12 Great Comedy Central Shows Streaming on Paramount+

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12 Great Comedy Central Shows Streaming on Paramount+

For years it’s been notoriously hard to watch Comedy Central shows without a cable subscription. Some of their hits have been streaming at different points in time at places like Hulu and Netflix, but it’s never been consistent, and Comedy Central’s own streaming app requires you to log in through your cable provider. Yeah, smashes like Chappelle’s Show and Key & Peele have never been too hard to find, but smaller and no less brilliant shows like Detroiters and Review couldn’t attract the audience they deserve due to how hard it was to watch them.

Fortunately Comedy Central’s corporate overlords at Viacom made it a whole lot easier to find the channel’s shows when they turned CBS All Access into the all-purpose streaming service Paramount+. Paramount+ has a healthy selection of Comedy Central originals, with a broad selection of stand-up supplemented by The Daily Show and all of those roasts. It also features some of the best sitcoms and sketch comedy shows that the channel has hosted over the years, and that’s what we’re going to focus on today.

We’re not looking at stand-up here. We’re not talking about talk shows or The Daily Show or whatever Tosh.0 is supposed to be. We’re looking exclusively at the best scripted Comedy Central originals currently streaming on Paramount+, whether they’re sketch shows like Inside Amy Schumer and Kroll Show, or sitcoms like Broad City and Corporate. And hey, we’ll let Nathan For You slide and include it here, because it’s brilliant and hilarious and doesn’t really fit easily into any category, anyway.

There are still a lot of gaps in Paramount+’s Comedy Central collection. Don’t expect to find everything that’s ever aired on there. (Sorry, Exit 57 fans.) Due to corporate entanglements the last gasp of Comedy Central live-action originals, 2019’s The Other Two and South Side, aren’t on here; both shows had second seasons that were produced but never aired on Comedy Central, and have since been sold off to HBO Max. Other unsung Comedy Central shows we’d love to see stream anywhere are Jon Benjamin Has a Van and Big Time in Hollywood, FL. Hell, Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, probably the first true original hit for the channel, isn’t streaming anywhere, either. And if Paramount+ really wanted to earn my undying love, they could dust off the old Higgins Boys and Gruber and Rich Hall’s Onion World masters from 1989 and 1990 and stream that stuff straight into my brain, inside which they’ve been kicking around in an increasingly nebulous state for 30 years now.

Enough what-ifs, though. Let’s get down to business. Here are the best Comedy Central originals now streaming on Paramount+, in alphabetical order.

Another Period

Created by: Natasha Leggero, Riki Lindhome
Stars: Natasha Leggero, Riki Lindhome, Michael Ian Black, Paget Brewster, Brett Gelman, Christina Hendricks, Dave Koechner, Jason Ritter, David Wain, Missi Pyle, Brian Huskey, Beth Dover

Watch on Paramount+

Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome’s Comedy Central show follows a rich family in the millionaire summer resort of Newport, Rhode Island, in the first few years of the 20th century, using their extreme wealth and the restrictive Victorian mores of the day to satirize both modern-day reality TV and how society treats women and the lower class. Leggero and Lindhome’s oblivious Bellacourt sisters see no problem with the money-focused, patriarchal world they live in, embracing their role as glorified trophies for the men in their lives. The Bellacourts treat the poor servants who live in their basement like they’re invisible at best and subhuman at worst, and blindly support both their rich father, even as he openly cheats on their mother, and their even less intelligent brother as he’s groomed for power. The one politically conscious Bellacourt, the suffragette sister Hortense, is openly mocked and hated by everybody else in the family, who treat her like an unpleasant, unattractive shrew who’ll never find a man to marry her. By adopting the regressive, discriminatory viewpoint of its turn-of-the-century setting, Another Period doesn’t just comment on the ridiculousness of our history, but spotlights how those archaic beliefs still impact our culture today.—Garrett Martin


Broad City

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Created by: Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson
Stars: Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson, Hannibal Buress, Arturo Castro, John Gemberling

Watch on Paramount+

Being in your 20s is like going to war, and no show on television understands that better than Broad City. War is surely ugly, but the going is easier with a trusted, hilarious comrade by your side. Abbi and Illana, the two heroes and self-described “kweens” at the center of the New York City-set Broad City, aren’t just best friends. They’re that for certain, but they take the concept of finding one’s “person” (originally defined by another great TV friendship, that of Meredith and Cristina on Grey’s Anatomy) to a new level. Where Meredith and Cristina hugged each other and cried, Abbi and Illana tripped out on mushrooms and crashed parties. Forget responsibilities, finances and even actual partners—they are each other’s soulmates. Through five seasons of hilarity and shenanigans, joints and jazz singers, guest stars (Hi, Hilary Clinton!) and coat checks, Abbi and Illana (portrayed by their real life counterparts, Abbi Jacobson and Illana Glazer) gave us humor and heart in a post-Girls New York. Some (me) might even say they one-upped their HBO foremothers. —Ellen Johnson


Chappelle’s Show

Created by: Dave Chappelle, Neal Brennan
Stars: Dave Chappelle, Charlie Murphy, Donnell Rawlings, Anthony Murphy, Neal Brennan, Bill Burr

Watch on Paramount+

In the last decade, no comedian made racially tense, cringe-worthy moments funnier than Dave Chappelle. His show, dubbed simply Chappelle’s Show, originally aired on Comedy Central in 2003, and its three seasons spawned instantly quotable characters. With characters ranging from the blind white supremacist Clayton Bigsby, who didn’t know he was actually black, to Tyrone Biggums, the high-voiced crack addict that always reminds the audience “I smoke rocks,” Chappelle and long-time collaborator Charlie Murphy cemented their spots among the greats of sketch comedy. —Tyler Kane


Corporate

Created by: Pat Bishop, Matt Ingebretson, Jake Weisman
Stars: Matt Ingebretson, Jake Weisman, Anne Dudek, Adam Lustick, Aparna Nancherla, Lance Reddick

Watch on Paramount+

For everyone who’s had a soul-crushing job where they can almost feel the walls closing in on them. For those who’ve sat in the office parking garage on Monday mornings and wondered if this would be the week that their guilt over their company’s environmental and/or human safety conditions finally broke them enough to quit their mid-level executive gig. For all the HR people who nod as workers blubber about unfair conditions, but who secretly know their mission is to protect the business at all costs. For the two Yes Men who know only one of them is actually needed on the payroll. For these people and more, creators Pat Bishop, Matt Ingebretson and Jake Weisman’s Comedy Central series is for you (and not at all for your human steroid of a CEO). —Whitney Friedlander


Detroiters

Created by: Zach Kanin, Joe Kelly, Sam Richardson
Stars: Sam Richardson, Tim Robinson, Pat Ver Harris, Lailani Ledesma

Watch on Paramount+

The key to Detroiters is its sincerity, which shines through almost every episode without any kind of smugness or self-congratulations. Sam Richardson (Veep) and Tim Robinson (Saturday Night Live) genuinely love each other, and their families, and their advertising company, and most of all their city. (It’s Detroit. Detroit, Michigan. That’s where they’re from.) The tone gets dark at times, and Tim and Sam occasionally act petty or vindictive, but there’s almost none of the cynicism and mean-spiritedness so often found in comedy today. When they’re making illicit purchases in a back alley at night with Tim’s sanity-challenged father, they’re not buying drugs, but fireworks. When Sam unintentionally becomes a gigolo, it takes him a while to realize it, and he’s convinced he’s in love with his only client. When they accidentally run over prospective client Jason Sudeikis, it gnaws at them until they inevitably let Sudeikis run them over as penance. Without this sweetness, Detroiters would probably still be funny, but it wouldn’t be as charming or as powerful. Garrett Martin


Inside Amy Schumer

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Created by: Amy Schumer, Daniel Powell,
Stars: Amy Schumer

Watch on Paramount+

Schumer’s Comedy Central show was one of the smartest, funniest, and most fearless sketch shows of the decade, highlighting the bullshit that women continue to have to deal with in society today with deep insight and brutal efficiency. Even fans of the show might’ve gotten annoyed at the ecstatic praise websites heaped on the latest best sketch ever every single week, but there’s no denying that brilliant gems like “Last Fuckable Day,” “Football Town Nights” and “I’m Sorry” tackled issues that most comedy shows would avoid with both great humor and great truth. And the episode-length sketch “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer,” where a murderer’s row of guest actors deliberate beauty standards, is an all-time classic.—Garrett Martin


Kroll Show

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Created by: Nick Kroll, Jonathan Krisel, John Levenstein
Stars: Nick Kroll, Jon Daly, Jenny Slate, John Mulaney, Jason Mantzoukas, Seth Morris

Watch on Paramount+

Looked at as one complete package, Kroll Show was entirely satisfying even if it didn’t break much new ground along the way. What it did—and did well—was maintain a consistent tone and energy throughout. I would have liked to have seen it improve dramatically rather than just stay in one groove, but it never flagged. And you always got the impression that the people on screen were, as the title of this episode suggests, having an amazing experience making fun of the navel-gazing world of reality TV. It was fun while it lasted, Kroll Show.—Robert Ham


Key & Peele

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Created by / Stars: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele

Watch on Paramount+

We already miss Key & Peele. By we, I don’t mean just myself or Paste, but society as a whole. And by “miss” I don’t mean we reflect fondly upon the show, which made us laugh and exists no more, but that our culture literally feels its absence, all the more glaring in the country’s depressing racial climate. Not every sketch was political, and not every sketch was a hit, but at their best, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele hilariously attacked issues few other comedians or shows would dare to touch. They used comedy to become a vital part of the national conversation. —Garrett Martin


Nathan for You

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Created by: Nathan Fielder, Michael Koman
Stars: Nathan Fielder

Watch on Paramount+

For two seasons, Nathan for You was something warped, uncomfortable, and ultimately refreshing. Ideas like “Dumb Starbucks”; went viral, making it increasingly difficult for Fielder to use relative anonymity to convince his “clients”; to go along with his disturbingly effective ideas. It wasn’t totally original TV, but there did seem to be a certain sincerity under it all, Fielder doing his best to never exploit the people he helped for the benefit of a good joke, hoping that somehow, at the very least, he could drum up attention for the suffering businesses. But the third season of Nathan for You is obviously something so much more sublime: Over the course of eight episodes, Nathan has contrived a fake exercise program replete with a fake creator to dredge up free labor for a moving company, created a sound-proof box for imprisoning children while their parents have sex in hotel rooms (which he tested with a porn star orgy), and devised a way for a dive bar to allow smokers inside through turning a typical night of patronization into an experimental bit of theater—all the while transforming each client interaction into a desperate bid to make a friend. It’s even in “Nail Salon/Fun”; that Nathan finally admits he doesn’t have many friends, even though he’s actually a really fun guy to hang out with, so he concocts a plan to scientifically validate he’s an entertaining human, which of course involves stealing the urine of his new friend and suggesting on a lark they go get blood drawn together. It’s all so much more than cringe-worthy faux-documentary pranking; in Season 3, Nathan for You stumbled into the sublime, taking to task the pathetic, empty human connections at the heart of even the most basic tenets of capitalism. —Dom Sinacola


Reno 911!

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Created by: Robert Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney, Thomas Lennon
Stars: Thomas Lennon, Cedric Yarbrough, Robert Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney, Niecy Nash, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Carlos Alazraqui

Watch on Paramount+

A workplace comedy making fun of the police force? Um, yes. Reno 911! takes Cops to the next level: partially unscripted, wholly hilarious, the Comedy Central series takes a look into a satirized version of the Reno Sheriff’s Department. As the incompetent deputies attempt to keep their zones safe, chaos lurks behind every corner. The show pivots from the behind-the-scenes look into the police department, into the public realm, where the Reno 911 cast “arrest” real people (who, most of the time, act out to be filmed on camera). Quibi recently revived the series in a short-form model; however, with the death of Quibi came the death of the revival. Nevertheless, Reno 911! is always a hoot full of short-shorts, odd criminals, and commentary on the inabilities of our police system. —Fletcher Peters


Review

Created by / Stars: Andy Daly

Watch on Paramount+

No half-hour comedy has ever broken my heart quite like Review, or even come close. Perhaps that’s why Andy Daly’s brilliant, pitch-black Comedy Central series didn’t make it past an abbreviated Season 3—the show parlayed its silly, meta premise into a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. If that reads as overblown, then you, like too many people for Comedy Central’s liking, clearly have not seen Review. The show, in which fictional TV show host and “life critic” Forrest MacNeil (Daly) reviews viewer-submitted experiences with a zeal that can only be described as catastrophic, is the story of a good but woefully misguided man, undone by his own desperate search for meaning. To its adoring audience, Review will likely be remembered as the most inimitable show Comedy Central has ever aired. —Scott Russell


Strangers With Candy

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Created by: Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello, Stephen Colbert, Mitch Rouse
Stars: Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello, Stephen Colbert, Greg Hollimon

Watch on Paramount+

Strangers with Candy’s Jerri Blank—a 46-year old crack-whore-turned-high-school-freshman, prone to layers of makeup, disturbingly sculpted hair and crocheted vests—is one of television’s most revoltingly loveable anti-heroines. Jerri’s overbite, high-rise pants, and tendency toward inappropriate sexual advances require an actress in possession of excessive valor and gusto: enter the New York-born, North Carolina-raised Amy Sedaris, sister of David, baker of cupcakes and cheeseballs, and beloved comedic foil—she boasted the rubbery mug, incomparable commitment and high, squeaky voice necessary to spark Jerri Blank into hideous fruition. —Amanda Petrusich

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