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Comedy Genius

October 2018-January 2019

From Oct through Jan we have tons of side-splitting film and TV for you, whether you like your comedy straight-up, slapstick or smutty.

Introduction by BFI Creative Director Heather Stewart


  • Some Like It Hot

    Some Like It Hot

    Enjoy a sparkling 4K restoration of this classic, cross-dressing caper starring Curtis, Lemmon and Monroe.
    Opens 2 November

  • 9 to 5

    9 to 5

    This gloriously feminist revenge comedy sees three put-upon office workers turn the tables on their sleazy boss.
    Opens 16 November

Events and strands


“Comedy is a distortion of what is happening, and there will always be something happening”
Steve Martin

There’s nothing better than laughing together in the cinema. But great comedy can also challenge us to think.

Fooling about became a fine art through the early decades of cinema, but comedy genius is too often under-recognised. It’s the gift of perfect timing, an expertly executed sight-gag, a zinging wise-crack, a giddy rush of manic energy. Whether perfectly choreographed, brutally raw, or conjured out of improvisation and collaboration, the best comedy is ultimately disruptive. It punctures pomposity, and blows a raspberry at social convention: the proto-feminist whiplash of screwball wit, the rambunctious working-class revolt of Carry On, the purposeful anarchy of alternative comedy. Our nation-wide season brings the acknowledged comedy greats back to the big screen for everyone to enjoy, and celebrates a new wave of talent on TV and online that’s changing the face of what – and who – we find funny.

Heather Stewart


See our screenings of Some Like It Hot and 9 to 5, our Future Film recommends, and a free collections focus in the library.

We also have a free Mediatheque collection and free exhibition.

Coming in part two in December: Groundhog Day, Stir Crazy, Trading Places, Superbad, Elf and so much more...

Barbershops & Black Comedy Legends
From 15-18 November, Foyer

We Are Parable present a free, immersive pop-up barbershop installation in the foyer inspired by Desmond’s, featuring iconic episodes of the classic sitcom and showcasing black comedy films.

The Comedy Genius season takes place at venues across the UK and on BFI Player.


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