The Best Comedy Movies on Hulu Right Now (February 2024)

Comedy Lists Hulu
The Best Comedy Movies on Hulu Right Now (February 2024)

Hulu’s corporate ownership continues to tighten. Initially launched in 2007 as a partnership between NBCUniversal and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (the then-owners of Fox), Disney joined the fold as a partner two years later. In late 2023 Disney bought out the stake still owned by NBC owners Comcast, making Hulu a fully-owned arm of the Disney empire. How will that impact its TV and movie offerings? Time will tell.

If you still think Hulu is just a place to watch sitcoms the day after the networks broadcast them, though, it must’ve been a few years since you last logged in. The streaming site has long been a full-service rival to Netflix, and arguably has a deeper and stronger lineup of films. With not just comedy, but all genres, Hulu tends to offer a more diverse set of films than Netflix, with something for all tastes and ages.

Before we jump in, let me include the standard disclaimer that I always start our Netflix comedy list with. I’m a comedy editor.  When compiling a list of the best comedies on Hulu, or any streaming service, I’m mostly looking at how much a movie makes me laugh, more than the quality of filmmaking on display. So if you feel the need to go all Margaret Dumont about the sheer impropriety of these rankings, maybe go check out some of our more tasteful overall movie rankings, instead.

Here are the best comedies on Hulu today as of February 2024, listed in alphabetical order.

21 Jump Street

Year: 2012
Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Stars: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Ice Cube
Rating: R

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Against all odds, 21 Jump Street—a movie based on a Fox television series remembered mainly for helping launch the career of Johnny Depp and briefly reminding the world that Dom DeLuise had a son—is an immensely enjoyable, frequently hilarious film. The premise is unchanged. Two youthful-looking (and since this is a comedy, spectacularly incompetent) police officers are assigned to a special division that places undercover agents in schools in an attempt to stop illegal activity. For officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum), fresh out of the academy, this is not so much an opportunity as a richly deserved exile. Their mission, as delivered by a purposefully prototypical Angry Black Police Captain (Ice Cube): Contain the spread of a dangerous new drug that has shown up at a local high school. For Jenko, the return to high school represents a return to his glory days. For Schmidt, it’s more of a return to the scene of a crime where the body outlined in chalk looks suspiciously like his own. Unlike so many comic remakes, reboots and long-delayed sequels, 21 Jump Street doesn’t overly rely on nostalgia to generate its laughs. Hill isn’t doing anything he hasn’t done before, but that doesn’t make his deadpan-acerbic delivery any less funny, especially alongside the earnest doofus-ness of his partner. Hill and Tatum are supported by a strong ensemble of recognizable faces, including Rob Riggle, Ellie Kemper and Chris Parnell. But though “ensemble piece” usually refers to cast and crew, 21 Jump Street is even more impressive when viewed as an ensemble of comedic approaches. There are laughs to suit all tastes—from sarcastic jibes to pratfalls, from pokes at film conventions (“I really thought that was going to explode.”) to exuberant, undeniably infectious, juvenile displays. And each is conveyed in a measure appropriate to its form. As a result, there’s just not much time spent watching 21 Jump Street without at least a smile on one’s face. —Michael Burgin

 


The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Year: 2005
Director: Judd Apatow
Stars: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Romany Malco, Kat Dennings, Elizabeth Banks, Leslie Mann
Rating: R

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Judd Apatow emerged as a major new voice in the world of romantic comedy with his first directorial effort, The 40-Year-Old Virgin–a big, goofy, hilarious mess of a movie that is anchored by the easy charm of its two principal leads, Steve Carell and Catherine Keener. Their no-nonsense romance is surprisingly understated and adult in a movie with an outrageous premise and lewd jokes. Leslie Mann also deserves credit for that hilarious French toast scene.—Jeremy Medina

 


Another Round
Year: 2020
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, Magnus Millang
Rating: NR

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In Thomas Vinterberg’s new film Another Round, camaraderie starts out as emotional support before dissolving into male foolishness cleverly disguised as scientific study: A drinking contest where nobody competes and everybody wins until they lose. Martin (Mads Mikkelsen), a teacher in Copenhagen, bobs lazily through his professional and personal lives: When he’s at school he’s indifferent and when he’s at home he’s practically alone. Martin’s closest connections are with his friends and fellow teachers, Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), Nikolaj (Magnus Millang) and Peter (Lars Ranthe), who like many dudes of a certain age share his glum sentiments. To cure their malaise, Nikolaj proposes putting Norwegian psychiatrist Finn Skårderud’s blood alcohol content theory to the test: Skårderud maintains that hovering at a cool 0.05% BAC helps people stay relaxed and loose, thus increasing their faculty for living to the fullest. As one of the day’s preeminent screen actors, Mikkelsen finds the sweet spot between regret and rejoicing, where his revelries are honest and true while still serving as covers for deeper misgivings and emotional rifts. Sorrow hangs around the edges of his eyes as surely as bliss spreads across his face with each occasion for drinking. That balancing act culminates in an explosive burst of anger and, ultimately, mourning. Good times are had and good times always end. What Another Round demonstrates right up to its ecstatic final moments, where Mikkelsen’s sudden and dazzling acrobatics remind the audience that before he was an actor he was a dancer and gymnast, is that good times are all part of our life cycle: They come and go, then come back again, and that’s better than living in the good times all the time. Without a pause we lose perspective on all else life has to offer, especially self-reflection. —Andy Crump

 


The Death of Stalin
Year: 2018
Director: Armando Iannucci
Stars: Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Simon Russell Beale, Paddy Considine, Jason Isaacs
Rating: R

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You can trace that dynamic from The Thick of It, through In the Loop and Veep, and then especially in his new film, The Death of Stalin, whose subject matter can be inferred from a mere glance. The Death of Stalin marks a major temporal departure for Iannucci, known for skewering contemporary political embarrassments and turmoil, by taking us back to 1953 Russia. Years out from the Great Purge, the country remains in the grip of widespread fear fomented by nationalism, public trials, antisemitism, executions, mass deportations and civic uncertainty. Iannucci asks us to laugh at an era not known for being especially funny. That’s the give and take at the film’s core: Iannucci drops a punchline and we guffaw, then moments later we hear a gunshot, accompanied by the sound of a fresh corpse hitting the ground. Finding humor in political violence is a big ask, and yet Iannucci’s dialogue is nimble but unfailingly harsh, replete with chafing castigations. We howl with laughter, though we can’t help feeling bad for every poor bastard caught on the receiving end of trademark Iannucci verbal abuse, which typically means we end up feeling bad for every character in his films. He spares no one from insult or injury, even when they’re lying dead on the floor, soaked in their own piss. A tale of mortal sins as well as venial ones, The Death of Stalin adds modern urgency to his comic storytelling trademarks: As nationalist sentiment rears its ugly head across the globe and macho authoritarian leaders contrive to hoard power at democracy’s expense, a farcical play on the political clusterfuck that followed Stalin’s passing feels shockingly apropos. It takes a deft hand and a rare talent to make tyranny and state sanctioned torture so funny. —Andy Crump

 


Fire Island
Year: 2022
Director: Andrew Ahn
Stars: Joel Kim Booster, Bowen Yang, Margaret Cho, Conrad Ricamora, James Scully
Rating: R

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Fire Island is, for the most part, exceptionally well-done. Noah is a fascinating lead character, one who toes the line between acknowledging the unfair beauty standards gay Asian men are expected to conform to while simultaneously conforming to those standards. Booster brings an effortless and surprising blend of confidence and insecurity, but despite his powerhouse performance, it’s Yang who steals the show. Comedian and SNL alum Yang is funny as hell, but he plays Howie with such breathtaking vulnerability that it’s impossible not to empathize with his idealistic romantic yearnings. Other highlights include Margaret Cho as the boys’ house-mom figure, an unsurprising scene-stealer who bursts into every room with a healthy dose of hijinks and shock. Ricamora enacts a wonderful refurbish of the iconic Darcy character: Will is at once likable and unlikable, cold-blooded and sensitive.—Aurora Amidon

 


 

Gentlemen Prefer BlondesYear: 1953
Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan
Rating: N/A

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This classic musical comedy basically defined Marilyn Monroe’s image for all time. Monroe and Jane Russell are both magnetic as showgirls in this fun but incredibly dated comedy, which is full of jokes and gags that your grandparents probably went nuts over. You probably need a healthy respect for film history and a tolerance for corniness and outdated ideas about gender and romance to really appreciate this one today, but if you can get past all that you’ll find a charming, effervescent, and, yes, funny slice of amiable nonsense.—Garrett Martin

 


The Grand Budapest HotelYear: 2014
Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrian Brody
Rating: R

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The relationship to Anderson’s influences—how and maybe even why he makes his work—is what this film is all about. There are direct allusions to films that have popped up frequently in Anderson’s oeuvre: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, A Man Escaped, L’enfance nue and many Lubitsch films. But more importantly, the film seems to be about his relationship to directors (and also writers) that have influenced him. Gustave, with his dandyish and shy hard-living ways, may be a stand-in for Anderson, but only the way that the Amex “director” character of his commercial, modeled on outlandish heroes, is Anderson. “To be frank,” Mr. Moustafa says of Gustave, “I think his world vanished long before he entered it.” In this first film in which Anderson has sole screenwriting credit, he seems to be everyone. He is also, of course, the Author, both in the form of the man who is telling this tale, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” and his fictionalized self (the Jude Law character) that met his characters and lived among the ruins. But Anderson is also Zero Moustafa, an eager apprentice to his hero. In the most poignant line in the film, Moustafa says about his mentor, “After all, we shared a vocation.” The same line could be said of Anderson and all the directors he references.—Miriam Bale

 


Happiest Season
Year: 2020
Director: Clea Duvall
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Mary Steenburgen, Victor Garber, Alison Brie, Mary Holland, Dan Levy, Burl Moseley, Aubrey Plaza
Rating: R

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The grounded sobriety of Happiest Season, one of the best comedies on Hulu, lasts long enough for a reprieve from the still-present cornball Christmas melodrama, which director/co-writer Clea Duvall stages with the relish of someone who appreciates that melodrama in spite of themselves. But frankly, if every Hallmark movie was this over-the-top hilarious, they’d all at least be watchable as background noise, but then we’d have less reason to appreciate Duvall’s appropriation of their core components in Happiest Season.

Kristen Stewart, continuing to prove wrong all the smug remarks about her one-dimensional dourness starting around 2008, remains a treasure. She’s lively, lovely, and having a wonderful time vibing with Mackenzie Davis. The latter ends up shouldering juicier theatrical speeches and breakdowns as her character, Harper, unravels under the dual pressure of being the daughter she thinks her parents want and being the girlfriend she wants to be to Stewart’s Abby. The ensemble keeps things fresh throughout these conventional plot beats, with Mary Holland coming out ahead as Duvall’s friction-seeking SRBM. Anytime the atmosphere chafes, Holland flies into the room and annihilates it with adorable, well-meaning awkwardness. She’s a gift, but the whole cast glitters in this holiday fare. Everyone’s tuned to Duvall’s wavelength, playing their human sides while keeping the mood appropriately hammy and saccharine—just sweet enough without killing the pancreas. And that’s the film’s secondary message: It’s okay to like Christmas schmaltz. The greater message, of course, is that it’s okay to struggle with the sometimes-bruising process of coming out. Duvall dovetails the seasonal pap with her characters’ pain, treating it like ointment for their mellowing emotional stings. The message isn’t just about liking Christmas. The message is that everybody deserves a Christmas movie.—Andy Crump

 


The Little Hours
Year: 2017
Director: Jeff Baena
Stars: Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon
Rating: R

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Raunchy comedies rarely cop to such well-regarded sources: The Little Hours claims its basis lies within Giovanni Boccaccio’s 14th-century novella collection The Decameron, which makes its structure, bawdiness and characterizations all feel appropriately pithy. A series of incidents involving three horny nuns—Alessandra, Genevra, and Fernanda (Alison Brie, Kate Micucci and Aubrey Plaza, respectively)—and sexy farmhand-on-the-run Massetto (played by Dave Franco in full romance novel cover mode), The Little Hours finds writer/director Jeff Baena (who minored in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at NYU) delighting in updating The Decameron’s light and witty stories, helped by the fact that Boccaccio’s language was opposed to the flowery erudition of most of the period’s texts. That translates to a very vulgar (and funny) movie both indebted to and different than a wide spectrum of vulgar nun and nunsploitation movies that have spanned porn, hauntings and thrillers promising both nude nuns and big guns.–Jacob Oller

 


Palm Springs
Year: 2020
Director: Max Barbakow
Stars: Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, J.K. Simmons, Peter Gallagher, Meredith Hagner, Camila Mendes, June Squib, Conner O’Malley, Jena Friedman
Rating: R

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Imagine living the same day of your life over and over, stuck within an hour and a half of Los Angeles but so closely nestled in paradise’s bosom that the drive isn’t worth the fuel. Now imagine that “over and over” extends beyond a number the human mind is capable of appreciating. Paradise becomes a sun-soaked Hell, a place endured and never escaped, where pizza pool floats are enervating torture devices and crippling alcoholism is a boon instead of a disease. So goes Max Barbakow’s Palm Springs, one of the best comedies on Hulu.

The film never stops being funny, even when the mood takes a downturn from zany good times to dejection. This is key. Even when the party ends and the reality of the scenario sinks in for its characters, Palm Springs continues to fire jokes at a steady clip, only now they are weighted with appropriate gravity for a movie about two people doomed to maintain a holding pattern on somebody else’s happiest day. Nothing like a good ol’ fashioned time loop to force folks trapped in neutral to get retrospective on their personal statuses.—Andy Crump

 


Pineapple Express
Year: 2008
Director: David Gordon Green
Stars: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Gary Cole, Rosie Perez, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Kevin Corrigan
Rating: R

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Pineapple Express is a successful attempt to graft the kind of comedy that Judd Apatow’s crew was known for in the ’00s onto a different genre. The result is a shaggy, ’70s-style low-budget crime thriller turned into an absurd, low-brow stoner comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. This is the best vehicle for these two after Freaks and Geeks. As ridiculous and violent as the comedy gets, it’s still rooted in character, and not just that of the two leads; almost everyone on screen, from Gary Cole’s crime boss, to Craig Robinson and Kevin Corrigan’s hitmen, to Danny McBride’s cartoonish small-time dealer, establishes a character that’s more than just a stereotype or bundle of comical tics.—Garrett Martin

 


Popstar: Never Stop Never StoppingYear: 2016
Director: Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone
Stars: Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer, Sarah Silverman, Tim Meadows, Chris Redd, Joan Cusack, Maya Rudolph, Imogen Poots
Rating: R

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Is pop stardom fascism? Is the glitzy parade of egocentric personality-worship a distant cousin to dictatorship? Maybe not, but for one moment of Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping’s 80-minute duration we’re gulled into thinking these questions matter to a madcap, joke-a-second takedown of pop music and its overprivileged stewards: We glimpse the cover of the fictitious album that drives the film’s action by dint of sheer awfulness, and we see its star, Conner4Real (Andy Samberg), positioned at its center, his hand held straight and aloft in an unwitting evocation of history’s greatest tyrant. It’s impossible to mistake the reference for anything other than what it is, but the gag is just one in Popstar’s comic artillery. Popstar marks the second time The Lonely Island has spun a feature out of whole cloth together, but it might be the film that they’ve been brewing in their minds since they began. Think of it as the culmination of their love for pop culture excess and slick, bumping production—as much as their love for the willfully absurd and the endlessly stupid, too. —Andy Crump

 


Pretty Woman
Year: 1990
Director: Garry Marshall
Stars: Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Ralph Bellamy, Laura San Giacomo, Jason Alexander, Larry Miller, Hector Elizando
Rating: R

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Sure, from a feminist perspective, the implication that the only way our favorite hooker with a heart of gold (Julia Roberts) can stop turning tricks and make something of herself is to find a wealthy businessman who needs a fake girlfriend (Richard Gere) is problematic to say the least. And yes, Pretty Woman is formulaic—it’s basically Cinderella with pimps instead of evil stepsisters and Jason Alexander as the Skeptical Best Friend—but the class issues it raises are what make it one for the ages. Vivian is bold, unwilling to pretend to be something she’s not, and when she’s wronged by bougie Rodeo Drive store employees, she makes sure they know it, dropping a memorable “BIG mistake. Big. Huge! I have to go shopping now” on them all “while rocking an incredible floppy hat”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPPRVZajtPo. Roberts turns in a career-making performance, bringing charm (along with that “famous cackle”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pQRfqrZRPk) to a role that might’ve played as unsympathetic in different hands. —Bonnie Stiernberg

 


Together Together
Year: 2021
Directors: Nikole Beckwith
Stars: Patti Harrison, Ed Helms, Rosalind Chao, Tig Notaro, Fred Melamed, Julio Torres
Rating: R

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Together Together is an amiable, successfully awkward surrogacy dramedy that also has the respectable distinction of being a TERF’s worst nightmare. That’s only one of the tiny aspects of writer/director Nikole Beckwith’s second feature, but the gentle tapestry of intimacy among strangers who, for a short time, desperately need each other certainly benefits from the meta-text of comedian and internet terror Patti Harrison’s multi-layered starring performance. Stuffed with bombastic bit parts from a roster of recent television’s greatest comedic talents and casually incisive dialogue that lays waste to media empires and preconceptions of women’s autonomy alike, the film is an unexpected, welcome antidote to emotional isolation and toxic masculinity that meanders in and out of life lessons at a pleasingly inefficient clip. That the tale of fatherhood and friendship is told through the sparkling chemistry of a rising trans star and her entrenched, anxious straight man (an endearing Ed Helms) only adds to Together Together’s slight magic.—Shayna Maci Warner

 


The Trip to Greece
Year: 2020
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Stars: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Claire Keelan
Rating: NR

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All four of Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon and Michael Winterbottom’s comedy travelogues were once among the best comedies on Hulu, but now you’ll have to make do with just the fourth and final one. Coogan and Brydon’s Greek sojourn might be the least memorable of their journeys, but that’s only because the formula as so well-developed by that point. Their Michael Caine impressions aren’t as fun as they once were, and their relationship is thornier and more bitter; their sniping at each other feels less like good friends teasing each other, and more like two middle-aged men who are no longer quite sure where they stand with each other, or even with themselves. That’s the point, of course—these movies always got a little heavy (and sometimes heavy-handed) beneath the comedy—but it’s a little more obvious, a little less delicate this time around. Still, watching two middle-aged men eat their way through scenic European vistas might not sound like a great recipe for laughs, but Coogan and Brydon are both brilliant comic minds, and together they have an easy and irresistible charm that makes their impression-heavy banter deeply enjoyable.—Garrett Martin

 


The Worst Person in the WorldYear: 2022
Director: Joachim Trier
Stars: Tanya Chowdary, Anders Danielsen Lie, Herbert Nordrum
Rating: R

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Millennials were born into a world that no longer demands much of young people, yet somehow expects even more of us. Not as long ago as we might think, it was the norm for adults in their 20s and 30s to have it all figured out. A spouse, a career, a gaggle of children—at least one of these things and even better if all three. Young people now are caught in this strange purgatory between child and adult. We are afforded more time to become who we want to be and there is more pressure than ever to do so. Enter Julie (Renate Reinsve, Dakota Johnson’s long-lost twin), a fickle Norwegian who has never stayed committed to one thing in her entire life. A teenaged overachiever, she dabbled in medicine before she discovered that she was more interested in matters of the soul than the body. So, she cuts and dyes her hair, dumps her med school lover and pivots to psychology pursuits before burning that all down too, shifting once again—this time to photography. But unsurprisingly, photography manages to bore Julie as well, and soon enough she’s off to the next new thing, next new hairstyle, next new guy in the adult coming-of-age film that is Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World, the director’s follow-up to the 2017 supernatural thriller Thelma and his fifth film overall. Prior to this breakneck, whimsically-scored narrated montage of Julie’s life so far (edited with precision by Olivier Bugge Coutté and scored by Ola Fløttum), the narrator explains what’s going to happen: This is a film in twelve chapters, complete with a prologue and an epilogue. Thus, The Worst Person in the World functions like a fractured collection of moments in one person’s life as they strive for self-actualization. The chapters are never consistently timed, some lasting only a few minutes and others lasting the length of a television episode, creating an atmosphere in which we never know how much time has passed, and yet time is passing all the same—and quickly—for Julie. When we’ve finally caught up to her present, she’s entered into a long-term relationship with a successful, 44-year-old graphic novelist named Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie), whose prosperous career has given her the stability to work a day job at a bookstore while she decides what she wants to set her sights on next. Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World is as indecisive as its endlessly curious heroine, but it is an invigorating, exceedingly kind portrait conveying that the journey is just as—if not more—crucial as the place we end up.—Brianna Zigler

 


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