The best comedies on Netflix right now

Everybody loves to laugh, even if we’re not quite in on the joke. Still, comedy is the great equalizer and the easiest thing to fall back on when you’re looking for something to watch.

Comedies have gotten more complicated and more sophisticated over time, bringing in elements of other genres to greater comedic effect. From rom-coms to horror-comedies to sci-fi romps, Netflix has an awesome collection that is sure to have something for everyone. But with such a huge library, it can be a pain to find something good to watch. To help you out, we’ve poured through the hundreds of movies in this category to bring you the best comedies on Netflix right now.

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Seth Rogen and James Franco in Pineapple Express

Pineapple Express (2010)

A movie by stoners, for stoners, Seth Rogen stars as Dale Denton, a slacker who lives his life smoking weed and serving people court summonses. After getting a particular kind strain of bud from his dealer, Saul (James Franco), Dale finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time: witnessing a murder. It just so happens that the murderer knows the strain of weed well, and knows exactly who sold it. Now, Dale and Saul are on the lam, trying to escape a dangerous drug lord and a crooked cop.

Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Stars: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Gary Cole
Director: David Gordon Green
Rating: 
R
Runtime: 
112 minutes

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The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

The Naked Gun (1988)

While it’s not Leslie Nielsen’s masterpiece (Airplane! anyone?), The Naked Gun is still an absolutely uproarious spoof on cop movies. Nielsen plays Frank Drebin, a clueless police detective who sets out to foil a plot that turns innocent people into assassins through mind control. His investigations lead him to business tycoon Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalban), but Frank has no evidence against Ludwig until Ludwig’s assistant, Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley), very conveniently falls in love with Frank.

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Stars: Leslie Nielsen, O.J. Simpson, Priscilla Presley
Director: David Zucker
Rating:
PG-13
Runtime:
85 minutes

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The Other Guys

The Other Guys (2010)

Another buddy cop spoof, The Other Guys centers on two desk-bound NYPD detectives who garner absolutely no headlines in their day-to-day work. Gamble (Will Ferrell) relishes his job as a paper pusher but Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) is itching to get out on the street and make a name for himself. So when a seemingly minor case unravels into a bigger deal, Hoitz will push Gamble to his absolute limits to prove that they both have what it takes.

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Stars: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes
Director: Adam McKay
Rating: 
PG-13
Runtime:
107 minutes

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Aziz Ansari and Jesse Eisenberg in 30 Minutes or Less

30 Minutes or Less (2011)

Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) leads an ordinary, boring life as a pizza delivery boy. But when he crosses paths with two aspiring criminal masterminds (Danny McBride, Nick Swardson), they kidnap him, strap a bomb to his chest, and force him to rob a bank for them. It’s a lot! Nick has 30 minutes to pull off the task, so he enlists his estranged friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) to help him navigate the many obstacles ahead of him.

Rotten Tomatoes: 45%
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Rating:
R
Runtime:
83 minutes

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Adam Sandler in Little Nicky

Little Nicky (2000)

The obligatory Adam Sandler (have you seen his Netflix deal?!) mention is an unusual one. Little Nicky is far from Sandler’s best PG-13 release but it’s not without its weird charm, either. Clearly, a byproduct of another era, Sandler’s Little Nicky would be perfectly happy to head-bang in his room to heavy metal music all day. But since his mom is an angel and his dad is the devil, Nicky is conflicted about his future. While dad keeps pushing him into the “family business,” Nicky’s got some good in him so he’d rather be doing so many things other than spewing evils. But when his father’s command over Hades is threatened by Nicky’s older brothers, weird Little Nicky must restore the balance between good and evil on earth.

Rotten Tomatoes: 22%
Stars: Adam Sandler, Patrica Arquette, Harvey Keitel
Director: Steven Brill
Rating: 
PG-13
Runtime:
90 minutes

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George Clooney in Hail, Caesar!

Hail, Caesar! (2016)

Yes, it’s another Coen brothers movie on the list. That’s because they’re very good at making funny movies, even with a dash of drama. Hail, Caesar! takes place in the ’50s and puts the spotlight on a real Hollywood fixer, Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), and puts him through a wild fictionalized story that includes a Communist abduction of movie star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney). There are a lot of familiar faces in this film, including Scarlett Johansson as a starlet, DeeAnna Moran, whose pregnancy causes some potential PR problems. It’s all Eddie can do to keep his head above water during the constant insanity in his life. But you can laugh at him, and with him.

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Stars: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Frances McDormand
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Rating: 
PG-13
Runtime:
106 minutes

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A Futile and Stupid Gesture

A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018)

This Netflix original movie tends to get buried under more high-profile releases, but A Futile and Stupid Gesture is a strongly constructed comedy biopic about Douglas Kenney (Will Forte), the co-founder of National Lampoon. Martin Mull co-stars as an older Doug while looking back at his career with his comedy partner-in-crime, Henry Beard (Domhnall Gleeson). Together, Douglas and Henry helped revolutionize comedy, and also paved the way for Animal House. But Doug’s struggle with addiction destroys nearly all of his relationships in the process.

A very talented supporting cast including Joel McHale, Ed Helms, Matt Lucas, Thomas Lennon, Rick Glassman, and more also play some comedy legends who came to prominence thanks to Doug and Henry. This is a story that needed to be told, even though Doug’s legacy has largely been forgotten.

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Stars: Will Forte, Domhnall Gleeson, Martin Mull
Director: David Wain
Rating: 
TV-MA
Runtime:
101 minutes

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Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

Stranger Than Fiction is about a man named Harold Crick (Will Ferrell), who discovers that his life will soon end thanks to the wishes of an author, Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson). Harold isn’t fictional, but his fate is somehow tied into Karen’s new novel. Despite his best efforts and the newfound love of Ana Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhaal), Harold just can’t seem to escape the dark destiny that he desperately doesn’t want. Even when faced with death, Harold still finds moments of joy and reflection. But can he convince Karen to write him a better ending?

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Stars: Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman
Director: Marc Forster
Rating: 
PG-13
Runtime:
113 minutes

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Amanda Bynes and Emma Stone in Easy A, on Netflix

Easy A (2010)

It’s easy to see why Easy A holds up so well a decade after its release. Emma Stone is just so relentlessly charming and funny that she carries the entire movie as Olive Penderghast, a teenager who realizes that the only thing better than being the bad girl is pretending that you are. Olive fakes her way to popularity in high school by bailing out shy guys with carefully crafted lies that enhance her popularity. This movie also has a rare villainous turn by Lisa Kudrow as Mrs. Griffith, the wife of Olive’s favorite teacher, Mr. Griffith (Thomas Haden Church). Olive’s conflict with Mrs. Griffith ultimately leads her to reconsider her actions, even when it may be too late to save her reputation.

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Stars: Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes
Director: Will Gluck
Rating: 
PG-13
Runtime:
92 minutes

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Scott Pilgrim

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Although Scott Pilgrim vs. the World didn’t find success in theaters, it’s become a cult classic in the ensuing decade. Based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel series, Scott Pilgrim is a gleefully weird movie that embraces comic book tropes and video game imagery for its own unique narrative. Michael Cera stars as the perpetually put-upon loser, Scott Pilgrim, who finally meets the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).

To win Ramona’s heart, Scott has to face her seven evil exes in battle. That includes Chris Evans in a hysterical turn as action star Lucas Lee, shortly before he became Captain America on the big screen. Scott Pilgrim deserved to have greater success, but it’s still readily available for viewers to discover its charms.

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Stars: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jason Schwartzman
Director: Edgar Wright
Rating: 
PG-13
Runtime:
112 minutes

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Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Even 45 years after its initial release, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is one of the most quotable comedies of all time. “’Tis but a flesh wound!” is among many famous lines in the film as the legendary British comedy troupe, Monty Python, dive into Arthurian lore as only they can. This movie mocks everything from its own low budget to the traditional heroics of a Grail quest. Not everyone is going to get the humor. But if you’re willing to run with the zaniness, keep an eye out for that rabbit. It’s a killer!

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones
Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Rating: 
PG
Runtime:
92 minutes

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Superbad

Superbad (2007)

Possibly the defining high school movie for the Millennial generation, Superbad is a raunchy comedy with heart. Written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the movie is based on their own relationship as high school seniors primed to head off to different colleges. Jonah Hill and Michael Cera play co-dependent high school seniors with high hopes to get to a graduation party. So when their friend Fogle scores the worst fake ID in the history of fake IDs, they decide to volunteer to get the booze for the in-crowd’s party. Things get complicated.

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Stars: Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen
Director: Greg Mottola
Rating: 
R
Runtime:
113 minutes

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Lady Bird on Netflix

Lady Bird (2017)

Greta Gerwig’s solo directorial debut, Lady Bird, works equally well as both a comedy and a drama. Saoirse Ronan stars as the titular Lady Bird. It’s the name adopted by Ronan’s character, Christine McPherson, as she starts openly rebelling against her Catholic high school and her mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf). Over the course of Lady Bird’s senior year, she redefines herself through her friends, new and old, as well as her ambitions for college and her quest for love. Gerwig didn’t shy away from showing Lady Bird’s mistakes and growing pains, but those are some of the qualities that make her story so endearing to watch.

Rotten Tomatoes: 99%
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts
Director: Greta Gerwig
Rating: 
R
Runtime: 
94 minutes

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The Muppets on Netflix

The Muppets (2011)

Disney has had trouble figuring out what to do with Jim Henson’s signature creations since buying the Muppets in 2004. But The Muppets feature film is not only hilarious but also firmly understands what made the franchise great in the first place. Jason Segel co-wrote the film and stars as Gary, a long-time fan of the Muppets who has a Muppet brother, Walter, with a bit of an identity crisis. Amy Adams is also very charming in the film as Mary, Gary’s girlfriend, and longtime romantic partner. But the Muppets and Walter are at the heart of the story, as they get one last chance to make a comeback and save the historic theater where they filmed The Muppet Show. This is great fun for kids of all ages.

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Stars: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Rashida Jones
Director: James Bobin
Rating: 
PG
Runtime:
102 minutes

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Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

All hail the return of Eddie Murphy! Murphy plays Rudy Ray Moore in this Netflix original. Moore was a washed-up musician who transformed himself into the 1970’s blaxploitation character named Dolemite, becoming a cult star in the process. An ode to extremely independent filmmaking with a subtler touch than Bowfinger, this film features additional, outstanding performances from Wesley Snipes and Keegan-Michael Key.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Kodi Smit-McPhee
Director: Craig Brewer
Rating: 
R
Runtime:
118 minutes

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Monty Python's Life of Brian on Netflix

Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)

A person doesn’t truly love Monty Python unless they love Life of Brian. Well, and Flying Circus. There’s much more to Monty Python than Holy Grail. While Grail is the better-known film, Life of Brian is more ambitious, cynical, and downright crazier for a very simple reason: It parodies Jesus Christ rather than King Arthur. Well, Christ’s neighbor, Brian Cohen, played by Graham Chapman. The film follows a case of mistaken identity as Brian is treated as a prophet, blasphemer, and enemy of the state in a series of events meant to skewer the Bible. It was, needless to say, not popular with the Church upon its release, but it’s still darn funny and encourages everyone to “Always Look On the Bright Side of Life.”

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones
Director: Terry Jones
Rating: 
R
Runtime:
92 minutes

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The Artist on Netflix

The Artist (2011)

There are elements of drama and romance, but at its core, The Artist is a comedy. Once you move through the black-and-white barrier, you enter a world of cinematic nostalgia unparalleled in film today. While old, silent films can be difficult on modern sensibilities, The Artist never stops trying to surprise with visual and audio tricks, along with humorous title cards and visceral acting. The 2011 film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and closes with a rollicking dance scene that rivals anything Fred Astaire created during his heyday.

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Stars: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Rating:
PG-13
Runtime:
100 minutes

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