The 9 best comedies on Netflix right now


Photo via Clerks/Netflix

Get your queue in order.

Netflix has been rolling out more original comedy series and standup specials, but it can be an uphill battle to find a good comedy film—and sometimes those generic descriptions make it even more difficult. Here are the films you can press play on right now that are almost guaranteed to make you laugh.

The best comedy movies on Netflix

1) Slow Learners

This 2015 film didn’t see a huge turnout when it was released, and that’s a shame because it’s a fine comedy. Adam Pally plays Jeff, a nerdy teacher who has a book club with his male friends and a not-very-exciting life. Sarah Burns is Anne, his co-worker and friend who is in a similar slump. Together they attempt to make each other over into more interesting people, and while the wait-I’m-falling-for-you plot is nothing new, the comedic chemistry and bits of improvisation between Burns and Pally are the linchpin.

2) Cheap Thrills

Though this is listed under comedy, it’s definitely a dark one. The 2014 film follows Craig (Pat Healy), a man drowning in life’s responsibilities. When he runs into an old friend (played by Ethan Embry), he also happens upon some cash that might help him, courtesy of a flush couple (David Koechner and Sara Paxton). But in order to get the cash, Craig has to agree to a series of increasingly physical challenges, and in the last act, the dark comedy really comes out.  

3) Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

Netflix released a companion piece to this classic film in 2016—Pee-wee’s Big Holiday—but you’ve got to go back to the source. The 1985 Tim Burton film was the first to showcase the comedic talents of Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) on the big screen, post-Pee-wee’s Playhouse. It gave us Large Marge, the breakfast machine, and a film both kids and adults could hold near and dear.  

4) Wet Hot American Summer

Netflix turned this into an original series in 2015, offering a look at the first day at Camp Firewood, but there’s something about the original film that can’t be beat. It might be because so many of its stars (Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks) weren’t yet famous in 2001, which gives the film about counselors on the last day of camp in 1981 a special feel. It was pretty much panned by critics when it was released, but more than a decade later it’s become a cult classic for its tangential, absurdist bits (like when the counselors go into town and get hooked on drugs) and timeless characters (like Christopher Meloni’s Gene, a chef who talks to cans and fondles sweaters).

5) Clueless

Before Wet Hot American Summer, Paul Rudd starred in this 1995 film, which updates Jane Austen’s Emma for the like, now. It was a star-making role for Alicia Silverstone, who plays Cher, a wealthy, clothes-obsessed high-schooler who fancies herself a matchmaker. It also introduced us to the zeitgeist of mid-'90s youth and their inscrutable lingo, much like director Amy Heckerling’s first film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

6) Clerks

Kevin Smith’s released some real doozies recently, so let’s remember a simpler time: 1994. Clerks was the first in a thread of several interconnected Smith films and follows a day in the life of put-upon New Jersey convenience store clerk Dante and his video-store pal Randal. We’re also introduced to Jay and Silent Bob (played by Smith), a loitering duo that offers even more blue humor in a black-and-white film.

7) In the Loop

Veep creator Armando Iannucci’s 2009 film paved the way for the HBO series. A political satire that hinges on breakneck dialogue and impending war, In the Loop’s cast of characters (including a standout performance from Peter Capaldi) circle like sharks in an effort to clean up a gaffe, and in the process shows all the cooks involved in walking back a comment.

8) Hot Fuzz

As a follow-up to the hugely popular Shaun of the Dead, this 2007 Edgar Wright film had a lot to live up to, but it really does get better with age. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play two cops bumbling around a small town in search of clues about a series of murders. One of its best recurring gags, which involves an escaped swan, became a reality recently.

9) Sharknado

Look, I’m not going to try to sell you on this one. Everything you need to know is there in the title, and the premise has been enough to fuel two more sequels (also on Netflix).


Editor's note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.
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