Looking to lighten the mood a bit? Check out our list of the best film comedies currently streaming on Netflix!

The Lists Nick Harley Daniella Bondar Daniel Kurland David Crow

Apr 25, 2018

Editor’s Note: This post is updated monthly. Bookmark this page and come back every month to see what unknown classics are being added to Netflix.

Updated for May 2018

Sometimes you just gotta laugh. And your friendly neighborhood streaming services are always up to help.

Netflix in particular knows of your intense desire to laugh. Netflix knows everything about you. Netflix loves you. Do what Netflix tells you. 

Whoops! Sorry about that. Blacked out for a moment. But anyway, here is our list of the best comedy movies on Netflix.

Heathers

This might be one of the best films of all time. Let’s also be honest, this is the original Mean Girls. Everything about this movie is terrible. The “Heathers Clique” is terrible, there’s bullies and guns. Basically, this movie amplifies everything that is wrong with high school and brings it to an absurdist level, which is exactly what you want, right?

The best thing about this movie is that at its worse, it’s a rom-com and at its best, it’s a horror flick. Heathers is incredibly dark. It gives most other dark comedies a run for their playing-it-safe money. J.D. and Veronica in the boiler room is one of those moments that will remain in the canon of unforgettable scenes in movie history. 

– Daniella Bondar

Hot Fuzz

The action segment in Edgar Wright’s “Three Flavors Cornetto” Trilogy, Hot Fuzz is a genre-busting delight. Yes, Hot Fuzz is a very funny film, and yet another satisfying contribution from Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost, but it’s also one of the most intelligent action films that you’ll come across and a brilliant dissection of the genre.

It’s not surprising that Edgar Wright used over 100 action films for inspiration here. There is also plenty of buddy cop bliss to laugh at while watching Pegg’s Nicholas Angel get used to his new stomping grounds. The jokes come fast and aggressive, and it’s crazy that Wright and company have more ammunition for the action genre than they did with zombies in Shaun of the Dead.

Also, that turn towards the end when the film becomes all of the action films that it’s been making fun of the entire time is such a glorious, insane moment of cinema.

– Daniel Kurland

Wet Hot American Summer

Wet Hot American Summer is unrestrained madness disguised as a simple camp comedy. Convention is even stuck to for a fair bit, but once some campers head “to town,” all bets are off. If you’ve ever turned on Adult Swim, you’ve surely seen the bulk of the actors that fill up Camp Firewood, but it’s kind of inspiring to just watch these guys be idiots in their first real, big project. With the success of everyone in the cast now, it’s easy to see why Netflix ponied up on doing a prequel series for the show.

Elastic reality, instantly quotable lines, and an incredible cast. And with Netflix’s release of a sequel series being right around the corner, what better time to get reacquainted with this flick?

– Daniel Kurland

Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday

It blows my mind that Netflix’s recent Pee-Wee project could not only be so successful, but that it might even be a little more fantastical than the previous films before it. John Lee and Paul Rust step up to the plate as director and writer as they perfectly tap into Pee-Wee’s warped innocence.

Reuben’s iconic character is taken on a cross-country road trip, introducing him to many off kilter individuals, all of which underscore the idea that everyone has a little Pee-Wee in them. Plus, it’s got Joe Manganiello (your next Deathstroke) playing himself, acting as Pee-Wee’s best friend, and it’s sort of incredible.

– Daniel Kurland

Tropic Thunder

Tropic Thunder is the rare big budget comedy action film that works. Not only does it work, it’s one of the better satires of the previous decade. It achieves this because it’s object of satire is so easy. It essentially asks “Actors? A bit full of themselves, right?”

Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. all star as actors of various levels of success. Stiller is an action hero, Black has a comedy franchise about a farting family and Downey Jr. is the serious capital “A” actor. Together, they all descend into the Vietnam jungle to make an award-worthy Vietnam war movie. Things do not go well.

– Alec Bojalad

Don’t Think Twice

Our culture’s appetite for comedy has never been more voracious. Still we don’t get enough movies about the inner-workings of comedy as a profession and an industry as we deserve. Don’t Think Twice is one of the great exceptions. Don’t Think Twice is the second film from stand-up comedian and filmmaker Mike Birbiglia.

It features an amazing cast that includes Gillian Jacobs, Keegan Michael-Key and about a half-dozen other “hey, I know that actor(s).” It’s about members of a comedy troupe who are all vying or have vied for an appearance on an SNL-like comedy show. Don’t Think Twice is both funny and an uncomfortably realistic saga about the limitations of dreams. 

– Alec Bojalad

Masterminds

Nothing says comedy moreso than Zach Galifianakis’ physical appearance in this movie. Galifianakis has always been good at utilizing his versatile head and facial hair to great comedic effect but they’ve never worked better than they do in Masterminds.

Beyond just the hair, Masterminds is a funny comedy featuring an even funnier cast. Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Owen Wilson all make appearances in this true story about a folksy robbery gone wrong. 

– Alec Bojalad

Little Evil

Little Evil is one of the original movies that Netflix seems to excel at identifying and picking up. The premise is just so killer that you can’t conceive of why it’s taken so long to get here. What if The Omen were a comedy? Adam Scott stars as a man named Gary who loves his new wife Samantha (Evangeline Lily).

There just happens to be something a little weird about her son, Lucas. Namely that’s he’s clearly the son of the devil. Which would make sense as Samantha was in a cult in her wild younger years. 

– Alec Bojalad

She’s Gotta Have It

Like many of Spike Lee’s films, calling She’s Gotta Have It a “comedy” seems a bit reductive. Still this comedy-drama is very much equal parts both. She’s Gotta Have It, Lee’s first film (and he actually co-stars as well) stars Tracy Camilla Johns as Nola, a young woman juggling three suitors.

She likes aspects of each of them but not any one of them entirely. The movie is about self-discover and autonomy – which may seem to be at odds with its comedy and romance movie aims but that’s the genius of Spike Lee. It all makes sense under his stewardship and Johns’ command of her character.

– Alec Bojalad

I Love You, Man

Sometime in the mid-00s we all became enamored with the concept of the “bromance.” Men didn’t quite know what to do with our intense emotional energy towards our friends so we decided to come up with a term to ironically distance ourselves from that energy.

A lot of the movies from this time are bad. I Love You, Man is not one of them. Paul Rudd stars as a man who on the eve of his wedding realizes that he’s not created any lasting male-friendships in his life. So his wife-to-be encourages him to go out and make some. In steps Jason Segel and his dog named Anwar Sedat.

Rudd and Segel’s chemistry is great and I Love You, Man is much more of a legitimately sweet, affecting movie than in had any right to be.

– Alec Bojalad

Scary Movie

Scary Movie is hilariously dated at this point but that’s ok as it remains just plain hilarious. Director Keenan Ivory Wayans follows in the footsteps of parody-master David Zucker (ironic as he’d go on to direct Scary Movie 3 and 4) to craft a movie that takes certain mainstays of popular culture and mashes them into something ridiculous…or even just slightly more ridiculous than usual.

Scary Movie primarily spoofs Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer but not unlike Airplane!, the parody transcends those two movies and creates something entirely original while not being original at all. Does that make sense? Don’t worry about it. This is a funny movie. 

– Alec Bojalad

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

In hindsight, Oscar winning Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line deserves more respect. Joaquin Phoenix was marvelous as Cash and the film was one of the more exciting and fair biopics in recent memory. Likewise, the Judd Apatow-produced satire of Walk the Line, Walk Hard deserves all the respect in the world.

This is a very funny movie. John C. Reilly stars as country musician Dewey Cox and the movie follows him through his life’s various trials and tribulations. There are drugs, lots of drugs. There are flacid penises, lots of flacid penises. And most importantly, there are so many sinks to tear out of the wall. Walk Hard is an underappreciated modern comedy classic.

– Alec Bojalad

Meet the Parents

“I have nipples, Greg, could you milk me?” 

Comedy is good at revealing and exploiting universal fears for laughter. Meet the Parents takes a fear that we all must have and converts it to film. What if the love of your life’s father is an ex-CIA agent played by Robert De Niro? That’s the situation that poor Gaylord “Greg” Focker (Ben Stiller) finds himself in as he and his girlfriend Pam head to Long Island to meet her parents. 

Pam’s father Jack puts Greg through a ringer of psychological torment including polygraph tests, ill-fated Volleyball games, and continual dismissal of his career as a nurse. Stiller and De Niro have excellent chemistry and Meet the Parents turns an easily-realized nightmare into a hilarious reality.

– Alec Bojalad

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Uber comedy director and producer Judd Apatow was absolutely on fire in the mid-2000s. After his debut directorial effort The 40-Year-Old Virgin, he would go on to produce many other modern classics like Walk Hard and Superbad. But the Jason Segel-written and Nicholas Stoller-directed Forgetting Sarah Marshall is among the best movies ever in the Apatow catalogue.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall‘s beautiful in its simplicity. TV show composer Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) is living his best life until his famous actress girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) unexpectedly breaks up with him. Devastated, Peter books himself a trip to Hawaii so that he can better get over her. Instead, he discovers that Sarah and her new musician boyfriend Aldous Snow are guests at the same resort.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is relatable, touching and above all: unrelentingly funny.

– Alec Bojalad

Ghostbusters

You’ve likely seen Ghostbusters by now because how could you not? Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ivan Reitman’s 1984 sci-fi comedy is rightfully one of the all-time comedy classics. It’s worth taking a step back for a moment and realizing just how weird and unique it is.

Ghostbusters is an earnest and exciting action-ish comedy written by a man (Akroyd) with a sincere belief in the paranormal and a desire to make the rest of the world believe in it too. Ghostbusters takes that unlikely concept and turns it into something that’s just fundamentally funny and watchable. It helps to have funny people like Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, and Rick Moranis involved. Beyond even that, however, Ghostbusters understands perfectly the amount of “set-up’ plot to present in relation to its overarching “end of the world” plot.

Give Ghostbusters a rewatch and appreciate it all over again.

– Alec Bojalad

Adventureland

What makes Adventureland work so well is the fact that it’s dripping in honesty. Director Greg Mottola ripped details from this “lazy summer/coming of age” movie from his own life during his tenure at the titular amusement park with Mottola’s passion being clear here. Not the most complicated of plots, the story follows James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg), who is stuck working at Adventureland, and by proxy, closer to Em (Kristen Stewart).

The film thrives on Eisenberg and Stewart’s chemistry, and Ryan Reynolds is even there in rare form playing a truly despicable character (not to mention a strong supporting cast featuring the likes of Bill Hader, Kristen Stewart, Martin Starr, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Adventureland banks on smaller character moments, romantic fumbles, and jaded nostalgia, all amounting to a satisfying comedy that will deeply connect for some.

– Daniel Kurland

Shrek

A sizable portion of the Internet is probably only aware of the character of Shrek as a weird one-size-fits-all meme. He’s like a big green Rick Astley or Chuck Norris. The animated movie that bears his name, however, remains just a legitimately hilarious film.

Shrek came around in 2001, shortly after Pixar made digital animation a big thing. Shrek was  kind of like a family-friendly Deadpool, a movie that lightly satirized its genre (fairytales instead of superhero movies) while presenting a legitimately funny and entertaining take on it. 

This is a movie in which the main villain’s name is designed to sound like “Lord Fuckwad” and it’s immediately implied he has a tiny penis. Watch or rewatch Shrek, please.

– Alec Bojalad

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

The 40-Year-Old Virgin is the first comedy in the Judd Apatow “grown-men-behaving-like-gross-dummies” extended cinematic universe and in many ways remains the best. Steve Carell stars as Andy Stitizer. Andy is…well, a 40-year-old virgin. When his “friends” at the Best Buy-style big box store he works at get wind of this, they hatch a plan to do whatever it takes to get this adult man laid.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin is dated in a way that only a recent classic can be (why is it that every movie filmed five years or more before the present day feels closer to Citizen Kane and Casablanca than it does to now? Time is moving too quickly). It’s also a hilarious film that rightfully cemented people like Steve Carell, Seth Rogen, Judd Apatow, Leslie Mann, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd and even Jonah Hill (in a tiny role) as comedy superstars.

– Alec Bojalad