HBO Max has access to a large catalog of comedic films, which allows it to have a detailed history of comedic cinema. Here are ten of the best comedy films available on HBO Max.
- Beavis and Butt-Head Do America
Beavis and Butt-Head Do America brought Mike Judge’s animated creations from MTV to the big screen. Judge takes the two horny teens on a cross-country road trip to fulfill their basic dreams (to own a new TV and “score” with “chicks”). Even if they don’t know it, Beavis and Butt-idiotic Head’s observations are shockingly trenchant and humorous, as usual. The film builds on a short, basic cartoon to create a witty satire on American culture.
- Best in Show
For his many comedic mockumentaries, director Christopher Guest assembled a formidable repertory company, and Best in Show is the best of them. Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, Jane Lynch, Michael McKean, Jennifer Coolidge, and a slew of other improvisers make up the cast. They team up to take on the insanity of a high-profile dog show, where different self-absorbed characters fret about their spoiled pooches and flaunt their personal quirks.
- Beverly Hills Cop
With the 1984 action comedy Beverly Hills Cop, Eddie Murphy went from star to celebrity. It was one of the defining films of a subgenre that flourished in the 1980s. It doesn’t matter what the story is because Murphy is so charismatic and entertaining as rule-breaking Detroit police detective Axel Foley.
As an earnest Beverly Hills detective who loves Foley, Judge Reinhold is the ideal comic partner for Murphy. Martin Brest, the director, combines Murphy’s enthralling screen presence with well-crafted action sequences.
- Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
In this beloved buddy comedy, righteous dudes Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter) and Ted “Theodore” Logan (Keanu Reeves) fly through time to finish their high school history paper. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a joyous celebration of friendship and music, with irreverent and hilarious takes on historical figures such as Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln, and Socrates. The core couple becomes an iconic pairing thanks to Winter and Reeves, who later return for two inconsistent but welcome sequels.
When Kevin Smith made the micro-budget indie comedy Clerks in 1994, he was employed as a clerk himself. The black-and-white film follows best friends Randal (Jeff Anderson) and Dante (Brian O’Halloran), who work in adjacent stores of a New Jersey strip mall, through a day in their lives. It’s chock-full of Smith’s now-famous pop-culture nerdery, with articulate characters that overthink all. Smith gets lots of laughs out of the mundane drudgery of suburban retail workers.
Will Ferrell is known for his roles in raunchy, over-the-top comedies, but this wholesome Christmas film may be his most well-known. Buddy, a human orphan who grew up among Santa’s elves in the North Pole, is played by Will Ferrell in Elf. Buddy, now an adult (but still with the wonder of a child), travels to New York City searching his biological father (James Caan). He causes mayhem, falls in love, and, of course, saves Christmas while he’s there.
- Pee-Big wee’s big Adventure
Pee-Big wee’s Adventure is a goofy, manic road-trip comedy adventure that marks the feature film debuts of both director Paul Reubens and Tim Burtons’ bow tie-clad title character. Pee-wee Herman (Reubens) is a childlike oddball who embarks on a cross-country journey to retrieve his stolen bike, meeting a variety of unusual characters along the way. With his oddball charisma and excitement, he manages to endear himself to both of them (as well as the audience).
- The Philadelphia Story
To keep up with the classic screwball comedy The Philadelphia Story’s rapid-fire, witty dialogue, you’ll need to be on your toes. Misunderstandings abound over the course of a weekend in which socialite Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn) is expected to marry. With one as a snooping journalist and the other as her ex-husband, James Stewart and Cary Grant play her future love interests. It’s a sophisticated and intelligent romantic comedy with happy Hollywood endings for all parties concerned.
- Pitch Perfect
Pitch Perfect was a nice, unassuming comedy about the world of college a cappella groups before it became a slightly overblown franchise. Anna Kendrick plays a budding music producer who reluctantly joins her college’s all-female a cappella group, ultimately leading them to national glory.
Along the way, there’s a lot of imaginative singing and choreography to appreciate, as well as a little romance. Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, and Elizabeth Banks are among the talented women who join Kendrick in the film.
- Safety last!
Harold Lloyd is often overshadowed by Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton among silent film comedy stars. However, a viewing of Lloyd’s 1923 masterpiece Safety Last! demonstrates why he deserves to be mentioned alongside those comedy legends.
Lloyd, who plays a downtrodden department store employee, is as soulful a character actor as Chaplin. And he’s just as good a physical comedian as Keaton, as evidenced by a still-amazing stunt sequence in which Lloyd is suspended from the hands of a massive clock on the side of a building.