The 11 Funniest Christmas Comedies, From 'Home Alone' To 'The Holiday'
There is something about all the little tiny frustrations of Christmas that make for comedy gold. Christmas is the one time of year everyone goes a little bonkers in the pursuit of the perfect holiday. There are parents fighting over action figures kids will have forgotten ever existed by the following year, distant relatives dropping in with complicated dinner requests, and so many twinkling lights to untangle it is hard not to start resenting your neighbor's perfectly decked out house. Luckily, Christmas-centric films have found a way to mine the holiday for laughs. The funniest Christmas movies tap into the underlying frustrations and holiday headaches everyone who celebrates has to endure.
Over the years, Hollywood's brightest comedy stars have taken on Christmas movies and the results speak for themselves. Christmas and comedy have proven to be a dream team when it comes to churning out movie classics. From Bill Murray's stint as a modern day Scrooge to Macaulay Culkin living out every kid's dream of eating pizza, catching bad guys, and doing whatever they please, the movies on this list are the absolute funniest Christmas comedies around. They take on the trouble with traditions, the plight of the single, and the dangers of not giving into the holiday spirit. If you need a laugh this holiday season, these Christmas movies have your back.
1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
A masterpiece of family togetherness gone horribly awry, Christmas Vacation relishes in dismantling every last scrap of holiday cheer poor Clark Griswold and his family have. Squirrels, finicky lights, and a bad boss conspire to ruin the Yuletide cheer, but luckily for the audience the worse things get for the Griswolds, the more hilarious the movie becomes. If you aren't crying genuine tears from laughter by the time Chevy Chase delivers his epic rant on what he wants for Christmas then you might just be a Grinch.
The earnest innocence of Buddy gives Elf its charm and ability to wring laughs out of the most absurd moments. I blame Will Ferrell's ability to deliver every Christmas-loving line with real glee for making Elf a comedy that is as sincere as it is hilarious. Son of a nutcracker, this movie is great.
Even though Scrooged was released in 1988, its modernized take on A Christmas Carol is still relevant. Murray's bitter, money-loving television executive capitalizing on the holiday by forcing his staff to put on a live production on Christmas Eve feels authentic in a world where there is never enough time to consume the epic amounts of TV being produced. The real pleasure comes from watching Murray interact with his ghostly visitors, particularly the ecstatically violent Carol Kane as The Ghost of Christmas Present.
4. The Ref
You know your family has problems when even the guy holding you hostage can't stand listening to your bickering. The Ref is a dark comedy about robbery gone wrong for the beleaguered robber played by Denis Leary. This is the perfect movie to watch when you need a reminder of just how awesome your family is.
5. Home Alone
Can Christmas even come if you don't watch Home Alone once a year? Kevin's adventures in trap-constructing and living the good life while his extended family is away will never stop being amusing.
6. The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Muppet Christmas Carol actually stays fairly close to its Dickensian source material, but it is the addition of the Muppets that takes this adaptation to the next level. Kermit promising there's only one more sleep until Christmas is reason enough for this movie to make the list.
7. The Santa Clause
While The Santa Clause is probably more morbid than you remember (who takes a dead guy's clothes?), it is still just as funny and heartfelt now as it was when you were a kid. Between the quips, Tim Allen's effortless transformation into Santa, and the flawlessness of Bernard, The Santa Clause finds just the right balance between comedy and genuine emotion.
8. A Christmas Story
People tend to have strong feelings about A Christmas Story — either they love it more than Christmas cookies or they think it is the most ridiculous movie ever. Whichever camp you fall into, you have to admit the film's comedic flourishes have become ingrained in popular culture. All you have to do is mention the infamous leg lamp, "you'll shoot your eye out," or the bunny costume to elicit a reaction from believers and non-believers alike.
9. It Happened On Fifth Avenue
This old school treat finds a homeless man squatting in a rich family's home while they are away on vacation. For a brief window of time he is is the lord of the manor and he welcomes in every sad soul with no place to go for the holidays, including the owner of the house. Sweet, funny, and timeless, this is one classic that will never stop being a must-see.
10. Jingle All The Way
Jingle All the Way is a bit of a guilty pleasure, but if loving this movie is wrong then being right must be very dull. An ode to rampant consumerism and the forgotten hilarity of Sinbad, this '90s movie is the perfect holiday indulgence for fans of slapstick and Arnold Schwarzenegger's unique brand of silliness.
11. The Holiday
Jack Black has never been better than he is in The Holiday. The movie isn't a laugh a minute fest like the rest of this list, but it is the funniest romantic Christmas comedy out there, and its charm goes down as easy as a cup of warm Swiss Miss.
You now have all the makings for a hilarious Christmas marathon. You're welcome.
Images: Paramount Pictures; Allied Artists; Giphy (10)