The Funniest TV Shows to Watch on Netflix Right Now
These shows will guarantee laughs.
You've had a long day, and you just want to sit back on the couch and laugh a little bit. Netflix, as is so frequently the case, has you covered. The next time you feel like you're in need of a little comedy, binge one—or two, or seven—of these shows, a mix of Netflix originals (like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and BoJack Horseman) and acquired classics.
American Vandal (2017–2018)The two seasons of Netflix's American Vandal—a mockumentary about teenage documentarians investigating the innocence of a classmate accused of vandalism (Season 1) and a different school's issues with a mad pooper (Season 2)—is much more than scatalogical plotlines might indicate. After the first couple episodes of Season 1, the phallic material fades into the background, allowing the show to satirize high school and today's criminal justice system in a meaningful way, and Season 2 offers more of the same. To pull it off, the co-creators studied true-crime titans Serial, Making a Murderer, and The Jinx for a highly bingeable blend of parody, homage, and addictive teen drama.
Arrested Development (2003–2019)There's always money in the banana stand, and there are always laughs to be found in Arrested Development, Mitchell Hurwitz's sly, self-aware family sitcom. While the later Netflix-produced seasons occasionally devolved into discursive, indulgent meta-humor, the show's original three seasons established a freewheeling, insanely quotable comic sensibility that many of your favorite sitcoms—Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Community, Archer, Kroll Show—were influenced by.
Big Mouth (2017– )Big Mouth is bound to make uncomfortable but, as it goes with many other adult-themed cartoons, that's kind of the point. The show sees creator Nick Kroll and his friends essentially hopping into an animated time machine to play much younger versions of themselves, adolescent tweens beginning to date, watch porn, and grapple with their emotions and sexuality. With a no-holds-barred approach and the freeing format of animation, the show tends to really go there (see: horny Hormone Monsters, singing Michael Stipe tampons, the Shame Wizard, an anxiety mosquito), placing it in the same taboo-busting league as Netflix's other animated adult comedies.
Billy on the Street (2011– )It's a game show for people who think game shows are stupid! The frenetic Billy Eichner mixes celebrity guests, unsuspecting strangers, and wild one-off games to create a delightfully addictive and fast-paced show that doubles as a broad takedown of celebrity culture writ large. Come on, who wouldn't want to watch Rachel Dratch try to escape from Margot Robbie's Hollywood moment?
BoJack Horseman (2014–2020)When you write it, it sounds strange: A cartoon about a talking horse is one of the funniest and most accurate representations of depression on TV today. But it's true. As you join the title character, voiced by Will Arnett, on his quest for Hollywood and personal redemption, you'll encounter killer visual gags, whip-smart dialogue, complex-as-hell characters, and genuine feelings—the kind that'll make you evaluate (and re-evaluate, and re-re-evaluate) your own life.
Call My Agent! (2015–2020)
Think of this as a French version of Entourage, but instead of a faction of bros' Hollywood misadventures, this spastic and funny series has a Parisian cadre of agents attempting to save their flailing business while confronting realities like sexism, ageism, and the gender pay gap in movies and TV. Call My Agent! (aka Dix Pour Cent—Ten Percent in English) finds a way to balance tabloid-esque fluff with sweetly emotional windows to the main characters, and splices in real French actors (and also Sigourney Weaver) with roles as caricatures of themselves.
The Characters (2016)Eight comedians, one episode each. Such talents as Lauren Lapkus, Natasha Rothwell, and Tim Robinson all get a shot to unveil their best—you guessed it!—characters in 30ish minutes. Each episode is a different flavor, making for a nice blend of surreal, dark, and simply side-splitting. There's something in here for everyone, and you'll have a good time passionately arguing with your friends about the MVP. (Spoiler alert: It's obviously John Early.) (Editor's note: No, it's definitely Robinson.) (Other editor's note: No way. It's Kate Berlant, you idiots.)
Community (2009–2015)There's a reason Dan Harmon's community college ensemble comedy amassed a devoted cult following for its six-season run, despite it nearly always being on the brink of cancelation. The series focuses on a lovable study group of misfits played by both comedy veterans and those then just on the brink of breaking out—including consummate cool guy Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), lovable ditz Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), TV-obsessed Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi), anxious genius Annie Edison (Alison Brie), tough-but-firm mother Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown), high school jock Troy Barnes (Donald Glover), and the baffling, bored, former CEO Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase)—as they navigate their way through Greendale Community College. It’s a sitcom that’s goofy and delirious, but forever a lesson in how to become a better person.
Crashing (2016)Unlike many sitcoms featuring young people who seem to have a remarkable number of resources at their disposal, Crashing centers on the relationships that develop among a makeshift community of young property guardians at an abandoned hospital. You'll see where Emmy-winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge appeared ahead of Fleabag, and feel equally taken by the emotional woes that fill the time between partying. At only six short episodes, this lighthearted 20-something comedy definitely deserves a binge.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015–2019)Many armchair critics tried to dismiss former YouTube sensation Rachel Bloom's CW series for what they presumed to be a sexist title—a notion she bites back at from the opening credits on. In fact, the series is quietly revolutionary, offering sharp yet subtle commentary about the way women treat each other and themselves, and casually featured one of the most diverse casts on TV during its run. CXG draws its rom-com antics from heroine Rebecca's compulsive behavior and past traumas, all while satirizing the conventions of musicals with song-and-dance numbers worthy of Sondheim. It's a downward spiral, for sure, but psychosis has never been this entertaining.
Dead to Me (2019– )In Liz Feldman’s Dead to Me, Christina Applegate’s Jen starts off grieving the recent death of her husband, who was killed in a hit-and-run, by reluctantly attending group therapy. That's where she meets Linda Cardellini’s Judy, who's also grieving, and the two form an instant bond. But by the end of the first episode, it's clear that both of these women, whose chemistry is the kind of snarky friendship you crave in your own life, are hiding something. The 30-minute dark comedy moves effortlessly between registers, from lighthearted to deadly serious, with plot-turning twists thrown into every episode for good measure. If you enjoy watching adults say "screw it, I'm doing what I want," Dead to Me is definitely for you.
Dear White People (2017– )Writer-director Justin Simien stretched his own feature debut and Sundance breakout, Dear White People, into a Netflix series and the result is even more cunning, tense, and consistently hysterical than the original. Race relations on the campus of Winchester University are boiling after a group of white students throw a blackface party, and each member of the Black student union reacts in his or her own fashion. Dear White People weaves through the perspectives of class leaders, local rebels, the college newspaper reporter, and Sam, host of the provocative "Dear White People" radio show (who also happens to have a white boyfriend). Familiar college-age behavior breathes life into the political and social questions, and Simien raises the stakes to heart-pounding intensity that sustains itself throughout the series. Dear White People is the most human show on Netflix, period.
Derry Girls (2018– )Teen shows are often good for some laughs, but few are as goddamn hysterical as Derry Girls. The Channel 4/Netflix co-production about Catholic schoolgirls in the '90s living through the end of the Northern Ireland Troubles is all about their own, unfiltered teenaged troubles, and outright laugh-out-loud hilarious. The entire cast and their quirks are near perfect; after a quick binge, you'll find there's no other fictional crew you'd rather kick-back with.
Disenchantment (2018– )Drop any expectations you might have had for Matt Groening's Netflix series, a bumbling fantasy set in medieval times. Though it might look like his others (duh: The Simpsons, Futurama), Disenchantment paces its jokes at the top speed of a horse-drawn carriage and exhaustively drags out to a maddening degree its first arc: trying to marry off the rebellious teenaged Princess Tiabeanie Mariabeanie De La Rochambeaux Drunkowitz (Broad City's Abbi Jacobson). But those who make it past the first two episodes shall be rewarded, as the misadventures of Princess Bean and her crew of misfits—the demon Luci (Eric Andre) and naive elf Elfo (Nat Faxon)—become more and more interconnected with Bean's cryptic, possibly occult-tied fate. Once your binge-watch quest gets to the even better Season 2, you'll find Groening has created a series that transmogrified into that rare beast of a TV show you could watch for seasons on end.
Documentary Now! (2015– )IFC's Documentary Now! pokes fun at the precious self-seriousness of documentary filmmaking, thanks to SNL vets Bill Hader and Fred Armisen (and a regal Helen Mirren introduction). Docs in the show's crosshairs include everything from Nanook Revisited ("Kunuk Uncovered") to History of the Eagles ("Gentle & Soft: The Story of the Blue Jean Committee"), the latter a parody of an Eagles documentary that's pretty funny in its own right. Which is why the true brilliance of Documentary Now! comes less from imitation and more from the same sauce that makes any doc memorable: Human existence is fascinatingly absurd.
Girlfriends (2000–2008)Everyone wishes they had a crew like Joan, Lynn, Maya, and Toni. While we may not get the luxury of embracing Joan's maternal instincts or the opportunity to laugh at Maya's sassiness IRL, the warmth and the hilarity of the series and its characters (including honorary girlfriend William) from Mara Brock Akil (Moesha, Being Mary Jane) makes us feel like we're part of the bunch. The beloved comedy is a riot of a sitcom and an update to the format with its multidimensional Black women characters.
Good Girls (2018– )
TV fans can't get enough of a good antihero. We've seen domestic types take a dark turn in shows like Breaking Bad, and even given a comedic flair in Weeds—which is the same route that the moms-behaving-badly series Good Girls goes down. The show from Jenna Bans (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal) finds three mothers—sisters Annie (Mae Whitman) and Beth (Christina Hendricks) and their best friend Ruby (Retta)—who, under desperate circumstances, plan a robbery and plummet into a life of crime. It's a recipe for disaster for the suburbanites, and extremely fun to watch given the characters' likeability and the ways they're forced to navigate gender dynamics in a whole other world (see: working with the gang leader/eye candy Rio). While the first season gets off on a wonky foot, it's a rare, watchable network TV show that feels intended for streaming.