Like others, I was surprised by some of the omissions, but also by some of the inclusions in the "comedy" category. I did not peruse the complete lists in detail, but did skim them all to get a sense of the voting and the nominees.
Notable exclusions to me were no Pink Panther, no Laurel and Hardy, no Abbott and Costello, no Little Rascals and no Three Stooges, all some of my boyhood favourites. Mind you, most of the critics may be too young to have been exposed to many of them. Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton were included on several lists, but they are early legends, so the critics may have been exposed to them in film history studies or similar places. Maybe some of those are excluded from contention, since many films are short works?
There are also a number of odd inclusions to me. They all certainly have comedic aspects, of course, some of them with significant and sophisticated humour, but I think of them as being more appropriately included in some other category, whether a drama, a tragedy, a musical, or even science fiction. This list includes such films as Pulp Fiction, The Graduate, It's A Wonderful Life, Singin' In The Rain and Star Trek IV. But obviously many others feel differently.
I tried to come up with a list of my own top 10 and with a little sifting and winnowing, here it is. However, on a different day, or with further reflection, it might be a different ten, or a different order. I got to twenty fairly easily, even restricting each director or primary comedian to only one film on the list:
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail
- Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
- Animal House
- Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
- Annie Hall
- When Harry Met Sally
- Forrest Gump
- The Great Dictator