If laughter is the best medicine, as they say, then seminal comedy movies are the proverbial panacea for these crazy times. Through the power of streaming, a wide number of these entertaining films are well within reach. Sure, there might be a subscription fee or rental cost involved, but that’s a small price to pay for gut-busting hilarity and the escapism it provides. And who couldn’t use a little escapism right about now?
Of course, one shouldn’t automatically associate top comedy with a lack of meaningful subtext or poignant motif. Take 2007’s “Superbad” — now streaming on Netflix — which grapples with themes of friendship and adulthood even as it dispenses with various forms of crude humor.
The 1974 classic “Blazing Saddles” is likewise much more than meets the eye, rendering satirical impact through the pervasive use of offensive language. You can currently catch it on Fubo TV. The Mel Brooks comedy also ranks among the most successful R-rated movies of all time 2.
On the flip side of that coin are the broad comedies of Adam Sandler, many of which are exactly as dumb as they seem. Yet even the actor’s most brainless outings tend to serve up at least a few hard-earned laughs.
For better or worse, you can find most of his movies on a number of popular streaming platforms. Maybe chase them with something a little more esteemed like 1967’s “The Graduate,” now available on HBO Max. Find out where the classic comedy ranks among the 100 top grossing movies of all time.
To determine the best comedy movie available to stream right now, 24/7 Tempo developed an index based on several measures from film industry site The Numbers, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and Internet Movie Database. The index is a composite of each film’s Rotten Tomatoes audience score, domestic box office, and a custom comedy score based on the ratio of domestic box office for comedy films to production budget for the careers of the stars and director of each movie. Data on domestic box office and production budget came from The Numbers, while data on actor and director credits for each movie came from IMDb.
Only films available on the paid streaming services HBO Max, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Peacock Premium, Philo, Paramount+, Hulu Plus, Apple TV, the Criterion Channel, Fubo TV, or free streaming services Tubi, Pluto TV, Peacock, Plex, Crackle, and IMDbTV were included. Data on streaming availability by website came from streaming data site Reelgood and is as of August 2021.