The 19 best comedy films and stand-up specials on Netflix

In need of a laugh tonight? Mainline one of these chuckle-fest films into your eyeballs. Updated for June 2019

Netflix subscriber? In the mood for some belly-shaking, side-splitting laughs?

Then you’ll want to scroll down and feast your eyes on this article, where we’ve assembled our favourite comedy movies and stand-up specials from the streaming service’s current crop. From black comedies to biting satires to heart-warming rom-coms, they're all here – and be sure to check back regularly for updates, as new films and specials arrive on Netflix all the time.

Oh, and if you’re more interested in funny TV series than funny films, don’t worry: we’ve also got a list of those too: The best comedy TV shows on Netflix.

The Big Short

How the hell do you explain collateralised debt obligation to the 99% of the population that doesn’t work on Wall Street? Stick Margot Robbie in a bathtub, of course. Adam McKay’s scathing retelling of the 2007-2008 financial crisis is jam-packed with these little explainers. Just in case Ryan Gosling’s acerbic narrator hasn’t boiled it down enough for you already.

Don’t let the seemingly dry subject matter turn you off – The Big Short takes a complex money minefield and turns it into a devilishly funny and genuinely exciting tale. You’ll tune in for the incredible cast, but stay to the end for the dissection of adjustable-rate mortgages. 

Watch The Big Short on Netflix

Shaun of the Dead

The first and arguably finest film in Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy (comprising this, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End) sees London electrical shop worker Shaun (Pegg) attempting to rescue his girlfriend and flatmate and survive a sudden zombie outbreak. Yes, it’s a rom-zom-com!

Horror purists might find the scares a bit thin on the ground, but the laughs are present in abundance, along with a surprising amount of emotional heft, mostly erupting from the relationship between Shaun and his slacker best mate Ed (frequent Pegg sidekick Nick Frost). Director Wright also demonstrates time and time again the tricks and quirks that have made him a Hollywood hot property – with this movie’s inspired quick-fire editing proving a star in its own right.

Watch Shaun of the Dead on Netflix

Always Be My Maybe

Describing a film as “Netflix’s best original romantic comedy” might sound as if we’re damning it with faint praise, but Always Be My Maybe is a genuinely enjoyable, occasionally hilarious riff on the well-worn genre starring (and written by) two likeable leads in Ali Wong and Randall Park.

It’s about a pair of childhood friends who unexpectedly reunite many years after an awkward falling out, their lives having diverged onto very different paths in the mean time. You can probably predict how it turns out, but the route it takes is the fun part – particularly when a certain beloved Matrix megastar proves himself an excellent sport in a scene-stealing cameo.

Watch Always Be My Maybe on Netflix

This Is The End

A film where the likes of James Franco and Seth Rogen play themselves living through a biblically apocalyptic end of days might sound like a one-way ticket to Self-Indulgence City, but This Is The End works not in spite of but because of its star-studded cast.

This crew isn’t afraid to send itself up – Franco and Jonah Hill in particular get made fun of here for being perceived as pretentious and preening – and given the number of cameos from other celebs (Rihanna and Emma Watson being the most memorable), it all adds up to an enjoyable stoner movie that doesn’t change the world, but will succeed in keeping all but the most demanding comedy fan chuckling for 90 minutes.

Watch This Is The End on Netflix

Paddleton

Everybody Loves Raymond’s Ray Romano gives the performance of his life in this quiet and affecting indie comedy. Romano stars as the neighbour and friend of the equally impressive Mark Duplass – the duo’s enjoyably mundane routine of martial arts movies, jigsaw puzzles, pizza and their invented pastime of “paddleton” disrupted by a terrible medical diagnosis.

What might easily have been an overwrought drama instead works as a beautifully understated, unsentimental and utterly convincing depiction of male friendship – and certainly one of the best Netflix-produced movies we’ve seen.

Watch Paddleton on Netflix

The Hangover

Las Vegas sprang up out of the sand to feed America’s thrill-seekers everything they desire… until all they want is darkness, sleep and a truckload of Nurofen. The Hangover is the movie incarnation of that attitude of unbridled decadence, a movie depicting just how badly a four-man stag party in Sin City can go horrendously off the rails, with (and do we even need to say this?) hilarious consequences.

Oh, and if you’re not satisfied after the first helping, the two Hangover sequels are also streaming on Netflix at the moment.

Watch The Hangover on Netflix

Four Weddings and a Funeral

The film that turned Hugh Grant into a household name and propelled Richard Curtis from admired British sitcom writer to red hot Hollywood scribe, Four Weddings and a Funeral is the story of a group of friends who unite at the aforementioned five events, and the love story that unfolds over their course.

Hugely successful upon its release in 1994, it set the template for other Curtis-penned rom-coms like Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’ Diary and Love Actually, but we think it’s the best of the lot: brimming with British charm, bubbling with wit and possessed of real heart and affection.

Watch Four Weddings and a Funeral on Netflix

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Originally intended to be a series of six individual episodes, the Coen brothers instead combined this collection of tales from the Wild West into a single anthology; over the course of its two hours we meet a cast of typically Coen-esque characters including the singing cowboy of the title, a bank robber who meets his match, and a determined prospector played by Tom Waits.

It certainly comes with its fair share of quirky Coen brothers charm, black humour and memorable lines, but the format means The Ballad of Buster Scruggs never quite gets going – and just as it looks like it might, with the tale of a blossoming romance on a wagon train journey to Oregon, it feels like it’s over too soon. Even so, it’s a must-watch for Coen fans.

Watch The Ballad of Buster Scruggs on Netflix

Attack the Block

Aliens descend on Earth with bad intentions. Said aliens decide to land in a South London housing estate – and find out that South London housing estates are replete with their own kind of hazards.

By refusing to cast judgement on the actions of its teenage protagonists (which include Star Wars’ John Boyega in his breakthrough role), Attack the Block leaves you free to make up your own mind – though you'll probably be too engrossed in the action to bother. Directed by Joe Cornish (of Adam & Joe fame), this movie is by turns scary, funny and very cool.

Watch Attack the Block on Netflix

Superbad

Why can't all teen comedies could be as funny, pacy and ultimately life-affirming as 2007's Superbad, which manages to juggle all the tropes of the genre (partying, sex, friendship) without feeling hackneyed or bloated?

It's ninety minutes of proof that parties are sources of never-ending angst. You need someone over the age limit to buy the booze – your high school friend with an ID that reads "McLovin" will do. You’ve got to impress the girls – Seth works out that headbutting them in the face works a charm. And in American movies, there’s always the chance the cops will show up – we just wish all of them were as warped as Bill Hader and Seth Rogen.

Watch Superbad on Netflix

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