Finding comedy shows to watch on Netflix can be much harder than it seems. While there are an absurd amount of choices that one can make, the possibilities can leave viewers flipping through endlessly without ever landing on a show. While many comedy series come and go, some are made to stand the test of time.
Comedy, unlike other genres, tends to age horribly – once a joke is understood, or repeated ad infinitum, it loses its luster. The same can be said of shows that have dated views or tropes that alienate viewers. However, there are some comedies that can be watched again and again, offering new insights, or providing comfort.
9 male vs. bee
mr. Bean himself, Rowan Atkinson, stars in the Netflix series Man vs. bee. While the premise is deceptively simple, its indicative of the confidence of the material to yield entertaining results. The series follows Trevor (Atkinson), a house sitter who finds himself locked in a battle of wits with a humble bumble bee.
As Trevor tries to kill the bothersome bee, he ends up creating a chain of events that only get worse as the series goes on. Modern physical comedy rarely gets better than this.
8 I Think You Should Leave
Tim Robinson co-created I Think You Should Leave with writer and New Yorker cartoonist Zach Kanin. And the series has a single-panel comic quality to it, showcasing several unrelated shorts – most of which find incredibly uncomfortable ways to overstay their welcome – each with a laser-sharp premise that contorts into something much stranger by the closing moments.
Even with two solid seasons under its belt, comedy fans can rip through these episodes in a single sitting. It’s a must-watch for comedy fans who like to feel ill at ease.
7 Big Mouth
Big Mouth is much more than an animated story about children who curse and go through the uncomfortable process of self-discovery. It’s a show that highlights individual agency, what goes on inside the body, and the sheer strangeness of the human experience – and yet, there’s still plenty of gross-out humor and foul language.
With a sixth season on the way and a seventh expected to follow, this is a show worth the time investment – offering plenty of acute observations about the whole “being human” thing.
6 The Good Place
Although the series ended in 2020, The Good Place has become a highly rewatchable favorite, thanks to sharp writing, poignant commentary, and a stellar cast. Kristen Bell stars as Eleanor Shellstrop, an obscenely selfish person who finds herself whisked away to “the good place” following a parking lot accident.
There, she meets Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani Al-Jamil (Jameela Jamil), and Michael (Ted Danson), who runs the whole place. While the first season emphasizes the oddness of the picture-perfect way to spend the afterlife, later seasons grow into a profound meditation of what it means to be human, with plenty of oddball humor to boot.
5 Trailer Park Boys
There’s no greater Canadian mockumentary series than Trailer Park Boys. The series is a cult classic, and for good reason: it’s endlessly rewatchable, with sharply drawn characters whose daily shenanigans make up the bulk of the series. There’s not a lot to it other than that, but the jokes are lowbrow without seeming disingenuous.
With seven seasons, a one-hour special, and three films, it’s always a fine time to jump back into the world of Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles, as they come up with new, incredibly idiotic ways to pass the time.
4 Arrested Development
Arrested Development might’ve lost a bit of the magic when it officially became a Netflix-produced series, but at least fans were given two more seasons’ worth of the Bluth family. Season 4 took some major storytelling risks that, at the very least, were still compelling and different.
While the less said about the fifth season the better, none of that detracts from the show being one of the most acclaimed comedy series of all time. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, and has a little bit of something for everyone – even “never nudes.”
3 Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Perhaps there has never been a more literate group of comedians than the Monty Python troupe. With jokes ranging from a game of soccer played by philosophers to a joke that single-handedly ended WWII, there are few sketch comedy shows, or comedies in general, that have not been influenced by these guys in some way.
With Flying Circus available on Netflix, there’s never been a better time to sit back and watch the most creatively abstract humor in a televised format.
2 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
It seems as though Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt had a hard time stepping out of the shadow of 30 Rock. And while it’s fair to say that 30 Rock is an all-timer worthy of its endless praise, Kimmy Schmidt is just as remarkable. Dealing in a similar brand of humor as the “other” show created by Tina Fey, the series follows ex-cult member Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) as she navigates the everyday reality of living in New York.
Of course, there’s a magical touch to everything, from the colorful characters she meets to the strange misadventures she has, but it incorporates so much wit and visual humor that viewers can keep finding new aspects to enjoy upon subsequent rewatches.
Seinfeld is, without a doubt, the greatest sitcom of all time. Sorry, cheers. The show, which ran for nine seasons, has a well-known premise. The show is, ostensibly, “about nothing,” but it still has so much to say about the way that people interact, the judgments they cast, and the minutiae of everyday life.
Between George Constanza’s (Jason Alexander) outbursts and conniving antics to Kramer’s extreme entrances, the series has become so firmly enmeshed with popular culture. Few series have exerted the influence of Seinfeld, and there’s a simple reason why: it’s perfect.
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