With a huge library at its disposal, HBO Max offers enough movies to provide an extensive history of comedy cinema. Here are 10 of the best comedy movies you can stream on HBO Max.
Beavis and Butt-Head Do America
Best in Show
Director Christopher Guest has put together a formidable repertoire company for his multiple comic mockumentaries, and Best in Show is the strongest work that has emerged. The cast includes Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, Catherine O’Hara, Jane Lynch, Michael McKean, Jennifer Coolidge and many other talented improvisers. Together, they take on the absurdity of a high-profile dog show, where several self-centered characters are obsessed with their pampered puppies and show off their personal eccentricities.
Beverly Hills Cop
Eddie Murphy went from star to superstar with the 1984 action comedy Beverly Hills Cop, one of the defining films of a sub-genre that flourished in the 1980s. Murphy is so charismatic and funny as the line-breaking Detroit police detective Axel Foley that it doesn’t really matter what the plot is.
Judge Reinhold is a perfect comedy partner for Murphy as a serious Beverly Hills detective who admires Foley. Director Martin Brest balances Murphy’s presence on the electric screen with some well-crafted action sequences.
Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure
Righteous Guys Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter) and Ted “Theodore” Logan (Keanu Reeves) travel through time to complete their high school history story in this beloved buddy comedy. Bill & Ted’s excellent adventure is an exuberant celebration of friendship and music, with an irreverent, funny take on historical figures, including Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln and Socrates. Winter and Reeves make the central duo an iconic duo and later return for two unequal but welcome sequels.
Filmmaker Kevin Smith himself worked as a clerk when he made the micro-budget indie comedy Clerks in 1994. The black and white film tells a day in the life of best friends Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson), who work in adjacent stores in a New Jersey comic strip mall. It’s full of Smith’s now-famous pop culture geek, with articulate characters pondering every aspect of their lives. Smith takes a lot of humor out of the mundane grind of suburban store employees.
Will Ferrell is known for his work in tacky, over the top comedies, but his most famous role to date is arguably in this wholesome Christmas movie. Eleven stars Ferrell as Buddy, a human orphan who grew up among Santa’s elves at the North Pole. Now an adult (but still equipped with the wonder of a wide-eyed child), Buddy comes to New York City to find his biological father (James Caan). While there, he wreaks havoc, falls in love, and of course saves Christmas.
Pee-wee’s Big Adventure
The feature debut of both director Tim Burton and the bow-clad title character of Paul Reubens, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure is a wacky, manic comedy road trip adventure. Pee-wee Herman (Reubens) is a childish weirdo who goes on a cross-country skiing trip to find his stolen bicycle and encounters all kinds of strange characters along the way. He somehow manages to endear himself to all of them (including the public) with his eccentric charm and enthusiasm.
The Philadelphia Story
You have to be on the lookout to keep up with the lightning-fast, witty dialogue in the classic screwball comedy The Philadelphia StoryIn typical farce fashion, there is a lot of misunderstanding over a weekend when the socialite Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn) is getting married. James Stewart and Cary Grant play out her potential love interests, with one as her ex-husband and the other as a snooping journalist. It’s a smart and sophisticated romantic comedy with satisfying Hollywood endings for everyone involved.
Before it became a slightly over the top franchise, Pitch perfect was a sweet, humble comedy about the world of a cappella groups in college. Anna Kendrick stars as an aspiring music producer who reluctantly joins the all-female a cappella group at her college, eventually leading them to the national championships.
There is a lot of creative singing and choreography to enjoy along the way, plus a little romance. Kendrick is joined by an ensemble cast of talented women, including Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, and Elizabeth Banks.
Of the comedic stars of the silent film era, Harold Lloyd is often overshadowed by Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. But if you take a look at Lloyd’s 1923 masterpiece Safety last!, you’ll see why he deserves to be mentioned alongside those comic legends.
Lloyd is an equally soulful character actor as Chaplin, who plays an oppressed department store worker. And he’s as talented a physical comedian as Keaton, especially in a still-dazzling stunt sequence from Lloyd hanging from the hands of a giant clock on the side of a building.