Our Favorite Modern Comedy Duos, Ranked
Sometimes we enjoy a movie because it's well-written, well-directed and it features some of our favorite things — like butt jokes or Eddie Murphy. Other times, we get obsessed over the very obvious on-screen sparks flying between two comedians who seem to have been lab-grown in the same comedy womb (or wherever comedians come from).
On-screen chemistry in comedy is crucial, and some folks simply gel better than others. So today, we’re focusing on some of the best current funny people pairings that never fail to entertain us — even if they’ve only been on-screen together once. It’s one-for-one, don’t fight us...
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson (‘Wedding Crashers,’ ‘The Internship’ )
While these two have starred together in a couple of movies, it was their buddy-comedy appearances in both Wedding Crashers and the Google movie that showed how well they play off each other. Vaughn and Wilson both have a fast and natural rhythmic approach to their acting, and watching them bounce dialogue off each other is like watching a unicorn skating on a rainbow — a thing either one of them would totally say.
Jamie Foxx and Dave Franco (‘Day Shift’ )
Yes, this is their first movie together, but damn if they don’t slay it in the chemistry department. Watching these two create action-comedy magic on screen is refreshing, especially since they’re the most unlikely duo on this list. Best of all, their chemistry is legit — check out this interview they did together and try not to feel the vibes.
Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael-Key (‘Mad TV,’ ‘Key & Peele,’ ‘Keanu’ )
These two even rocked it opposite each other’s animated characters in 2022’s Wendell & Wild, which just shows how good they are together. It was laughter at first sight for the longtime collaborators, and they both have spoken fondly of their joint careers. As Key told Entertainment Weekly: “When you spend that much time with somebody, especially a person that you lived with — we lived together for four months when we first started our career together at Mad TV — there is a real connection, and there are times when it gets downright symbiotic.”
Steve Martin and Martin Short (‘Father of the Bride,’ ‘Three Amigos,’ ‘Only Murders in the Building’ )
It was during the scene where they danced and sang about buttercups in Three Amigos that the pair apparently knew they had found their “comedy soulmates.” These two veterans were pitch-perfect playing opposite each other as unexpected newfound friends in Father of the Bride (and its sequel), while their latest outing together in Only Murders warms you up like a hot cup of cocoa on a cold, murderous Manhattan morning.
Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy (‘Schitt’s Creek,’ ‘Best in Show,’ ‘A Mighty Wind’ )
Two of Canada’s greatest exports were both part of an improv troupe in Toronto, and from there, they went on to make screen history. They starred together in Christopher Guest’s Waiting for Guffman, but it was their oddball chemistry opposite each other as a dog-breeding couple in Best in Show that cemented their legendary status.
Levy and O’Hara also played a folk duet duo in another of Guest’s movies, A Mighty Wind, which resulted in them performing their characters' song at the 2004 Academy Awards (and winning). The pair’s penchant for playing couples so extremely different from each other has always been a hit, and they ended up doing it again in the award-winning series Schitt's Creek.
Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph (‘Bridesmaids,’ ‘SNL,’ Award Ceremonies)
Allow me to briefly vent my frustration at the sheer lack of movies starring these two powerhouses. The fact that we’ve only had a single film featuring Wiig and Rudolph as main besties is a crime against comedy. Bridesmaids was a slam dunk and proved how well they work together, so why, pray tell, have we not gotten more? After all, they made such a great case presenting at the 2020 Academy Awards.
Fix this. Now.
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly (‘Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,’ ‘Step Brothers’ )
Pretending like their Sherlock Holmes movie doesn’t exist (even though the chemistry is still there), Ferrell and Reilly are fire on-screen. Some folks just mesh, and this duo, with their deadpan facial expressions and booming voices, will always be remembered for two of the funniest, most quotable aughts movies ever made.
Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson (‘In Bruges,’ ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ )
It took 14 years for the Irish pair from In Bruges to reunite on-screen again (thanks, Martin McDonagh). They were a masterclass in playing off each other back then and repeated it in the award-winning 2022 tragicomedy, The Banshees of Inisherin.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Too Many Titles to Include Here)
Yeah, these two are the MVPs of modern-day comedy duos. Their Cornetto-trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World's End) went three-for-three, and Paul is an underrated gem. They were the best thing about Slaughterhouse Rulez — which would arguably have been better if they actually played opposite each other — and they were a saving grace as bowler-loving Thompson and Thompson in the 2011 bomb, The Adventures of Tintin.
Pegg and Frost were simply made to do comedy together.
Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan (‘Rush Hour’ Franchise)
What else is there to say except that they totally kill it on-screen and make it seem entirely effortless. These two roll out of bed and start bantering with each other and never stop. Their off-screen stuff is just as fun much to watch, too. Everything about the title of the video below is correct — end of story (literally):