As if Jordan Peele didn’t have enough feathers in his cap, his directorial debut Get Out continues to blow critics and audiences away, earning over $150 million against a $5 million budget and garnering universal acclaim and very (very) early Oscar buzz. But it’s not only Get Out’s enormous success that’s got us thinking. It’s also (despite a biting satirical wit) not necessarily the kind of movie we’d expect from an expert character comedian.
So we’d thought we’d take a spin through previous directorial debuts by comedians and comedy writers. We’ll get you a more in-depth list of our favorites soon, but for now check out these 32 debut films by comedians; some expected, and some quite surprising.
NOTE: In researching this list, the problem of gender inequality amongst filmmakers (or, the “alleged” problem, if you’re Aaron Sorkin) became even more glaringly obvious. Comedy and film directing are often both vying for the title of “Most Obnoxious Boy’s Club,” and it turns out when the two are combined, things don’t get much better. There are already too-few examples of films written by or starring female comedians, and even fewer once you just look at directors. We’ve tried to make this larger list as exhaustive as possible, but if there are other films directed by female comedians that we were unaware of, we want to see them!