I suppose an argument can be made for other genres as well, but I've always thought the comedy film doesn't get the respect it deserves. For examples, when they're handing out Oscars, comedies rarely get Best Picture; the last one to win was Shakespeare in Love, and even that was an atypical comedy because it was also a period piece. I think the last straight comedy to win was Annie Hall nearly three decades ago. This is in spite of the fact that comedy is often tougher to do than drama; after all, when a dramatic moment doesn't work, it may not even be noticed, but when humor fails, it is not only evident but almost painful to watch.
The Rough Guide to Comedy Movies is a passable reference book on the comedies that succeeded and a few that didn't do quite as well. As with the other "Rough" movie guides, it is broken into certain sections: a history of film comedies, the "canon" of the 50 great comedies, a look at certain icons of the field, a discussion of international comedies and a guide to other sources of information.
Of course, a book like this is largely a matter of opinion, so one should not consider this a completely objective source. No where is this more evident than author Bob McCabe's choice of the canon. While certain choices are ones that would make most lists, like Airplane, Blazing Saddles or Some Like It Hot, others are a little more dubious. For example, I enjoyed Dodgeball and Shaun of the Dead, but I don't know if they are among the top 50 of all time.
While the opinions in this book will differ from yours (or mine), they do provoke a deeper look at genre. In addition to the canon films, there are many other films referenced, usually favorably, so this book can offer a lot of ideas for movies to watch. As stated before, as a reference source, this book is merely passable, but it is a good introduction that can point you to a few good movies and some better sources of information.