What’s Your Favorite 1930-60 Film Comedy Series?

Before there were TV sitcoms, moviegoers regularly followed the big-screen exploits of the Bumsteads, the Hardys, the Kettles and other recurring characters. We want to know which feature film comedy series was your favorite.

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  • NavyVet6468

    One of my favorite comedy teams 0f the 30’s and 40’s and still are wonderful to watch on the ‘big screen’ are William Powell, and Myrna Loy. I was born in 46, but I’ll tell ya, Myrna, was one beautiful woman !

  • pamhandle

    I loved the “Whistling in …” movies with Red Skelton as the “Fox”. I did some searching and was able to get all three of the movies. Ever so often I watch them for a good laugh, it never fails to put me in a good mood. Red Skelton was great in movies and I loved his show on tv. Loved it when he ad-libed and tried to crack up his guest star.

  • Leonard Ulman

    The East Side Kids/ Bowery Boys were favorites because they appealed to a young audience eager to form relationships with youngsters their own age. The adventures were plausible enough so that audiences could take part with the knowledge that in the end the whole gang would be back at the malt shop teasing Louie the owner unmercifully. Satch (Huntz Hall) and Slip (Leo Gorcey) were onscreen friends you could look forward to visiting. This is written from a male perspective as I was such a young man. Also as you grew older the characters in the films aged also a rarity in fictional portrayals

  • Blair Kramer

    Hope and Crosby, hands down.

  • Bryan Ruffin

    I voted for The Fox, because I love Red Skelton; I so wanted to vote “other” just so I could write in the Thin Man series from the ’40’s ! William Powell and Myrna Loy were absolute magic together!
    Thanks for this one, I really loved this survey!

    • hypatiab7

      “The Thin Man” was my reason, too, for voting other.

    • Bruce Reber

      Actually, the series began in 1934 with “The Thin Man”, and continued until 1947, when “Song Of The Thin Man” wrapped up the series.

  • jbourne5181

    loved the fun and innocense of the Andy Hardy movies. I always find it amusing that the things Andy would get in trouble for would’nt even get a mention in todays crazy world. I’ll watch an Andy Hardy .movie when ever I see one is on

  • Marlowe

    I agree with the Bryan and hypatiab7, I voted “other” for the Thin Man series.

  • Indigogirl13

    Who doesn’t love ‘The Thin Man’ series, and it isn’t on this list!

  • rgordon7

    Here’s another “Other” for “The Thin Man”!

  • williamsommerwerck

    I’m inclined to question the taste of anyone (myself included!) who has a favorite amont these series. None is consistently good, and most are inane. They were usually aimed at the lowest intelligence level of move-goers.
    The Crosby/Hope films have a much higher level of writing and direction, and hold up better than any of the others. But my taste has changed, and I no longer find them particularly amusing.
    There are perhaps three good entries in “Ma and Pa Kettle”, * and “Sitting Pretty” is an excellent film. I saw one “Gildersleeve” many years ago, and the only thing I remember was my disappointment that Walter Tetley wasn’t in it.
    * The good entries focus on the Kettles and their community, and are not at all bad. But the rest have them in clichéd fish-out-of-water stories, with the Kettles getting involved with gangsters or spies, etc. Of course, Marjorie Main is always a pleasure to watch — and hear! She had a voice that could crack cast iron.

  • Ben Garcia

    The Thin Man series of 7 films was classic. The writing and one-liners coupled with a semi-alcoholic detective made for laughs that still hold up. Can’t believe this list didn’t include it.

  • wbausert

    Doesn’t Abbott & Costello count?…or is it because their characters have different names in each of their films? Bud & Lou certainly played the same characters in almost every one of their 36 films together, even if the scripted names were different.

    • Dawn

      I’m with you! Abbott and Costello are the best. I can watch them over and over again.

  • IceStormer

    Of this list, The Kettles made me laugh the most. Even though it wasn’t a comedy series, rather a series with comedy in it, the Thin Man remains one of my favorites. The first few Francis films were ok, but then it just got silly. Never was much of a Bowery Boys/East Side Kids fan.

  • Jim

    I voted “other”, because my choice is the Topper series. I can’t believe you left it off the list.

    • kp22kc

      Maybe 3 movies isn’t considered a series.

      • Jim

        Perhaps, but three really clever, funny movies are preferable to a bushel of lowest common denominator dreck.

        • kp22kc

          I do love the Topper movies. I actually saw the TV remake first that starred Kate Jackson and Andrew Stevens as the Kirbys and Jack Warden and Rue Mcclanahan as the Toppers. I really loved it, but it brought me to the originals and I love them more.

  • Cheryl L Rose Didion

    The Thin Man Series

  • Layla

    The Thin Man Series

  • Gary Cahall

    To be honest, folks, when we made this poll we talked about the Thin Man series, but thought they fell under the category of “mystery films” (albeit light-hearted ones) as opposed to out-and-out comedy movies. We do have a poll where Nick and Nora are in the running for top ’30s/’40s movie sleuths at http://www.moviefanfare.com/whos-your-top-30s40s-non-holmes-film-series-sleuth/ I hope all you Thin Man fans understand.
    As far as Topper and its two sequels, they probably should have been included, and for that I apologize. I can only hope the Kerbys don’t take offense and start haunting me (although that would be kinda fun).

    • Bryan Ruffin

      I can understand, and will accept the explaination. I have to concede the notion that they were more mystery than comedy, I have just had so much fun watching them over the years, it’s hard not to think of them in the comedy genre.

  • david rackley

    this list is good! ma and pa kettle rulz I think isaw every movie! francis the talking mule was cool, blondie too