is still loud, but it doesn’t matter because you can’t hear it anyway. The seventies, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale, you start eating dinner at two, lunch around ten, breakfast the night before. And you spend most of your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate in soft yogurt and muttering, “how come the kids don’t call?” By your eighties, you’ve had a major stroke, and you end up babbling to some Jamaican nurse who your wife can’t stand but who you call mama. Any questions?’
5. John Goodman – The Big Lebowski (1998)
In yet another Coen brothers movie, John Goodman as Walter gives a monologue about his friend Donnie before scattering his ashes.
‘Donny was a good bowler and a good man. He was…he was one of us. He was a man who loved the outdoors, and bowling, and as a surfer, he explored the beaches of southern California from La Jolla to Leo Carillo, and up to Pismo. He died.. he died as so many young men of his generation before his time, and in your wisdom, Lord, you took him. Just as you took so many bright, flowering young men at Khe San, and Lan Doc, and Hill 364. These young men gave their lives, and so did Donny. Donny who loved bowling. And so, Theodore Donald Karabotsos.. in accordance with what we think your dying wishes might well have been. We commit your final mortal remains to the bosom of the Pacific Ocean, which you loved so well. Goodnight, sweet prince.’
4. Dustin Hoffman – Tootsie (1982)
Dustin Hoffman plays a man in the disguise of a woman in the 1982 comedy ‘Tootsie.’ The following monologue hilariously reveals the truth about his identity.
‘It was this brother who, on the day of her death, swore to the good Lord above that he would follow in her footsteps, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, just, just, just, just, just, just, just, just, just, just owe it all up to her. But on her terms. As a woman. And just as proud to be a woman as she ever was. For I am not Emily Kimberly, the daughter of Dwayne and Alma Kimberly. No, I’m not. I’m Edward Kimberly, the reckless brother of my sister Anthea. Edward Kimberly, who has finally vindicated his sister’s good name. I’m Edward Kimberly. Edward Kimberly.’
3. Clark Griswold – Christmas Vacation (1989)
Clark Griswold’s famous and funny burst-out in the movie ‘Christmas Vacation’ in his workplace deserves a spot on the list.
‘Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I’d like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye, and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-a**, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey s*** he is! Hallelujah!’
2. Clark Griswold- Vacation (1983)
Clark Griswold makes the list yet again with another one of his hilarious monologues in the 1983 comedy ‘Vacation.’
‘I think you’re all f**ked in the head. We’re ten hours from the f**king fun park and you want to bail out! Well, I’ll tell you something, this is no longer a vacation, it’s a quest. It’s a quest for fun. I’m gonna have fun and you’re gonna have fun. We’re all gonna have so much f**king fun we’ll need plastic surgery to remove our g*d damn smiles! You’ll be whistling “Zippity Doo Da” out of your a**holes! (laughs) I gotta be crazy! I’m on a pilgrimage to see a moose! Praise Marty Moose! Holy s***!’
1. Matthew Broderick – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Matthew Broderick breaks the fourth wall and delivers hilariously clever monologues in the movie ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.’ This particular one stands out in the movie as well as the list.
‘The key to faking out the parents is the clammy hands. It’s a good non-specific symptom. A lot of people will tell you that a phony fever is a deadlock, but if you get a nervous mother, you could land in the doctor’s office. That’s worse than school. What you do is: you fake a stomach cramp, and when you’re bent over, moaning and wailing, you lick your palms. It’s a little childish and stupid, but then, so is high school.
I did have a test today. That wasn’t bulls**t. It’s on European Socialism. I mean, really, what’s the point? I’m not European, I don’t plan on being European, so who gives a crap if they’re socialist? They could be fascist anarchists – that still wouldn’t change the fact that I don’t own a car. Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism, for that matter. Isms, in my opinion, are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism – he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon: “I don’t believe in Beatles – I just believe in me.” A good point there. Of course, he was the Walrus. I could be the Walrus – I’d still have to bum rides off of people.’
Read More: Best Movie Monologues