25 best TV comedies on Max right now
28 mins read

25 best TV comedies on Max right now


Seeking something to tickle your funny bone? Well, there’s all kinds of comedy to choose from on Max. The streaming platform not only boasts HBO Originals, but also goodies from Adult Swim, network television, and UK gems. With so many options, how to choose?

Well, we’ve scoured Max’s selections to find the highlights of humor, from cringe to broad, saucy to sweet, nostalgic to brand new, and all kinds of bonkers.

Here are the 25 best TV comedies now streaming on Max.

1. Pushing Daisies

Swoosie Kurtz, Ellen Greene, Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Kristin Chenoweth, Chi McBride

“Pushing Daisies” blooms with love and comedy.
Credit: Abc-Tv / Kobal / Shutterstock

One of those TV series that invariably end up on every list made of shows that were murdered in their prime and deserve a return, Pushing Daisies was two seasons of sweetness and magic that creator Bryan Fuller delivered circa 2007, before taking a much darker turn with Hannibal. At its heart is the winsome story of Ned (Lee Pace, pre-internet-Zaddy-fame), who discovers as a child that he has the superpower to bring the dead back to life with a touch. But the power comes with a hefty price — if he doesn’t touch the reanimated person within one minute, effectively making them dead again, someone else in the vicinity will die. 

When he’s not baking beautiful pies, Ned is an amateur detective who uses his weird power to interrogate the recently murdered to help solve their deaths, which gives Pushing Daisies its Columbo-like episodic form. Ned uses his power to reanimate his accidentally deceased childhood love Chuck (Anna Friel), an action that comes with endless repercussions that chase the lovebirds across the two seasons. Oh, and there’s also the fact that Ned and Chuck can’t ever touch each other again or she’ll drop dead immediately, which gives their sweet romance a tartness that would make any person with a heart swoon. — Jason Adams, Contributing Writer

How to watch: Pushing Daisies is now streaming on Max.

2. The Comeback

The sad and hilarious tale of former ’80s sitcom It Girl Valerie Cherish (Lisa Kudrow) desperately trying to hang onto relevancy, this brainchild of Kudrow and Sex and the City creator Michael Patrick King is a relentless skewering of the celebrity industrial complex. It’s brutally cringeworthy, but if you can make it through an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, you can make it through The Comeback.

The first season, which debuted in 2005, sees Cherish making a reality show set behind the scenes of her shitty new sitcom while dealing with a head writer named Paulie G. (Lance Barber), who hates her. In the second season, which arrived in 2014, Val stars in a gritty HBO retelling of that experience, which was written by none other than Paulie G. himself. (Seth Rogen plays Paulie, naturally.) 

Cherish is her own worst enemy, so determined is she to plaster a rigid smile over every humiliation. Thanks to Kudrow’s beyond-brilliant performance, you can see every time that Cherish makes a conscious choice to go full steam ahead despite the red flags, all in hopes of a sliver of recognition on the other side. It’s agony — funny agony, I promise. — J.A.

How to watch: The Comeback is now streaming on Max.

3. How to with John Wilson

How to explain How to with John Wilson? It’s a docu-series created by observational filmmaker John Wilson that proposes a simple question at its start — something like “how to make the perfect risotto” or “how to remember your dreams” — and then spends its 30 minutes unraveling that question in whatever direction it takes him. The show wrings much of its dry comedy from the absurd things that Wilson records on the streets of New York City, as well as from the one-of-a-kind characters that Wilson meets along his quests. Wilson has a keenly sharp eye for the sublimely ridiculous, but he never lets himself off the hook; he’s right there in it with the rest of us, trying to make sense of a nonsense world. — J.A.

How to watch: How to with John Wilson is now streaming on Max

4. Getting On

One of the most wildly underappreciated shows in its day, Getting On aired three perfect seasons from 2013 to 2015. Based on a BBC series with the same name, Getting On stars Niecy Nash, Alex Borstein, and Mel Rodriguez as three nurses in an understaffed and overworked Extended Care unit, overseen by the uptight head doctor played by Laurie Metcalf. The show was brilliant starting from its first episode and never less than that across its following 17 episodes, which were also packed with guest stars like Jean Smart, Rhea Perlman, and Rita Moreno. Made by the team behind Big Love, Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer, this show deserves even bigger love, so go discover it if you haven’t already. — J.A.

How to watch: Getting On is now streaming on Max.

5. Enlightened

Before he became a recognized, award-winning genius thanks to the resort-hopping antics of The White Lotus, writer/director Mike White was the pale, one-man niche beloved of weirdos like myself, thanks to his no-budget 2000 comedy film Chuck & Buck. And we happily followed him like true believers through The Good Girl, School of Rock, Year of the Dog, and then finally the two exquisite seasons of Enlightened more than a decade later.  

Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern, giving what might be her definitive performance, give or take those David Lynch movies) heads back to her corporate job after having a nervous breakdown. Having spent several months at a fancy treatment facility, which included a spiritual awakening via turtle, Amy is back and ready to become “an agent of change” — especially at her dysfunctional workplace, aptly named Abbadon.

Enlightened is, dare I say, enlightened enough to portray how Amy’s radical shift in perspective is noble and horrifically obnoxious all at once. There’s a certain prickly empathy for each character on the show, as terrible as they may be, that will make you cringe and cry all in the same episode. Diane Ladd reunites with her Wild at Heart (and IRL) daughter Dern for the role of Amy’s mother Helen, who allows Amy to move in with after Amy returns from rehab. Luke Wilson plays Amy’s troubled (but hot) ex-husband, along with White himself as an awkward coworker, among other notable recurring actors. — J.A.

How to watch: Enlightened is now streaming on Max

6. Curb Your Enthusiasm

Tracey Ullman and Larry David in CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM

Love us some Larry David.
Credit: Max

The 12th and supposedly final season of Larry David’s post-Seinfeld masterpiece of cringe, Curb Your Enthusiasm, is set to premiere in February of 2024. Of course, David has said he was done with it before, and flustered fibbing is also like his whole thing — but that’s no matter, because the 11 seasons we already have are gold, and there’s no time to binge them like right this minute. 

On the show, Larry plays an “exaggerated” version of himself — OK, sure — who works in Hollywood and wrangles with his wife Cheryl (Cheryl Hines); his manager Jeff (Jeff Garlin); Jeff’s wife, Susie (Susie Essman, giving my personal favorite performance on the series); and basically any human being who is unfortunate enough to enter into his orbit. He’s George from Seinfeld, basically, especially during that whole season where they actually do a fake Seinfeld reunion. If there is a wrong choice, Larry will make it, and we get to reap the laughs. — J.A.

How to watch: Curb Your Enthusiasm is now streaming on Max.

7. Abbott Elementary

Abbott Elementary teachers

Feel good with “Abott Elementary.”
Credit: ABC

Show creator Quinta Brunson based her heartwarming sitcom Abbott Elementary on both her own mother’s experiences as a schoolteacher as well as those of her favorite teacher (which is where the name “Abbott” came from), and you can sense that lived-in and loved quality in every fiber of the show’s being. Set in a perpetually under-funded Philadelphia school, the series uses a documentary crew’s presence, a la The Office and Parks & Rec, to give us our window in, and then lets its characters — including Brunson’s optimistic second grade teacher Janine Teagues – run free under their watch. Relentlessly sweet while also serving as a firm commentary on the state of public schools, especially within communities of color, the series has won boatloads of statues for a reason. So, get on board as it gears up for its third season! — Brooke Bajgrowicz, Entertainment Intern

How to watch: Abbott Elementary is now streaming on Max.

8. Mr. Show

Running for four seasons on HBO beginning in 1995, this blast of sketch comedy brilliance stars comedians David Cross and Bob Odenkirk (way, way, way before he became beloved for his more serious work on Breaking Bad and its spin-off Better Call Saul) as loose versions of themselves whom we watch perform in between pre-recorded skits. 

An exquisite time-capsule of ’90s alterna-comedy, the series also features early appearances from funny people like Sarah Silverman, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Paul F. Tompkins, Brian Posehn, and Jack Black, not to mention My Favorite Murder‘s Karen Kilgariff. You can see its tentacles reaching down into much of today’s established comedy scene. Chaotic genius. — J.A.

How to watch: Mr. Show is now streaming on Max.  

9. Somebody Somewhere

Those of us already watching Somebody Somewhere love it with a near-religious fervor, in awe that something this delicate and sweet and funny has so far survived two seasons on streaming in this day and age of slapdash cancellations. Comedian and bawdy NYC chanteuse Bridget Everett stars as Sam, a way dialed-down version of Everett who finds herself back in her hometown of Manhattan, Kansas, in full mid-life crisis mode after her beloved sister dies. 

Reconnecting with her surviving sister, Tricia (Mary Catherine Garrison), and old schoolmate Joel (Jeff Hiller), Sam starts working her way back toward herself in fits and starts and bursts of song. (The show isn’t a musical, but you’re extremely happy whenever Everett starts to sing all the same.) Miraculously renewed for a third season, this show is magic, and one of the most open-minded of modern portraits of non-urban living. Plus, the friendship between Sam and Joel is one of TV’s funniest and most fully realized. — J.A.

How to watch: Somebody Somewhere is now streaming on Max.

10. Search Party

Meredith Hagner, John Early, John Reynolds, and Alia Shawkat in "Search Party."

Party on.
Credit: Max

With each successive season, Search Party managed to spin itself sideways into territory far weirder than you could have ever imagined. Somehow, Search Party kept making it work. What started as the simple story of a group of Brooklynite hipsters — Dory (Alia Shawkat); her boyfriend, Drew (John Reynolds); and the terrible twosome of Elliott (John Early) and Portia (Meredith Hagner) — who turned detective to find their missing acquaintance Chantal (Clare McNulty) quickly morphed into a deranged evisceration of millennial narcissism run amok involving cults, courtroom drama, and Cole Escola as the murder twink to end all murder twinks. By its fifth and last season, no less than the end of the world was at stake, and Susan Sarandon was there, and all bets were off. And we love every psychotic minute of it. — J.A.

How to watch: Search Party is now streaming on Max.

11. Billy on the Street

Like a primal shriek given comedic form, Billy on the Street is here to rocket all of your day’s tension out of your body via 20 minutes of comedian Billy Eichner screaming at strangers in public. Don’t you wish that was your job? And how can you possibly remember why you’re stressed when everybody on-screen is experiencing so much more stress? The series originally made the rounds via forgotten channels like Fuse and TruTV, before ending up on Max right around the time Eichner’s gay rom-com Bros arrived. 

Over the course of 54 episodes, you can watch everybody from Rachel Dratch to Lupita Nyong’o barreling down the sidewalks of Manhattan alongside Eichner, accosting unsuspecting New Yorkers with quizzes and trivia games and bizarre questions that leave everybody dazed and confused. And sometimes laughing, if they have enough time to realize what just hit them. — J.A.

How to watch: Billy on the Street is now streaming on Max.

12. A Different World

What began as a spin-off of The Cosby Show about Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet) and her first year at a fictional HBCU called Hillman became its own unique thing by its second season — primarily because Bonet got pregnant and left. Still, A Different World remains an early ’90s sitcom classic.

After Denise’s departure, the show recentered itself around party boy Dwayne Wayne (Kadeem Hardison) and uptight rich girl Whitley (Jasmine Guy). Under the hand of producer Debbie Allen, A Different World proved much more willing than The Cosby Show was to focus on newsworthy topics; there were episodes covering race relations and sexual assault, and it was one of the earliest shows to talk about AIDS as well. But it’s mostly just six seasons of good, old-fashioned, solid situational comedy, and a perfect portrait of its moment in time. Comfort food! — J.A.

How to watch: A Different World is now streaming on Max

13. Togetherness

If it took you until Yellowjackets to realize that actress Melanie Lynskey is one of the greatest and purest treasures in this world, then please go back now and visit this 2015 series that the indie darling Duplass brothers created around her. Running for two, too-brief seasons, the show followed married couple Brett and Michelle (Mark Duplass and Lynskey), Michelle’s sister Tina (Amanda Peet), and Brett’s best friend, Alex (Steve Zissis), as they try to sort out their relationships with each other and the people around them. It’s very much in the Duplass “mumblecore” mode, just stretched out across 16 half-hour episodes, featuring Lynskey yet again giving one of the richest performances captured on television. — J.A.

How to watch: Togetherness is now streaming on Max.

14. The Rehearsal

Nathan Fielder stands near a Christmas tree.

Nathan Fielder is getting ready.
Credit: Max

Canadian comedian Nathan Fielder appears to be the king of uncomfortable comedy at the moment. Showtime has his freshest series, The Curse, with Emma Stone, but Max currently houses both his four-season Comedy Central series Nathan for You, as well as The Rehearsal

Fine-tuning the broader idea of the earlier series to a point so fine it’s excruciating, The Rehearsal sees Fielder stepping into real people’s lives and helping them work their way through a problem they’re having by staging for them the conversation that needs to be had. He does this with enormously elaborate sets and a fantastic team of actors who role-play as the people in need, and they all come together to turn these people into characters in a play, thereby allowing the real people to stand outside of themselves looking in. And it’s as painfully awkward as it is hilarious. — J.A.

How to watch: The Rehearsal is now streaming on Max.

15. Chewing Gum

Before Michaela Coel made herself an award-winning superstar with her 2020 series I May Destroy You, she made a splash with two successful seasons of her show Chewing Gum. Chewing Gum, which was based on her own one-woman play, debuted in the UK in 2015 and in the U.S. the next year. Coel plays Tracey, a sheltered Christian shopgirl who is desperate to finally get laid and learn about the world. The wickedly raunchy show balances religion and sex talk in frank and outrageous ways, and is 12 episodes of hard proof that Coel is one of our greatest current talents. Watch this before she creates her next amazing thing! — J.A.

How to watch: Chewing Gum is now streaming on Max.

16. Friends

It’s time to pivot away from Netflix and toward Max, the only streaming service that will let you binge Friends to your heart’s desire. Why wouldn’t you want to hang out with the Central Perk gang another time…or 20?

With Rachel, Ross, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, and Chandler entering an endless string of romances and embarking on various career adventures, it’s easy to stay interested. Plus, it’s good to keep fresh on all the show’s pop culture references, since the internet continues to use them now and probably forever. — B.B.

How to watch: Friends is now streaming on Max.

17. Veep

A still from the HBO series "Veep" featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Selina shows her power.
Credit: HBO / Kobal / Shutterstock

After co-starring in Seinfeld and The New Adventures of Old Christine, Julia Louis-Dreyfus headed straight to D.C. and won our vote as Selina Meyer, the best-worst vice president slash president in Veep.

Created by brilliant satirist Armando Iannucci, Veep managed to lampoon America’s stranger-than-fiction political landscape while also staying one step ahead of the news cycle — sometimes to an eerily prescient degree. With a sprawling ensemble cast (Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale, Anna Chlumsky, Matt Walsh, Sam Richardson, Timothy Simons, and Hugh Laurie, just to name a few!) that wasn’t afraid to improv their way into mind-bendingly filthy insults and an unexpectedly moving finale, Veep is so good we’d vote for it a third time. — Jenni Miller, Contributing Writer

How to watch: Veep is now streaming on Max.

18. Rick and Morty

The Smith family

Family dinners can be hard.
Credit: Adult Swim

This Adult Swim smash hit centers on an ornery super scientist named Rick Sanchez and the whiny grandson that is his sidekick on planet-trekking adventures. Forget such family-friendly sci-fi adventures like Back to the Future or Star Trek or Doctor Who. Created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, this twisted series is full of gross-out gags, sex jokes, drug use, and violence that runs the gambit from goofy to outrageous.

Those seeking something gleefully crass and ridiculous might well revel over Rick and Morty. But the deeper you go into the series, the more complex the characters get. And before you know it, talk of clones, decoys, holograms, and reality itself might have your heart aching or your mind doing backflips. So, binge this one with caution. — Kristy Puchko, Film Editor

How to watch: Rick and Morty is now streaming on Max.

19. Succession

A still from HBO's "Succession" featuring stars Matthew Macfadyen and Sarah Snook.

The siblings scheme.
Credit: HBO

Succession gave new meaning to the Sunday scaries. But if you didn’t watch the show when it first aired, there’s no time like the present. And if you already watched it, then you know there’s so, so much to see in every scene, courtesy of show creator Jesse Armstrong and his team of crackerjack creatives.

Get to know the members of the ultra-rich, ultra-screwed-up Roy family and their sprawling empire, Waystar Royco — a stand-in for the Murdochs and their various conglomerates — as adult children Connor (Alan Ruck), Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin) vie for the title of CEO as their, uh, let’s say gruff patriarch Logan (Brian Cox) begins to suffer ill health. Along the way, there’s marital strife, karaoke, ludicrously capacious bags, the Disgusting Brothers, blood bricks from tech geniuses, and a rousing game of Boar on the Floor for good measure. — J.M.

How to watch: Succession is now streaming on Max.

20. Insecure

A still from HBO's "Insecure" featuring stars Yvonne Orji and Issa Rae.

High-key brilliant.
Credit: Merie Wallace / HBO

Like Succession, this one edges into comedy-drama territory but keeps a much lighter tone while focusing on the Black female experiences of two friends in Los Angeles.

Insecure‘s narrative begins at major turning points in the leads’ lives. While Issa Dee (Issa Rae) questions whether she should move on from her unemployed boyfriend (Jay Ellis) now that she’s 29, Molly (Yvonne Orji) struggles to be as successful in her dating life as she is in her career as an attorney. From the deft writing and ensemble cast to the gorgeous cinematography, Insecure is high-key brilliant. — B.B.

How to watch: Insecure is now streaming on Max.

21. Barry

A still from HBO's "Barry" featuring Bill Hader and Henry Winkler.

Barry gets advice.
Credit: HBO / Kobal / Shutterstock

Former SNL star Bill Hader and co-creator Alec Berg gave us one of the great comedies of the new millennium with Barry, which lasted four brief seasons containing 32 half-hour-ish episodes — and he was rewarded with heaps of critical acclaim for his trouble.

Hader and Berg crafted dark comedy magic with this tale of a hitman (played by Hader) who discovers his love for acting by accident while on an assignment. Hijinks and emotional growth ensue as Barry attempts to reform himself and his murderous ways via formal thespian training. Barry also gave the Fonz (aka Henry Winkler) his best role in decades as Barry’s acting coach, Gene Cousineau. Never losing an ounce of its wit or weird heart from start to finish, this is one of those rare shows where you can make it all the way to its perfect, pitch-black ending fully satisfied. — J.A.

How to watch: Barry is now streaming on Max.

22. Harley Quinn

Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn chat.

Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are friends and lovers in “Harley Quinn.”
Credit: Max

You know how mainstream superhero movies have to be careful about sex and gore, or else they risk losing out on the younger audiences that lead to box office billions? Max’s DC TV shows don’t have that concern, so series like The Peacemaker, Doom Patrol, and Harley Quinn can be as raunchy, bloody, and absolutely bonkers as they want. For the funniest of the bunch, that means centering your cartoon show on the Joker’s ex-girlfriend, who’s having a tough go of finding herself post-break-up.

Encouraged by her best friend Poison Ivy (Lake Bell), Harley Quinn (Kaley Cuoco) builds a criminal crew of her own to take Gotham by storm. Sure, they’re a bunch of misfits and malcontents, but plenty of laughs are born from their mistakes. Plus, amid mayhem, crime sprees, and sci-fi shenanigans, this comedy series has a serious jolt of love. (Though it could use more sex.) — K.P.

How to watch: Harley Quinn is now streaming on Max.

23. Hacks

A still from the HBO series "Hacks" featuring Jean Smart.

Jean Smart kills it.
Credit: Anne Marie Fox / HBO Max

Hacks is many things: an incredible vehicle for Jean Smart; a provocative piece about the business of comedy; an odd-couple two-hander about work relationships that become all-consuming.

The show, about a falling star older comedian (Smart) and the once-hot, now-blacklisted writer (Hannah Einbinder) that begins to work with her on her Las Vegas standup act, is snappy and smart, with plenty to say about women who never got their due. It could easily have turned into a screed against Gen Z or Boomers, but instead, Hacks (which was co-created by Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, and Jen Statsky) is a thoughtful exploration of change and comedy, engaging to both those who know a lot about the inside of Hollywood as well as those who look on from afar. The show is engrossing and funny — a weekend binge you’ll be thinking about far after the surprising and stirring final moments.*Erin Strecker, Entertainment Editor

How to watch: Hacks is now streaming on Max.

24. Our Flag Means Death

Rhys Darby as Stede Bonnet in "Our Flag Means Death."

Rhys Darby as Stede Bonnet in “Our Flag Means Death.”
Credit: Max

When we say that Our Flag Means Death is “loosely based” on the real-life pirating adventures of a pirate named Stede Bonnet (played here by Rhys Darby) in the early 18th century, you really must reassess your definition of “loose,” because this show stretches it to the breaking point. And yo, ho, ho, thank goodness for that, because Bonnet was in reality an awful person. (Pirates? Kinda awful! Who knew?!)

Our Flag Means Death, on the other hand, finally gives us the queer pirate story of our dreams. In fact, Our Flag Means Death embraces the good gay stuff fully with all its arms and peg legs via several ongoing queer love stories — including the much beloved “ship” between Bonnet and Taika Waititi’s Blackbeard. Its second season only strengthens and broadens its rainbow-bright spectrum by introducing several female buccaneers – all hail the pirate queen of China, Zheng Yi Sao (Ruibo Qian)! — J.A.

How to watch: Our Flag Means Death is now streaming on Max.

25. The Other Two

A still from the HBO series "The Other Two" featuring Heléne Yorke and Drew Tarver.

Cary and Brooke cope with the success of their little bro.
Credit: Greg Endries / HBO Max

The Other Two is a hilarious (and criminally underrated) satire of show business created by former Saturday Night Live head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider. When siblings Cary and Brooke Dubek (Drew Tarver and Heléne Yorke, both excellent) discover that their younger brother Chase (Case Walker) has become an overnight teen pop sensation, they do their best to help him navigate stardom — and try to figure out how to use his fame to boost their own stalling careers.

In Kelly and Schneider’s capable hands, what could have been a one-note comedy about sibling jealousy becomes a show where the dramatic payoff is just as resonant as the many, many jokes. Come for all the pop culture references (including the best Call Me by Your Name parody ever put to film), stay for the emotional turmoil of the Dubek family. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: The Other Two is now streaming on Max.

UPDATE: Dec. 20, 2023, 4:59 p.m. EST This article has been updated to reflect the latest streaming options.





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