The 11 Best Comedies to Stream on Netflix Right Now

Ali Wong and Keanu Reeves star in Always Be My Maybe (2019).
Ali Wong and Keanu Reeves star in Always Be My Maybe (2019).
Doane Gregory/Netflix

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’ 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) who 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.

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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The Psychological Tricks Disney Parks Use to Make Long Wait Times More Bearable

© Jorge Royan, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
© Jorge Royan, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

No one goes to Disneyland or Disney World to spend the day waiting in line, but when a queue is well-designed, waiting can be part of the experience. Disney knows this better than anyone, and the parks' Imagineers have developed several tricks over the years to make long wait times as painless as possible.

According to Popular Science, hacking the layout of the line itself is a simple way to influence the rider's perspective. When a queue consists of 200 people zig-zagging around ropes in a large, open room, it's easy for waiting guests to feel overwhelmed. This design allows riders to see exactly how many people are in line in front of them—which isn't necessarily a good thing when the line is long.

Imagineers prevent this by keeping riders in the dark when they enter the queue. In Space Mountain, for example, walls are built around the twisting path, so riders have no idea how much farther they have to go until they're deeper into the building. This stops people from giving up when they first get in line.

Another example of deception ride designers use is the "Machiavellian twist." If you've ever been pleasantly surprised by a line that moved faster than you expected, that was intentional. The signs listing wait times at the beginning of ride queues purposefully inflate the numbers. That way, when a wait that was supposed to be 120 minutes goes by in 90, you feel like you have more time than you did before.

The final trick is something Disney parks are famous for: By incorporating the same level of production design found on the ride into the queue, Imagineers make waiting in line an engaging experience that has entertainment value of its own. The Tower of Terror queue in Disney World, which is modeled after a decrepit 1930s hotel lobby down to the cobwebs and the abandoned coffee cups, feels like it could be a movie set. Some ride lines even use special effects. While waiting to ride Star Wars: Ride of the Resistance in Galaxy's Edge, guests get to watch holograms and animatronics that set up the story of the ride. This strategy exploits the so-called dual-task paradigm, which makes the line feel as if it's going by faster by giving riders mental stimulation as they wait.

Tricky ride design is just one of Disney's secrets. Here are more behind-the-scenes facts about the beloved theme parks.

[h/t Popular Science]