HBO Max continues to have the best, most comprehensive, and most varied selection of comedies of any streaming service at the moment, despite all the recent turmoil. On the other services, good luck locating this many classic or pre-’90s comedies. Before the streaming industry split into a dozen distinct walled-off competitors, HBO Max today resembles Netflix did ten years ago. That’s advantageous.
Technique, acting, and storytelling is all factors in the equation, but the most crucial one is how much it makes me laugh. Let’s move on now that that has been addressed. Here are today’s funniest films available on HBO Max. You might want to watch them sooner rather than later given what Discovery is doing to this streamer because they could.
With their disaster-movie parody released in 1980, the writing team of Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and David Zucker (ZAZ) established a genre. Fast and furious jokes are made, including an elderly woman translating jive to “stop calling me Shirley!” and a crew which involves Roger as well as Captain Oveur (Peter Graves). It’s the funniest spoof movie ever, outrageous and ridiculously quotable.
- Director: Jim Abrahams
- Stars: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Peter Graves, Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, Leslie Nielsen, Lorna Patterson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
- Rating: 7.7/10
Best in shows
Christopher Guest’s particular brand of mockumentary is genius because of the cast’s unwavering dedication to role-playing, and Best in Show features his funniest ensemble to date. Hamilton Swan (Michael Hitchcock) and Meg (Parker Posey) project their own neuroses onto their poor Weimaraner. Eugene Levy’s character, Gerry Fleck, is utterly outmatched by Catherine O’Hara’s character, Cookie, who serves as the main antagonist in most Christopher Guest movies.
Harlan Pepper, a Southern gentleman with no sense of self and the ability to name all nuts, is played by the director himself. It becomes harder to contain your laughter the more ridiculous his rambling becomes. It may not be difficult to find awfulness in a situation like the universe of dog shows, but there is no tone of mockery in the article. only to the peculiarities of human nature It’s a work of art produced by a group of performers at the top of their game.
- Director: Christopher Guest
- Stars: Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Christopher Guest, Parker Posey, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch, Michael Hitchcock, John Michael Higgins, Michael McKean, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr., Fred Willard
- Rating: 7.4/10
The Great Dictator
Charlie Chaplin wrote, directed, produced, scored, and played the lead roles in his first “talkie,” a biting satire about a persecuted Jewish barber and a fascist despot who resembles Adolf Hitler. A strong satire can be found in movies, and this one was: Its publication during the period in which the United States and Germany were still officially at peace increased public awareness of and condemnation of the Nazis and Mussolini, as well as anti-Semitism and fascism.
As the extent of the horrors inflicted upon people in German concentration camps became more apparent, Chaplin later recalled that he would have been unable to complete the satirical film even one or two years later. The brilliant decision to simultaneously portray the oppressor and the tyrant highlights the unsettling but unavoidable fact that we all share traits from both characters. This movie is remarkably timely for this point in history, and it’s well worth dusting off and adding to the queue for both its superb craftsmanship and resonance as a study in projection.
- Director: Charles Chaplin
- Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner
- Rating: 8.4/10
The Philadelphia Story
Can you believe Katharine Hepburn was once referred to as “box office poison” in Hollywood? After a string of failures, this Broadway hit adaptation served as a springboard for her career. She is a force of nature in this “remarriage” comedy as the icy heiress Tracy Lord. Thankfully, Cary Grant plays her sober ex, and he makes a fantastic foil. Ruth Hussey and Jimmy Stewart complete the cast as unintentional reporters. The script for this film is a masterpiece, and pretty much everything about it is a pure delight.
- Director: George Cukor
- Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey, John Howard
- Rating: 7.9/10
In Straight Outta Compton, Ice Cube writes Friday to a definitive conclusion, as if he had started a week earlier by committing to writing a screenplay, and a week later at his kitchen table, put down a pen and said, “There. I’ve completed it. Because Ice Cube plays the role of our hero in that film a person who discovered no real distinction between wanting to do something and actually doing it, despite much of his environment trying to convince him otherwise. Ice Cube once did little more than decide to write a screenplay, followed by actually doing it, making the movie, and then people loving it.
In the movie Friday, Ice Cube plays Craig, a young man from Los Angeles whose friend Smokey (Chris Tucker) accuses him of owing Big Worm (Faizon Love) $200. This is just one of the many issues Craig faces throughout the day. The neighborhood bully Deebo (Tony Lister Jr.), who lacks empathy, is foremost among them. Even if something like that is important to you, there’s a good chance you missed it on Friday.
- Director: F. Gary Gary
- Stars: Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, John Witherspoon, Anna Maria Horsford
- Rating: 7.2/10
Popstar; Never Stop, Never Stopping
Is being a pop star fascist? Is dictatorship a distant relative of the eye-catching show of egoistic personality worship? Maybe not, but for one brief moment during the 80-minute runtime of Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, we’re duped into thinking such questions matter to a hysterical, humorous takedown of pop music and its privileged overlords: The fictional album’s cover, with its star Conner4Real (Andy Samberg) standing in the middle and holding his hand straight up in an unintentional evocation of history’s greatest tyrant, drives the movie’s action through sheer awfulness. Although it’s impossible to misinterpret the joke as something else than what it is, it’s only one of many in Popstar’s arsenal of humorous devices.
The Lonely Island has created a feature together twice, and Popstar may be the movie that has been simmering in their heads ever since they started. Consider it the culmination of their passion for the excessive pop culture and slick, bumping production—as well as their passion for the willfully absurd and the endlessly stupid.
- 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: 6.7/10
Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
The first film Tim Burton directed in its entirety is also one of his best. Pee-wee Herman, the animated, ageless protagonist who is hopelessly devoted to his bike, introduces us to the absurd world of Pee-Big wee’s Adventure. Herman crosses America in search of his baby after it is taken in broad daylight. We are also introduced to enduring characters like Herman, his dog Speck, Dottie, the terrifying trucker ghost Large Marge, the snotty, rich Francis, and the ongoing discoveries of the adventure. Herman’s absurd world is vividly brought to life by Burton’s vision, and this movie stands out as one that both children and adults will enjoy.
Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Paul Reubens, E.G. Daily, Mark Holton, Diane Salinger, Jan Hooks, Cassandra Peterson
Modern Times is comparable to a flat sprocket if time is a flat circle because the Little Tramp’s struggles to survive in a mechanical world are so monotonous and repetitive that factors like luck and hope only serve to advance Chaplin’s farce while having little bearing on the futures of his characters. Little changes for the Little Tramp throughout Despite his efforts to survive, the institutional system dumps him back where he began, leaving him penniless and in need of food with nothing left to do but try once more.
This was also Chaplin’s final performance as the Tramp, and it’s easy to imagine that, throughout the movie’s numerous misadventures, he and his equally amiable sidekick, the gamin (Paulette Goddard). His incorporation into the modern industrial machine and subsequent “disappearance” was somewhat planned. It’s an odd way for Chaplin’s beloved character to go out, but there are many other odd ways the actor shows how the Tramp is also a part of the contemporary industrial machine. The assembly line imprints itself on the Tramp too though, leaving him powerless to do anything other than wave his hands about as if he’s still working a long shift on the assembly line. He might be pushed through a massive machine covered in sprockets and merge with its blueprints.
Therefore, it makes sense that the factory setting in The President of Modern Times is eerily similar to Henry Ford’s. Chaplin, who toured the globe after the success of City Lights, saw the conditions on the auto assembly lines in Detroit and how the slog of contemporary life affected young workers. Chaplin seems to be arguing that the Great Depression was the first indication of how thoroughly technology can crush our spirits, absorbing our uniqueness rather than simply discarding us. Therefore, Modern Times is a movie that transcends its time and blends special effects, stoic silent film techniques, and radical rage.
- Director: Charles Chaplin
- Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman
- Rating: 8.5/10
Broadcast News, let’s stage that classic romantic plot device—the love triangle—against the backdrop of television news. But rather than merely serving as a background, journalism is the identity-defining factor for our three main characters: In addition to Tom (William Hurt), the new pretty boy anchor who is way smarter than he seems, Jane (Holly Hunter) is a highly motivated producer who is renowned for being cool under pressure and consistently excellent at her job. Aaron (Albert Brooks) is her dependable work partner. The struggle between Aaron and Tom for professional acceptance and Jane’s love reflects the constant balance that television journalists must strike between entertainment and serious news. And in true Brooks form, there is no simple way to strike that balance.
- Director: James Brooks
- Stars: William Hurt, Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter, Robert Prosky, Joan Cusack
- Rating: 7.2/10
Gremlins 2; The New Batch
Joe Dante had no desire to create a Gremlins sequel. He was worn out from the first movie and didn’t think the plot needed to be continued because it was so expertly wrapped up. But the studio persisted, and in a last-ditch effort, gave him total creative control. They certainly got what they paid for as the follow-up to the cult classic throws everything at the audience with no regard for whether it will stick or not. It’s a slapstick comedy with cartoonish violence and some biting commentary on capitalism and corporations. Oh, and Hulk Hogan makes a guest appearance as well.
- Director: Joe Dante
- Stars: Zack Galligan, Phoebe Cates, John Glover, Robert Prosky
- Rating: 6.4/10