We’ve all been there. You’re at home, you want to watch something funny on Netflix – but you don’t know where to start. There’s just so much available that you end up watching old episodes of Gossip Girl instead.
OK, so maybe the Gossip Girl thing is just me. But you get the picture.
That’s why the Stuff team has worked tirelessly to find the funniest comedy films and TV shows available on Netflix UK. Take a look and we’re sure you’ll find something better than Gossip Girl.
Rick and Morty (S1-3)
The much-anticipated third season of Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon’s animated sci-fi comedy series is now streaming on Netflix UK, and it continues in the same riotous, quick-fire vein as previous seasons.
Despite being rooted in sci-fi staples like multi-dimensional travel (and generally coming off as pretty convincing, science-wise - at least to this writer's non-physicist brain), Rick and Morty is chiefly concerned with being hilarious and irreverent as it follows the misadventures of a possibly sociopathic booze-addled inventor and his awkward teenage grandson. Does it succeed? Well, it wouldn't be in this list if it didn't, right?
New third season episodes drop onto Netflix every Sunday, while the first couple of seasons are already available in their entirity.
People Just Do Nothing
A BBC comedy series that’ll appeal to both lovers of mockumentaries and aficionados of late ‘90s UK garage music. People Just Do Nothing is ostensibly a behind-the-scenes documentary about West London pirate radio station Kurupt FM, but it’s actually a wickedly funny – and certainly not unaffectionate – examination of the same kind of hubris and self-delusion as exhibited by David Brent in The Office, presented in much the same way.
The fact that the Kurupt crew clearly do know their Artful Dodger from their Pied Piper – they’ve performed live at multiple events, in character – adds an extra layer of authenticity to the whole thing.
The Nice Guys
Remember buddy cop movies? Weren't they great? Shame they don't make them anymore.
But wait! What's this? It's a buddy cop (ok, private detective) movie! From Shane Black - the bloke who wrote the first two Lethal Weapon films! And it stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling!
If that sounds like a great recipe to you, you're going to love The Nice Guys. It's brilliantly silly at times, gloriously action-packed at others, and if it doesn't get a sequel it'll be a travesty.
Inside No. 9
Having made their name with The League Of Gentlemen and Psychoville, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith set about creating Inside No. 9 – three series (although only the first two are available here) of self-contained stories that have one thing in common: they’ll keep you guessing right til the end.
Whether it’s a death on a sleeper train, a game of hide ‘n’ seek with extreme consequences, or the silent episode about a pair of hapless burglars, the writing here blows most of its contemporaries out of the water, with a devilishly macabre twist in the tail. While it won’t always have you falling off the sofa with laughter, there’s normally at least one absolute stonker of a gag in each episode.
I’m Alan Partridge
Alan Partridge had already appeared on TV in The Day Today and fake talk show Knowing Me, Knowing You (the latter also available to stream on Netflix), but it was the two series and 12 episodes of I’m Alan Partridge that cemented Steve Coogan’s comic creation as one of Britain’s best-loved (or should that be most-hated?) comedy characters.
A sort of cinema verité sitcom that follows Alan around in his daily life as a failed TV presenter now slumming it as a local radio DJ in his home county of Norfolk, I’m Alan Partridge is rich with pathos, quotable lines and the sort of cringeworthy moments that Ricky Gervais later built a career on. Partridge’s Britain is one of Rover Fastbacks, owl sanctuaries, Travel Taverns, static caravans, driving gloves, attempts to wangle free power showers and terrible corporate event appearances – and it’s one that it’s a blast to spend (occasional) time in.
Will Ferrell’s patchy movie output doesn’t take away from the fact that when he’s good, he’s really good, and Step Brothers is one of his films which – perhaps a little surprisingly, given its premise – illustrates this fact. Ferrell and the superb John C. Reilly play coddled middle-aged men who still live with their respective mother and father – and are forced to live together as step brothers when said parents get married.
If it sounds like the sort of film Adam Sandler would turn down, Step Brothers actually morphs swiftly from standard slapstick fare to, well, superior slapstick buddy comedy fare as the two enemies become allies and unite to combat a greater threat. It won’t change your life, but it will keep you laughing for 90 minutes of it.
The Thick Of It
You know how The Day Today made it impossible to watch the news without thinking it was a spoof (“Portillo’s teeth removed to boost pound”) and Brass Eye did the same with current affairs (“People say that alcohol’s a drug. It’s not – it’s a drink”)? Well, after watching The Thick Of It you’ll never again take anything a politician says seriously.
The unifying factor in those three shows is of course the supremely talented Mr Armando Iannucci, creator of TTOI and The Day Today and, given that he also worked on the various Alan Partridge shows, a man surely deserving of the title Greatest Living Briton.
But we digress. The Thick Of It could be described as a satire were it not so accurate in its depictions of jobsworth civil servants, careerist politicians and their clueless advisors. A must-watch for many, many reasons not least the virtuoso swearing abilities of Malcolm Tucker.
The Big Lebowski
Does anyone not like the Coen brothers? Maybe there’s a woman somewhere in Minnesota who refuses to watch their films because Joel didn’t ask her to the prom in 1971. Maybe there’s a man somewhere in Cheshire who’s never seen any of them because Ethan looks like the sod who ran over his dog. But the rest of us are all on board, right?
Fargo (1996) was the breakthrough movie that made their reputation for somehow managing to be funny, warm, dark and grotesque all at the same time. The Big Lebowski came two years later and it’s every bit as watchable, with John Goodman and Jeff Bridges in a ramblingly daft story of money, revenge and bowling.
Jim Jefferies: Freedumb
Russell Howard fans, be warned: this is not the bland, inoffensive ‘satire’ that you’re used to. Aussie-born adopted American stand-up Jim Jefferies isn’t known for holding back and he certainly doesn't do anything to change that in Freedumb, his new Netflix exclusive.
If you discovered him off the back of his gun control routine ‘going viral’ after every mass shooting in America (so every few weeks then) there might be more jokes about potty training here than you’d expect but his Bill Cosby bit and the Donald Trump material shows he can still channel his inner Bill Hicks when he’s got a point to make. Just don’t watch it with your mum.
Dysfunctional families have been done to death on both the big screen and TV, but the Bluths are up there with the most self-centred, destructive and, well, downright hilarious bunch of the lot. Straight man George Bluth desperately tries to keep his family and fortune intact as their company is hit by the US government for embezzlement.
Superb performances from the likes of David Cross, coupled with tonnes of re-quote potential make this a must-watch. It gets a little lost after the first three seasons thanks to the actors' other projects clashing with filming, but it's still well worth watching till the very end.