Need a pick-me-up? We're here to help. We've rounded up the best funny movies, plus our favorite stand-up specials, available on Netflix right now.
Admit it: you could use a good laugh.
Best comedy movies
The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
Metacritic score: 73
Sometimes slapstick, often cringe-worthy, The 40-Year-Old Virgin is filled with wall-to-wall laughs. The smashing success of Steve Carell's first foray into feature-length comedy was possible in no small part from hilarious co-stars including Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Jane Lynch and Elizabeth Banks, among many others. Though this one may not be for the whole family, it is a must-watch that holds up even after several viewings.
Tommy Boy (1995)
Metacritic score: 46
Chris Farley's first starring role in a comedy is a classic. He plays Tommy Callahan, who works alongside Richard Hayden (David Spade) to save his family's auto-parts business after Callahan's father dies. Farley, one of the all-time greats from SNL, was a one-of-a-kind comedy legend. Tommy Boy is a must-watch.
Tropic Thunder (2008)
Metacritic score: 71
Ben Stiller's satirical action comedy stars Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. The premise is great: When rookie movie director Damien Cockburn (Steve Coogan) can't get the drama he wants from his prima donna cast, he decides to shoot his Vietnam action movie in the jungle and CGI in the effects later. Robert Downey Jr. as Kirk Lazarus is just one of many hysterical performances in this film, which features a shockingly funny bit role from Tom Cruise.
Trading Places (1983)
Metacritic score: 69
"Trading Places" is an '80s classic. Stock market exec Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) trades places with panhandler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy). Winthorpe's bosses bet Valentine could do Winthorpe's job, upending both men's lives. Both Murphy and Aykroyd have very funny moments, as does Jamie Lee Curtis as Ophelia, Winthorpe's love interest.
Hot Fuzz (2007)
Metacritic score: 81
Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is an overachieving London cop who gets transferred to a small-town force, mainly because he was making the officers of his former precinct look bad by comparison. He's sent to a small village and teams up with new partner Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) and finds something dark is taking place in the town. The on-screen chemistry is undeniable as Pegg plays the straight man to Frost's bumbling small town cop.
Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II (1984, 1989)
Ghostbusters needs little in the way of introduction, but even if you've seen this movie before, it's still incredibly charming and funny to this day. A team of misfits including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson figure out a way to capture ghosts and decide to start a team called the Ghostbusters. Leading lady Sigourney Weaver plays the perfect "straight woman" to the rest of the cast's comedy antics.
Ghostbusters 2 may not climb to the heights of the classic original, but it's still very entertaining.
Finding Dory (2016)
Metacritic score: 77
Family friendly and beautifully animated by Pixar Animation Studios, Finding Dory is a fun 3D computer-animated adventure. With excellent voice-acting performances from Ellen Degeneres as Dory and Albert Brooks as Marlin, it's a hilarious and heartwarming adventure that your kids will love ... and probably watch again and again.
Metacritic score: 73
A darker entry than most on the list, Heathers is an iconic '80s movie that follows a string of murders at a small town high school. The most popular girls in the school are gradually picked off by Veronica (Winona Ryder) and a sociopathic J.D. (Christian Slater). Did I mention it was dark? It is. But it's also filled with funny dialog and a ton of '80s nostalgia.
Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
Metacritic score: 42
Here's another movie that's not going to be in your top 10, and to be fair it probably won't make your top 20 either. With that said, it's an absurdly funny cult classic. It follows a group of camp counselors at Camp Firewood as they try to kindle romance on the last day of camp. The cast is too huge to list, but there are a ton of people nobody knew then, but everybody knows and loves now, including Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Michael Ian Black and Elizabeth Banks. The camp director is played by Janeane Garofalo.
Netflix made the film into a series in 2015, bringing back many of the same characters who were already a little old to be camp counselors in the original, but now it's just plain absurd (which is part of the fun). Search Netflix for Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp.
Best in Show (2000)
Metacritic score: 78
This is Spinal Tap star Christopher Guest has some funny movies to his credit and Best in Show is near the top of the list. It's a mockumentary about the lives of five eccentric participants in a prestigious dog show. If you're looking for something funny and different, "Best in Show" is excellent.
Chicken Run (2000)
Metacritic score: 88
A claymation comedy created by Nick Park (who was behind Wallace & Gromit), Chicken Run sees a group of hens hatch a plan to escape the Tweedy family farm before the Tweedys are able to turn it into a chicken pot pie factory. The dialog is funny, but the expert claymation and the expressive faces of the characters are what make this movie great.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Metacritic score: 67
Peter Bretter (played by Jason Segel) has been in a long relationship with girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) when she suddenly breaks up with him. To put it the heartbreak behind him, Bretter takes a vacation, only to find Marshall and her new boyfriend staying at the same resort. It probably sounds sad, but great performances from Segel and Bell, along with hilarious supporting roles from Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Bill Hader and Jonah Hill, make this movie a lot of fun.
Wedding Crashers (2005)
Metacritic score: 64
In what became an instant classic over a decade ago, Wedding Crashers follows Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn) and John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) as they crash weddings to try to meet and bed vulnerable women. Terrible as it sounds, there are a lot of laughs as they work their various schemes, and there are top-notch performances from Vaughn, Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher and Christopher Walken.
Bad Santa (2003)
Metacritic score: 70
This dark comedy stars Billy Bob Thornton as Willie T. Soke, a professional thief who disguises himself as Santa Claus every year to rob shopping malls. He's also an alcoholic and a sex addict, and when his poor lifestyle choices start to affect his work, things go awry. While watching this one probably won't become a family holiday tradition, it's a hilarious story with great performances all around.
Just Friends (2005)
Metacritic score: 47
This romantic comedy featuring Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart and Anna Faris might not make your list of all-time best comedy movies, but there are a lot of hilarious moments. I don't want to give anything away, but Faris, as self-obsessed pop singer Samantha James, steals plenty of scenes with her hilarious comedic style.
Metacritic score: 76
Filled with quotable lines and memorable moments, Superbad perfectly captures the awkwardness of youth, as Seth (Jonah Hill), Evan (Michael Cera) and Fogel (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) navigate their way to a big party where their love interests will be. Seth Rogen (who teamed with Evan Goldberg in writing the movie) also plays a cop alongside Bill Hader; the two inadvertently help the boys to their goal. As an all-around fun teenage comedy, it's tough to beat Superbad for laugh-out-loud entertainment.
Best stand-up specials
Dave Chappelle: The Age of Spin (2017)
Metacritic score: 78
After a long break from standup, Dave Chappelle made his triumphant return with two new Netflix comedy specials. Even after all this time, he's still got it.
Netflix added two more Chappelle comedy specials late last year, called Equanimity and The Bird Revelation. These are both must-watch specials as well, and -- according to Chappelle himself -- might be the last you'll see of the comedian in the foreseeable future.
Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust (2017)
This special comes to us a year after Sarah Silverman was hospitalized with epiglottitis, which she discusses in her stand-up. It's frightening to think the comedy world came awfully close to losing one of the all-time greats. Lucky for us we were gifted with A Speck of Dust instead.
Patton Oswalt: Annihilation (2017)
This is one of the only comedy shows I've ever seen that made me cry. While probably not a great endorsement for a standup special, it's both funny and heartbreaking because it's Patton Oswalt's first time doing standup since the unexpected death of his wife last year. Amazingly, he can still make us laugh while talking about immense personal tragedy.
Chris Rock: Tamborine (2018)
Metacritic score: 78
In his first comedy special in 10 years, Chris Rock shows he can still be bitingly funny, but his characteristic brash, confident style has been tempered by a divorce and other major life changes. This special has a few missteps, but overall it's great to see Rock can still command the stage even when he delves into more serious material about life, race and regrets.
Iliza Shlesinger: Confirmed Kills (2016)
This was my first venture into Iliza Shlesinger's stand-up, and I'd happily go back for more. She was the first woman to win the comedy reality show competition Last Comic Standing back in 2008. Shlesinger has a real presence on stage, relying heavily on physical comedy and voice work. She's a bit brash, so if you're looking for something calm and soothing this might not be your cup of tea.
John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid (2015)
This may be one of the greatest comedy specials I've ever watched. Having a rough day? Throw on The Comeback Kid. Inviting a date back to your place? Throw on The Comeback Kid. Making a sandwich? Throw on The Comeback Kid. Mulaney's delivery is utterly impeccable and every minute of this special is gut-bustingly funny.
And if you like The Comeback Kid, definitely watch Mulaney's latest stand-up special, Kid Gorgeous Live at Radio City. It's fantastic.
Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife (2018)
Two years after her hit Netflix standup special called Baby Cobra, Ali Wong returns to the stage with a new baby bump and hilarious observations about marriage and motherhood. It's especially funny if you watch Baby Cobra first, because her perspective has changed now that she's a mom and has become a successful comedian. You should probably wait for the kids to go to sleep before watching these two specials, but you might wake them up from laughing so hard.
Netflix series to binge. But which ones are truly worth your time? Here's a personal list of the best of the best for you to check out.: There are no shortage of original
: Netflix original documentaries and docuseries have been knocking it out of the park lately. These are the ones worth your time.