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The Best Comedies on Netflix Instant Watch

Updated on August 8, 2015
I traded this cat for $2 and some cream soda
I traded this cat for $2 and some cream soda

Oh, Comedy...

This is a list of the best comedies on Netflix Instant Watch. So, welcome.

What makes comedies so special that they deserve a list all of their own, you ask? Well put simply, comedy films make us feel like kids again.

Ah yes, childhood. That wonderful time when your parents do their best to shelter you, when you fill up half the glass with Hershey's Syrup before pouring in the milk, when Legos get lodged in the VCR, and the highlight of every week is being the last one picked for kickball. Yes, childhood.

And while Netflix has quite an extensive DVD-by-mail service, their Instant streaming options aren't always as fruitful. So, what is one to do?

What are the best comedies on Instant Watch? Is there anything that can take us back to our childhoods? Will we ever know who the real Slim Shady is?

We're here to help. Forget if you'll be able to pay rent next month. Quit asking yourself if the record-breaking drought will ever cease in California. It's time to think about the really important stuff: comedy movies.

Let's take a look at some of the greats:


Kevin Smith's seminal dark comedy Clerks shifted the comedic landscape and brought forth an intrepid new generation of low-fi, DYI cinema. It's basically a movie about some store clerks and local slackers working in a video store and adjacent grocery in a suburban strip mall, a bunch of twenty-somethings trying to figure out what to do with their lives. They argue about science-fiction, play hockey on the roof, and dwell on why they never left their hometown.

The jokes are clever, and the themes are deep. This was the movie that catapulted Smith to fame, as it tapped into the identity crises of young people who were coming of age in the early 1990s. A cult classic.

The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski is an epic comedy from the minds of the Coen Brothers, that stars Jeff Bridges as "The Dude". It is a classic modern piece of comedic cinema, featuring a fun plot, memorable lines ("Donny, you're out of your element"), and the Coens' trademark symbolism.

Stating the plot of this movie on paper belies its weight. It's a movie about silly characters, but it's also a movie made by master craftsmen. The cinematography, soundtrack, writing, and set design are stunning. The acting is great, with Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, and John Turturro hamming it up.

Slacker Jeff Lebowski -- aka "The Dude" -- is mistaken by some toughs for a millionaire by the same name. While Jeff just wants to bowl and drink white russians all day and not be bothered, German nihilists ("Vee are nihilists!") tail him and his friends.

This cult classic has attracted legions of fans, its own national convention, and a roomy place in modern pop culture. If you haven't seen it, please make it the next thing you do.

Pee-wee's Big Adventure

The big-screen debut of Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) was an eccentric box-office success. It was a well-made, sprawling story about a child-like man who loses his bike and spends the rest of the film trying to find it. On the way, he runs into magicians, bums, rodeo cowboys, ex-cons, rich kids, and many, many others.

Tim Burton's debut directorial effort and veteran Randy Newman's soundtrack are in top form here, and the popularity of Reubens' character led to another big-screen movie and a well-received TV show.

It's bizarre, it's schlocky, and it's really, really good. Comedies don't get much better than this.

Coming To America

you might have seen this one on TV. For some reason channels love replaying it. Maybe because people like watching it, even if it's the seventh time.

John Landis directed Coming To America in 1988, when Eddie Murphy was already a huge movie star. This film was lighter and simpler (and some would say funnier) than his earlier work, though.

Murphy stars as a sheltered yet incredibly rich African prince, who decides he must test his worth as a man by moving to New York City and living like an average guy. While struggling in his fast food job and keeping his loyal servant (Arsenio Hall) out of trouble, he struggles to woe a beautiful woman while trying not to expose who he really is.

Murphy and Hall make a great comedic duo, and there is a great callback to one of Murphy's earlier blockbusters, Trading Places. We also get to see bits of the life and texture of late eighties New York, which for better and for worse had no analog. This is a fun movie with a story that's been told before. But it's one of the best. Madge Sinclair, John Amos, and James Earl Jones co-star.

Time for a Poll...

What's the best comedy on Netflix?

See results


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    • mattdigiulio profile image

      mattdigiulio 5 years ago

      nmdonders - It seems that way for me too. Recently too, there have been some pretty great releases.

    • nmdonders profile image

      nmdonders 5 years ago

      I've found several gems on Netflix over time. They have some really good movies. I've only seen one of these on the list so I'll be sure to check out the rest. Great info.

    • mattdigiulio profile image

      mattdigiulio 5 years ago

      True. Thank you sir!

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Matt, this was a great list, Netflix has so many awesome titles, you just have to know what you are looking for. Great hub Matt!

    • mattdigiulio profile image

      mattdigiulio 5 years ago

      HL, thanks! That's great to hear. I'm working hard for Hubbers like yourself, to try and make some accessible lists of Instant Watch films. I'm grateful for your support.


    • HLKeeley profile image

      HL Keeley 5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      I have been looking for things to watch on Netflix: Watch Instantly. I was so desperate I went to the question for suggestions. While they were interesting, I could not find another series or movie to watch. I will try your list. Thanks for writing this! THUMBS UP!