The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy

Vulture has a mega-post with a timeline of comedy history. The title is a bit hyperbolic, because the 100 jokes are limited to the United States in the last 110 years. However, it does include visual gags, one-liners, full skits, movie scenes, standup, long-running jokes, and more, with commentary. There are tons of classics that will make you laugh no matter how many times you’ve heard them, and others you may vaguely remember and will be glad to see again.

“When I’m Good I’m Very Good … But When I’m Bad, I’m Better” -Mae West, 1933

“I was in love with a beautiful blonde once, dear. She drove me to drink. That's the one thing I’m so indebted to her for.” -W.C. Fields, 1941

“Welcome to the Academy Awards, or, as it’s known at my house, Passover.” -Bob Hope, 1968

“Dave’s not here.” -Tommy Chong, 1971

“These go to 11.” -Christopher Guest, 1984

There are a lot of videos. You can read through them in order, or use the timeline to jump around and find your favorites. Some are NSFW, but the description should indicate the subject before you play a sound clip or video. This list could keep you busy for days.

(Image credit: Giacomo Gambineri)


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WC Fields looking at Mae West's huge diamond ring and says, "oh my goodness." To which Mae responds, "goodness had nothing to do with it." My favorite movie line.
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