Need a Laugh? Check Out the Best Quirky Comedies on Netflix
The very best comedies seem to sneak up on us. They’re the movies that seemed like they couldn’t possibly be great, but they’re just quirky enough that we need to check them out. Maybe they were box office failures, maybe they went straight to streaming because they knew their audiences were never going to be type to fill a theater, or maybe they have just been long forgotten.
With Netflix offering thousands of movies, and hundreds of comedies, it can be hard to figure out which ones are worthwhile in that “laugh so hard you have to rewind” way. We’ve pulled together our list of the best quirky comedies on Netflix. The weirder the better.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams star as Lars and Sigrid, a pair of Icelandic BFFs whose dreams of American-Idol style stardom elevate them to the Eurovision Song Contest. Full of Ferrell in all of his goofy glory, this comedy allows him to embrace his over the top silliness in all the right ways. He’s perfectly matched by Rachel McAdams, whose deadpan delivery and comedic timing only serve to make the ridiculousness even more hilarious.
Between Two Ferns: The Movie
Zach Galifianakis’s Funny Or Die shorts are some of the best laughs on the internet. Channeling the best public access television has to offer, he sits down with the rich and famous to ask them jaw-droppingly inappropriate questions. Netflix made the risky move of making the bit into a feature film, which is light on plot and heavy on laughs. Embracing the absurd is what Galifianakis does best, and the star-studded cast whose cameos pepper the film all know it.
While We’re Young
Noah Baumbach had made a name for himself with movies like The Squid and the Whale and Marriage Story but his funniest work is undoubtedly While We’re Young. With an all star cast that includes Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, and Adam Driver, While We’re Young is about a 40-something couple who befriends a 20-something couple. Full of uproarious one-liners and relatable moments, this comedy is only made better by its sincerity.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
Despite the fact that Walk Hard was pretty much ignored upon its release in 2007, the rock biopic parody has become a cult classic worthy of comparison to Rob Reiner’s This is Spinaltap. Walk Hard unapologetically mocks every trope of the rock biopic so thoroughly that the movie industry simply stopped making them for a decade. John C. Reilly’s turn as title character Dewey Cox is one of the best of his career, and with movies like Step Brothers and Talladega Nights on his resume, that’s saying a lot.
Swiss Army Man
In a list of quirky comedies, this may be the quirkiest. Daniel Radcliffe stars as a “farting corpse” alongside Paul Dano in a brilliantly bizarre buddy comedy. Stranded on a desert island, a hopeless man encounters a washed up corpse, and begins a friendship that gives him a newfound will to live. Swiss Army Man is exactly what indie films are supposed to be: weird, fearless, and fun.
With exceptional casting and beautifully developed characters, Lady Bird more than earned it’s Oscar nomination as a coming-of-age dramedy. Full of impeccable performances and teenage angst, Lady Bird is both touching and undoubtedly funny. Director Greta Gerwig’s autobiographical tale highlights all of the dorky awkwardness of the teenage years, toeing the line between hilarity and heartbreak.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Based on Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic novel series, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is another box office bomb that managed to gain a cult-like following. Michael Cera truly embodies Scott Pilgrim, a slacker musician who needs to win a band competition to obtain a record deal, all while fighting the seven evil exes of his new girlfriend. The fast-paced film stays true to its roots, and at times feels like you’ve just dropped right into the original comic.
One of the few blockbusters on this list, Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen prove they only deliver comedy gold with Pineapple Express. When a stoner witnesses a murder, he accidentally drops his roach, only to realize the rare strand he was smoking leads the culprits right back to him. One of the few comedies that delivers just as many laughs on its third or fourth viewing as it does the first time, Pineapple Express is one of Rogen’s best.
Adam Sandler and Netflix have become a tightly bonded pair, which is great for comedy lovers. Sandler delivers big laughs throughout Big Daddy as a thirty-something man with Peter Pan syndrome, a role he plays impeccably well. Attempting to prove to his ex that he’s matured, he adopts a five year old boy. What could possibly go wrong?
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
A true classic, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is an iconic British comedy. The parody of King Arthur and the search for the Holy Grail is perfectly ridiculous. Easily touted as one of the greatest comedies ever made, this low budget film introduced the world to geniuses John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin, among others. It tops every best comedy list for good reason.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian
Monty Python’s Life of Brian only expounded on the genius of the comedy troupe. While the Holy Grail takes on the legend of King Arthur, Life of Brian turns their focus to Jesus of Nazareth, or rather his next-door neighbor, Brian. Yes, it is just as inappropriate and controversial as it sounds. It’s also hilarious enough to rival its predecessor.
The Little Hours
Another irreverent comedy that proves nothing is sacred, The Little Hours takes place in an Italian convent full of sexually repressed nuns. Packed full of stars like Nick Offerman, Audrey Plaza, and Molly Shannon, the highlight of this comedy is the wonderfully straight faced delivery of its jaw-dropping dialogue. Offbeat, vulgar, and just plain fun, this little-known comedy is a total blast.
The Coen brothers have a lock on quirky movies, and Hail, Caesar! Is arguably one of their best. Shining their spotlight on 1950’s Hollywood, the movie follows a studio fixer (played by Josh Brolin) as he navigates the dirty business of keeping everything on track. Audiences are treated to a full lineup of stars embroiled in a wide variety of sagas, each more amusing than the last.
A Futile and Stupid Gesture
A biographical comedy is such a rare genre, that it hardly exists at all, but the origin story of National Lampoon Magazine is exactly that. Well-made and entertaining, A Futile and Stupid Gesture tells the story of funnyman Doug Kenney (Will Forte), who co-founded the magazine and wrote some of the best comedy movies of all time, including Animal House and Caddyshack. Kenney’s life story is truly a wild ride worth taking.
The 1970s were full of disaster movies, so when Airplane! was released in 1980 as a spoof of those films, it was like a breath of fresh air. Full of corny jokes that have you groaning through your laughter, Airplane! has no problem playing on puns even as it pushes boundaries. This gleeful comedy is outrageous and silly, and forty years later, it still feels fresh.
Dolemite is My Name
Easily one of the best Eddie Murphy performances in years, the Netflix Original, Dolemite is My Name is both witty and uplifting, and exactly the vehicle to show off Murphy’s comedic prowess. The film feels like an homage to black film culture of the 1970s as it loosely follows the real-life story of Rudy Ray Moore, a comedian with a pimp-alter ego, Dolemite. Full of energy, fantastic dialogue, and an amazing soundtrack, Dolemite is My Name is everything we want in a film.
Kung Fu Hustle
Kung Fu Hustle is fast, funny, and offers over the top action scenes. Relentlessly entertaining, there is so much to enjoy in this film that feels like a live-action cartoon. Considered director Stephen Chow’s masterpiece, Roger Ebert described Kung Fu Hustle “like Jackie Chan and Buster Keaton meet Quentin Tarantino and Bugs Bunny.” Enough said.
The Death of Stalin
Super dark and served with a side of history, The Death of Stalin is both horrifying and hilarious. Once Soviet leader Joseph Stalin dies, the battle over who will serve as his replacement begins. Bitingly funny as it cuts to the heart of totalitarianism, this comedy will make you laugh even as you squirm through its uncomfortable truths.
Sleeping With Other People
Rom-coms rarely make any comedy list because they’re generally not very funny. Sleeping With Other People is the exception to that rule. Full of everything the majority of romantic comedies lack, it offers charm, sexual tension, and genuine laughs. Refreshingly different, this slightly naughty comedy will make you believe that romance can be funny again.
The Young Offenders
This hidden gem of a crime comedy is bracingly funny from start to finish. Two Irish teens learn that there’s a missing bale of cocaine worth 7 million euros, so they cycle 160km on stolen bikes to try to get their hands on it. Managing to be sweet and endearing while still insanely funny and crude, the pair’s antics don’t miss a beat throughout. Watch this one with your hand on the rewind button.