Editor’s Note: This post is updated monthly. Bookmark this page and come back every month to stay up to date with the best comedy films on Hulu
Updated for February 2018
In the words of two infamous horse boxing promoters: “folks, you gotta laugh.”
And there is perhaps no better way to secure a much-needed laugh than our list of the best comedy movies on Hulu. Hulu has plenty of options to give you the exact kind of laugh you need. Romantic comedies, sci-fi comedies, comedies comedies. The best comedies on Hulu will get you through many a laughless night.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Speaking of wholesome, Hunt for the Wilerpeople is a winsome, hilarious good time from Flight of the Conchords‘ direct Taiki Waititi (who has popped up so frequently on these comedy lists that I’m finally learning how to spell his name).
Ricky (Julian Dennison) is a juvenile delinquent who escapes into the woods of New Zealand rather than being brought in by child protective services after his foster mother dies. Ricky is assisted by Bella’s husband Hec (Sam Neill) as they avoid a national manhunt. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is equally whimsical and emotional. It’s a truly great adventure comedy.
In the Loop
In the Loop comes from brilliant British political satirist and Veep creator Armando Iannucci. It’s a spin-off film of his similar British series The Thick of It. It stars would-be Doctor Who Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker, Director of Communications for the British Prime Minister and ultimate spin artist. He must scramble to get everybody on the same page regarding a potential war in Iraq.
In the Loop is just as filthy and brilliantly caustic as The Thick of It. It depicts the world of politics as most of us imagine it exists: just a bunch of fast-talking type A personality desperate to win at something, anything.
Time plus tragedy equals comedy. Joshy tests this theory to the extreme by trying to move from tragedy to comedy about five minutes into the movie The tituar Josh (Thomas Middleditch) is excited to start his life with his fiancee until…bad things happen.
Four months later, Josh’s friends decide to follow through on his would-be bachelor party anyway to get their bro out of the dumps. The gang holes up in a ranch in Ojai for what should be a fun week but in reality turns into an exercise in confronting one another’s friendships. Joshy is equal parts funny and tragic and features a stellar comedic cast.
Think you’ve seen every take on the superhero genre that you need to see? Not if you haven’t seen Super. Super came out the same year as the remarkably similar Kick-Ass and the two create an excellent misantrhopic superhero double feature. Frank (Rainn Wilson) is an objectively pathetic fry cook whose only bright spot in life is his beautiful wife Sarah (Liv Tyler).
When she leaves him to re-enter a life of drugs and other vices Frank, let’s say…overreacts. He adopts the alter ego of Crimson Bolt and takes to the streets in search of crime to defeat. And he does so incredibly violently. Super comes from Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn and really stretches the dark aspect of “dark comedy.”
Everybody Wants Some!!
Richard Linklater and ’80s coming-of-age comedies go together like America and apple pie. And like all four of those factors, baseball is involved in Everybody Wants Some!! The recent Linklater comedy is about a group of college baseball players trying to get their shit together before college begins.
Like any good Linklater film, Everybody Wants Some!! is discursive and doesn’t really follow a coherent plot. Instead it’s a realistic, funny and dreamily charming depiction of youth and its most youthful.
What About Bob?
Pairing comedic wild card Bill Murray with just about any professional “straight-man” actor usually yields comedic gold and What About Bob? is a prime example why. Richard Dreyfuss stars as a therapist Dr. Leo Marvin and Murray as his annoying patient, Bob. Bob breaks all sorts of professional boundaries by tracking down Dr. Marvin on vacation so he can receive further treatment.
Unfortunately, Leo’s family seems to legitmately enjoy Bob’s presence and wants him to stick around. What About Bob? is what the Frank Grimes episode of The Simpsons would look like as a full-length movie.
The Emperor’s New Groove
Animated Disney movies take on a certain format. You likely know it by heart at this point. Protagonist suffers great calaminty. Protagonist overcomes calamity and learns an important lesson. Many songs are sung in the process. The Emperor’s New Groove takes that basic format and then replaces the multitude of songs with actual, honest-to-goodness hilarious jokes.
Pound for pound, The Emperor’s New Groove is one of the funniest Disney movies ever made. The story of Emperor Kuzco’s unfortunate circumstance (in this case being turned into a llama) is funny enough on its own but then Patrick Warburton’s Kronk sends it into hilarious new heights. This may be an unexpected choice for best comedy on Netflix but come on: Kronk speaks fluent squirrel.
God bless the movies whose titles are essentially their premise. Billy Bob Thornton is a mall Santa. He’s bad. It’s Bad Santa. Ok, that’s selling it a bit short. Billy Bob Thornton stars as Willie T. Soke, who is actually a thief. He and his assistant Marcus disguise themselves as Santa and an elf to rob malls by night though Willie’s alcoholism and sex adddiction begin to get in the way of him even pretending to be a competent mall Santa.
Bad Santa is hilariously crass and brutal, which makes sense given the talent involved. Christmas has plenty of movies to get you in the spirit of the season. This one will get you in a completely different kind of Christmas cheer.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels marks an important transition in cinema history from Michael Caine Serious Actor to Michael Caine Lovable Goofball. Caine and Steve Martin star as two suave conmen, Freddy and Lawrence, who compete to swindle a rich heiress out of $50,000 (admittedly a pretty paltry sum in hindsight).
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a fun, picturesque comedy that enjoys pitting American v. Brit.
Three Men and a Baby
Three Men and a Baby is much more than just a wild internet conspiracy theory. It’s a funny comedy in its own right. The plot is genius in its ’80s simplicity. Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg, and Tom Selleck have to raise a baby. The mechanics at play here are that any one of the three men could be the father to a lovechild and therefore undertake the responsibilities of raising it together.
A lot of the humor relies on “lol men don’t get babies” which hasn’t aged that well but the three completely charming stars have.
The Apatow film universe is equally successful and sprawling. Films produced by Judd Apatow have been the alpha and omega of movie comedies for longer than a decade now. Still with all that competition, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s debut high school comedy Superbad might be the funniest of them all pound for pound.
Superbad stars Jonah Hill and Michael Cera as two high school friends who want to go to a party and get laid before college. That’s it. Still with only the barest of premises Superbad manages to be a completly hilarious and unexpectedly heartfelt experience.
Greta Gerwig is an indie-movie darling for a reason and Frances Ha highlights exactly why. Frances is a 27-year-old dancer trying to make it in New York. When her roommate decides she wants to relocate to Tribeca and Frances can’t afford the rent there, she takes off on a journey across the country (and eventually the world) to find a place to live.
Frances Ha is a remarkable piece of work about finding one’s place in the world. It’s one of Noah Baumbach’s better works, which is saying a lot.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Most of the time coming up with viable story ideas for movies is hard. I really can’t imagine that was the case for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. What if two chilled-out stoner dudes were thrust back into time to interact with famous philosophers and warlords?
The studio exec who greenlit probably did so so hard and fast they tore their ACL. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is profoundly stupid and profoundly funny. A young Keanu Reeves will be a big appeal for some but don’t sleep on his co-star Alex Winters and…wait, George freaking Carlin is their guide in this? The late ’80s ruled.
A Fish Called Wanda
Something about heists and sophisticated criminals are inherently funny. It’s just fun to watch people who believe they’ve created the perfect crime realize that every criminal thinks they’ve created the perfect crime and no one ever has. In A Fish Called Wanda, a crew of professional thieves has already committed their perfect crime and stolen a whole bunch of diamonds. The problem is their gang leader has hidden those diamonds and they all must now double cross one another to find them.
A Fish Called Wanda comes with a superb cast. John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Palin, and Kevin Kline all star as diamond thieves, which is really enough to see the movie right there. Kline actually won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. A Fished Called Wanda rides those excellent performances and a distinctly British sense of humor to glory.
Say you’re a young up-and-coming director who needs to make a casting splash for your latest film. You luck out and get Hollywood big shot Michael Fassbender! Score! So what do you do with him? If you say “cover his beautiful face with a giant papier-mache head for the entirety of the film,” you’re likely Frank director Lenny Abrahamson.
Frank is the story of an indie rock band trying to make it big by getting into South by Southwest. Their lead singer, however, is a bit…eccentric. Frank (Fassbender) refuses to be seen without his big papier-mache head. This understandably causes some issues.
Frank is a very funny movie with an excellent cast led by Fassbender but also featuring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Domhnall Gleeson
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
It seems like every single movie the Coen Brothers make, has the potential to be someone’s favorite Coen Brothers movie. O Brother, Where Art Thou? is mine. O Brother is just a capital “M” movie. It tells a fun, fast-paced elemental story filled with bright, vibrant characters, lush imagery, and plenty of songs and jokes.
The story is so elemental in fact that it borrows its basic structure from Homer’s The Odyssey. George Clooney stars as Ulysses stand-in Ulysses Everett McGill, a common criminal who engineers a prison break with his chain gang companions Pete (John Turturro) and Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson) so that they can return home to Mississippi to retrieve some treasure.
On their Odyseey, they will come across Cyclops, sirens, and make some absolutely incredible folk songs.
I’m sure many people have sat around and though “I should make a movie about a hockey ‘goon’ or ‘enforcer.'” Long-time Seth Rogen collaborators (and gold star Canadians) Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg decided to actually do it. Seann William Scott stars as Doug Glatt, a mild-mannered Massachusetts bartender.
One day he attends a minor league hockey game with his friends and somehow ends up in a fistfight with one of the amateur players. Having seen how easily Doug handled that player, the team’s coach offers Doug a role on the team as their enforcer. Doug joins up, eager to avenge his favorite player by battling the man who ended his career, Ross “The Boss” Rhea (Liev Schreiber).
Goon takes an interesting premise and makes the absolute best of it. This is a very funny movie.
When Gene Wilder passed away in 2016, he left so many classic comedy performances for people to celebrate. The movie that perhaps most captured Wilder’s talent and headlined many a tribute video was Blazing Saddles. Mel Brooks 1974 satirical Western about a Black sheriff (Cleavon Little R.I.P. as well) in an all-White frontier town.
The film is beyond absurd, completely ahead of its time and wonderfully funny. It also features one of the best natural breaks ever caught on camera. Keep a close eye on Little as Wilder delivers the line “You know, morons.”
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
War movies can certainly be joyless affairs and understandably so. Even in the darkest of circumstances, however, people can find humor and that’s what’s refreshing about Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Tina Fey stars as journalist Kim Barker in a film that’s adapted from Barker’s memoir The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot covers an angle often not featured in many modern war films: the media. And that of course opens the door for Fey’s natural sense of humor. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is an excellent war movie and successful comedy.
In a World
“In a world” is one of the most evocative phrases in movie culture. It heralds back to the golden era of movie trailers in which golden-throated Don LaFontaine set up so many teasers with a baritone and serious “In a world…”
In the movie In a World, Carol Solomon (Lake Bell) is a vocal coach deadset on becoming the next LaFontaine. The premise and lead character’s goals in In a World is so specific that it can’t help but be a good, funny, charming film.