My Go-To Comedies on Netflix

If your household is anything like mine, it’s likely that every dreaded curbside pick-up from the grocery store turns into a half-hour ordeal of your dad’s panicked disinfecting of every item. You and your mom are suddenly invested in the Cuomo brothers because it seems that they’re the only thing keeping you sane. Your neighbors set up a circle of lawn chairs (with a six-foot diameter, of course) in your driveway and you chat, trying to pretend everything is normal. And ― arguably the worst of them all ― every periodic headache, cough or sore throat sends the entire house into a state of chaos. 

In summary, all of this is nothing short of a disaster. However, with many of us having a bit more time on our hands than usual, some distractions might be nice. It’s why I’ve compiled a short list of some of my favorite comedies (all available on Netflix, by the way) for moments when you need a little pick-me-up.

  1. 1. “John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City”

    Honestly, everything that John Mulaney does is amazing. He has a few other stand-up specials on Netflix, but “Kid Gorgeous” is my personal favorite. This special is packed with unbelievably true stories about various people (I’m looking at you, J.J. Bittenbinder) and encounters from his childhood, as a writer for SNL and from more recent years in his life that are so strange and obscure, yet somehow so relatable. 

    Mulaney is a remarkable storyteller with unparalleled wit and charm, making him one of the most recognizable comedians of our generation. If you haven’t seen any of his specials yet, now is definitely the time to check them out.

  2. 2. “Documentary Now”

    The premise of this show is the brainchild of SNL alumni Bill Hader, Fred Armisen and Seth Meyers. It could be classified as a satire of sorts, but I like to look at it as an incredible melting pot of original writing, comedy and documentary film. 

    Each episode is formatted like a thirty-minute standalone documentary, complete with interviews and b-roll. The plots are always original and outlandishly ridiculous, but they generally draw upon the subjects and events of real documentaries (i.e. “Grey Gardens,” “History of the Eagles,” “Wild Wild Country,” etc.). Paired with the totally over-the-top and absolutely hilarious performances from the series’ stars, Hader and Armisen, as they embody a new set of whimsical and eccentric characters in each episode, this show is easily one of the funniest I’ve ever seen. Each episode is a treat, but I frequently find myself rewatching a handful of favorites at least once a month.

  3. 3. “Arrested Development”

    I haven’t been able to finish watching Netflix’s reboot of the fourth and fifth season, but the first three original seasons are spectacular. The overarching plot is pretty straightforward: the company belonging to a wealthy family is on the brink of collapsing, leaving the only sensible son in charge of keeping everything together. 

    Of course, every single character is totally out of touch with reality and completely insane ― from a shrewd, dramatic and verging alcoholic of a mother to a former psychiatrist turned failed actor of a brother-in-law ― but that’s easily the best part. The cast is incredible with Jason Bateman’s deadpanned delivery, Portia de Rossi’s overblown self-importance, David Cross’ bloated confidence and Will Arnett’s blissful ignorance. The writing and humor are nuanced, yet punchy as each ridiculous story unfolds. 

    All I can say is that this show is amazing. I highly recommend it.

  4. 4. “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”

    For starters, this is a Jerry Seinfeld special, so the premise of the show is literally the title. 

    I, personally, adore Jerry Seinfeld and think that this series is a wonderful showcase of his genuine passion for comedy. He uses the opportunity to sit down with comedic legends ― from seasoned professionals like Steve Martin, Tina Fey and Eddie Murphy to fresh newcomers like Kate McKinnon and Melissa Villaseñor ― just to pick apart and analyze the art of a good joke during traffic jams in New York City and over steaming cups of coffee in local diners.

    Each episode is short, sweet and bursting at the seams with hilarious and organic dialogue, bubbly laughter and the occasional spit take. It’s a great show for when you need a study break, and sometimes, it’s simply a pleasure to sit and listen to people talk about their passions.

Now more than ever, it’s so easy to get consumed in the politics and hysteria that plagues practically every news segment, social media post and conversation we have with one another. Believe me, I fall victim to it all the time. I find that the best way of coping with this devastating negativity is by practicing gratitude and doing activities that make me feel good. 

So when the going gets tough, I always turn to comedy.