While our communities practice social distancing waiting for the latest COVID-19 news updates (keep checking out this website for up-to-date coverage), we thought those suddenly forced to spend more time indoors could use some suggestions for funny, fun shows and movies currently available on popular video streaming services.
Here are just a few suggestions we’ve made over the past year through our Staff Picks column — we will continue to bring you our recommendations in the weeks to come and hope you will share recommendations with your reader community to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Running time: 114 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Tomatometer 50%; IMDb 6.9/10
Among the lesser remembered early efforts from the Farrelly brothers, this buddy bowling comedy is anchored by Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, Moonrise Kingdom), Woody Harrelson (Natural Born Killers, Zombieland) and Randy Quaid (National Lampoon’s Vacation, Independence Day). The film features an ample dose of the gross out humor of other Farrelly efforts, such as Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary.
Running time: 90 minutes
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Jeff Baena
Tomatometer 78%; IMDb 5.8/10
Loosely based on stories from Boccaccio’s The Decameron, this anachronistic, raunchy medieval farce follows the lives of three 14th Century nuns whose lives are transformed when they encounter a young gardener who’s posing as a deaf mute. The film boasts an ensemble cast of comedic talents, including Alison Brie (The Disaster Artist, Community), Dave Franco (Neighbors, Now You See Me), Kate Micucci (When in Rome, The Lego Batman Movie), Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation, Life After Beth), John C. Reilly (Chicago, Guardians of the Galaxy), Fred Armison (Portlandia, Anchorman), Nick Offerman (The Founder, Parks and Recreation), Paul Reiser (Aliens, Beverly Hills Cop) and Molly Shannon (Superstar, Never Been Kissed).
Running time: 83 minutes
MPAA Rating: R
Director: John Landis
Platform: Amazon Prime
Tomatometer 80%; IMDb 6.5/10
Before there was Airplane!, there was this lesser known cult comedy classic, which was based in-part on the sketch stage show developed by Abrahams, Zucker & Zucker. The film broke comic ground with their commercial and move trailer parodies and featured some “serious” actors, such as Bill Bixby (The Incredible Hulk, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father), George Lazenby (On Her Majesty’s Secret Services, Gettysburg), Donald Sutherland (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Hunger Games), Henry Gibson (The Blues Brothers, Magnolia). Director John Landis (The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London) cut his teeth on this successful flick before going on to much greater things.
Episodes: 12, 2 seasons
Creators: Jon Iver Helgaker, Jonas Torgersen
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%; IMDb 7.8/10
This Norwegian-made historical costume-comedy set in the 8th Century juxtaposes starkly beautiful and dramatic cinematography and saga-worthy soundtrack with goofy satire lampooning popular Viking dramas along with smart writing, quirky characters and a healthy dose of irreverence, gore and smut. Kåre Conradi, Nils Jørgen Kaalstad, Silje Torp, Trond Fausa, Øystein Martinsen and Marian Saastad Ottesen star in what’s likely to be an instant cult classic and (fingers crossed) a continuing series.
Episodes: 25, 5 seasons
Creators: Graham Lineham
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%; IMDb 8.5/10
Most of the leads in this whacky office-based comedy about information technology workers languishing in the basement of a London high-rise have gone on to greater fame, including series leads Chris O’Dowd (Brides Maids, The Sapphires), Richard Ayoade (The Watch, Submarine) and Katherine Parkinson (Pirate Radio, Easy Virtue, Doc Martin), as well as supporting players Matt Berry (Toast of London, What We Do in the Shadows) and Noel Fielding (The Mighty Boosh, Bunny and the Bull). Just one of many hilarious hits from writer-creator Graham Lineham (Father Ted, Black Books), the series was an instant fan fave, which later spawned a failed American remake.
Episodes: 45, 4 seasons
Creators: Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%; IMDb 8.8/10
The creators and stars of this groundbreaking sketch comedy series have all gone on to become icons among comedians and fans alike, inspiring generations of comic gems which have followed since its debut 50 years ago. Blending stream-of-consciousness surrealism, biting satire and visual hilarity, the show’s themes and observations are as relevant today as they were prescient when first aired.
Episodes: 10, 1 season
Creator: Jemaine Clement
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%; IMDb 8.4/10
Set on the Staten Island borough of New York City, this whacky satire from creator Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords, Men in Black 3) sends up a panoply of vampire drama iterations as it follows the lives of three bloodsucker roomies who’ve lived together for a century since arriving in America. Matt Berry (The IT Crows, Moon), Kayvan Novak (Syriana, Four Lions), Mark Proksch (The Office, Better Call Saul) and Natasia Demetriou (Pls Like, The Festival) star in the series. Season 2 of the well-reviewed comedy is set to premier Wednesday, April 15 on FX and on Hulu the following day.