The 11 Best Comedies to Stream on Netflix Right Now

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rossie Harris, and Peter Graves in Airplane! (1980).
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rossie Harris, and Peter Graves in Airplane! (1980).
PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT

If you've exhausted your go-to list of reliable comedies, there's hope: Netflix has a steady flow of classics and contemporary hits, including a handful of originals. Check out 11 of the funniest movies currently streaming on the service.

1. Airplane! (1980)

Spoofing the self-important disaster movies of the 1970s, Airplane! sees stressed-out pilot Robert Hays forced to take the controls when the crew is incapacitated. The film's barnside-broad humor went on to become a trademark of the ZAZ (David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker) directing trio.

2. The Money Pit (1986)

As the celebrity whose diagnosis with COVID-19 helped alert the world to the pandemic’s far-reaching, permanent risks, Tom Hanks seems to re-earn “beloved” status every few years, for a different reason. Two years after Splash and two years before Big, he charmed Cheers star Shelley Long—and audiences—with this surprisingly resilient comedy about a couple buying a cheap house that costs them their sanity. The enduring time frame of each repair on their fixer-upper—“two weeks”—will undoubtedly ring familiar to anyone who has ever tried to motivate a landlord or contractor. Meanwhile, Hanks’s acumen as a physical comedian—here subjected to some truly hilarious indignities—has seldom been better showcased.

3. The Naked Gun (1988)

Based on the short-lived television series of the same name, The Naked Gun made a comedy star out of serious leading man Leslie Nielsen. As Lieutenant Frank Drebin, Nielsen struggles with his own incompetence, that of his partners, and the gag-a-minute pace created by the Airplane! trio of David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker.

4. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

Jim Carrey left nothing behind while taking part in this broad send-up of detective films—his Ace is an animal lover out to recover the Miami Dolphins mascot—but it paid off. Carrey's brand of physical humor is so relentless in its desire to please that he becomes as close to a flesh and blood cartoon as audiences are ever likely to see.

5. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

Stephen Chow’s juxtaposition of tones is virtually peerless in world cinema; almost no one else can slam Looney Tunes-style comedy and heart-wrenching pathos together and pull it off, but he almost always does. In this martial arts comedy, a feckless crook reluctantly discovers his destiny as a great fighter after coming between a ruthless gang and the eccentric residents of a rundown slum. Chow’s cinematic references are conspicuous, but they only add to a tone that would become unwieldy, or even schizophrenic, were it not for his sure directorial hand, which elevates even the silliest gag to something emotionally meaningful.

6. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

Suffice it to say that there’s been plenty of time for self-inventory during the quarantine, but Edgar Wright’s adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel series of the same name offers a unique bit of wish-fulfillment as the young, decidedly immature Mr. Pilgrim (Michael Cera) gets to wrestle, quite literally, with the romantic history of his would-be partner—rollerblading dream girl Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). From Chris Evans to Kieran Culkin to Brie Larson, the casting choices offer an embarrassment of riches, while each new showdown—peppered with an exhilarating blitz of pop culture references—shepherds young Scott ever closer to the woman he thinks he loves, and of course, a few important life lessons of his own.

7. About Time (2013)

Richard Curtis’s story of a young man named Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) who discovers he can travel through time offers an often extremely funny but beautifully bittersweet tribute to the special, meaningful, and always too-short time we get to spend with the ones we love. If anyone could make a lovesick boy turn down an invitation to Margot Robbie’s hotel room, it’s a delightfully daffy Rachel McAdams, with whom Tim builds a beautifully messy life. But it’s his relationship with his father James (Bill Nighy) that truly teaches him how to experience and appreciate each moment with friends and family for how precious they are, with or without magical abilities.

8. The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)

The ever-reliable Paul Rudd stars in this amiable indie film about a writer who takes on a side hustle as a caregiver for a teen (Craig Roberts) with muscular dystrophy. Lessons are naturally learned, but it's also a prime example of the affability that's made Rudd one of the more pleasant screen actors of the past two decades.

9. The Death of Stalin (2017)

Armando Iannucci never pulls punches in his political satires, from The Thick of It to In the Loop to Veep. This slightly off-the-radar comedy is no exception, depicting the ferocious, petulant battle for power that ensues after, well, the death of Joseph Stalin. As the most politically overt film on this list of winners, it offers some insights to more than a few recent parallels in world events—a bonus to some, but too close to reality for others—but it also delivers a merciless takedown of world leaders and the sniveling, manipulative sycophants who all seem destined to destroy themselves as they claim the fleeting, fragile power they crave.

10. Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

Eddie Murphy returned to form with this funny and moving biopic of Rudy Ray Moore, a struggling stand-up comic in the 1970s who finds his big break as Dolemite, a butt-kicking alter ego that became the subject of Moore's low-budget film debut. After years spent in the kiddie pool of family comedies, it's nice to see Murphy embrace the edge that made his name.

11. Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Ali Wong was already a treasure as a stand-up, but this romantic comedy cemented her unique, irresistible charms, playing a celebrity chef reconnecting as an adult with her childhood crush (played by Randall Park). The cultural specificities of a largely Asian-led cast and crew give the film a decidedly different flavor than others, even as those details underscore the universality of its ultimate truths. Meanwhile, Internet Boyfriend Keanu Reeves plays himself as a love interest for Wong’s character, offering some truly choice lines to replay for those eager to hear the actor whisper sweet nothings in their ear.

8 Great Gifts for People Who Work From Home

World Market/Amazon
World Market/Amazon

A growing share of Americans work from home, and while that might seem blissful to some, it's not always easy to live, eat, and work in the same space. So, if you have co-workers and friends who are living the WFH lifestyle, here are some products that will make their life away from their cubicle a little easier.

1. Folding Book Stand; $7

Hatisan / Amazon

Useful for anyone who works with books or documents, this thick wire frame is strong enough for heavier textbooks or tablets. Best of all, it folds down flat, so they can slip it into their backpack or laptop case and take it out at the library or wherever they need it. The stand does double-duty in the kitchen as a cookbook holder, too.

Buy It: Amazon

2. Duraflame Electric Fireplace; $179

Duraflame / Amazon

Nothing says cozy like a fireplace, but not everyone is so blessed—or has the energy to keep a fire going during the work day. This Duraflame electric fireplace can help keep a workspace warm by providing up to 1000 square feet of comfortable heat, and has adjustable brightness and speed settings. They can even operate it without heat if they just crave the ambiance of an old-school gentleman's study (leather-top desk and shelves full of arcane books cost extra).

Buy It: Amazon

3. World Explorer Coffee Sampler; $32

UncommonGoods

Making sure they've got enough coffee to match their workload is a must, and if they're willing to experiment with their java a bit, the World Explorer’s Coffee Sampler allows them to make up to 32 cups using beans from all over the world. Inside the box are four bags with four different flavor profiles, like balanced, a light-medium roast with fruity notes; bold, a medium-dark roast with notes of cocoa; classic, which has notes of nuts; and fruity, coming in with notes of floral.

Buy it: UncommonGoods

4. Lavender and Lemon Beeswax Candle; $20

Amazon

People who work at home all day, especially in a smaller space, often struggle to "turn off" at the end of the day. One way to unwind and signal that work is done is to light a candle. Burning beeswax candles helps clean the air, and essential oils are a better health bet than artificial fragrances. Lavender is especially relaxing. (Just use caution around essential-oil-scented products and pets.)

Buy It: Amazon

5. HÄNS Swipe-Clean; $15

HÄNS / Amazon

If they're carting their laptop and phone from the coffee shop to meetings to the co-working space, the gadgets are going to get gross—fast. HÄNS Swipe is a dual-sided device that cleans on one side and polishes on the other, and it's a great solution for keeping germs at bay. It's also nicely portable, since there's nothing to spill. Plus, it's refillable, and the polishing cloth is washable and re-wrappable, making it a much more sustainable solution than individually wrapped wipes.

Buy It: Amazon

6. Laptop Side Table; $100

World Market

Sometimes they don't want to be stuck at a desk all day long. This industrial-chic side table can act as a laptop table, too, with room for a computer, coffee, notes, and more. It also works as a TV table—not that they would ever watch TV during work hours.

Buy It: World Market

7. Moleskine Classic Notebook; $17

Moleskin / Amazon

Plenty of people who work from home (well, plenty of people in general) find paper journals and planners essential, whether they're used for bullet journaling, time-blocking, or just writing good old-fashioned to-do lists. However they organize their lives, there's a journal out there that's perfect, but for starters it's hard to top a good Moleskin. These are available dotted (the bullet journal fave), plain, ruled, or squared, and in a variety of colors. (They can find other supply ideas for bullet journaling here.)

Buy It: Amazon

8. Nexstand Laptop Stand; $39

Nexstand / Amazon

For the person who works from home and is on the taller side, this portable laptop stand is a back-saver. It folds down flat so it can be tossed into the bag and taken to the coffee shop or co-working spot, where it often generates an admiring comment or three. It works best alongside a portable external keyboard and mouse.

Buy It: Amazon

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Photo by EVG Culture from Pexels

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