Narrowing down the funniest TV available on HBO Max is like trying to choose a best chocolate. Sure, you can always point to one and say it’s superior, but at the end of the day you’re still going to scarf down that piece of candy regardless of the wrapper it came in. (Just so we’re clear: „White chocolate“ is a lie and it doesn’t count.)
The „Series“ section of HBO Max is awash with choices, from HBO proper, from network television, and of course from the network’s frequently impressive and ever-growing lineup of HBO Originals. Don’t think of this as an exhaustive list so much as it is an of-this-moment rundown of the best and funniest that Max has to offer.
With that caveat in mind, here are the 13 TV comedies we’re feeling the most on HBO Max right now.
It’s time to pivot away from Netflix and toward HBO 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.
How to watch: Friends is now streaming on HBO Max.
Selina shows her power.
Credit: Hbo / Kobal / Shutterstock
After her Seinfeld and The New Adventures of Old Christine days, Julia Louis-Dreyfus starred as the United States Vice President (and later President) Selina Meyer in Veep. And, yes, she smashed it.
This political satire took a close look at the inner workings of Selina’s career. Though she hopes to keep up her image and remain admired by the country, she more often gets wrapped up in political shenanigans and is forced to work them out with the help of her staff.
Veep is witty, edgy, and well-acted — so it might be your stream dream.
How to watch: Veep is now streaming on HBO Max.
3. Rick and Morty
HBO Max has welcomed a large collection of Adult Swim series onto its platform, and that includes Rick and Morty.
While the sci-fi sitcom features appearances from the entire Smith family, it focuses primarily on anxious, 14-year-old Morty and his mad scientist grandfather, Rick, as they journey through wacky dimensions and domestic life. This juxtaposition is made possible by the show’s smart writing and confident humor, which has it winning the adult cartoon category.
How to watch: Rick and Morty is now streaming on HBO Max.
The siblings scheme.
Succession plants itself in the black comedy genre, giving the family business plot seen in shows like Arrested Development a darker, more dramatic edge.
The show centers on the dysfunctional Roy family, which owns and manages the giant media conglomerate Waystar Royco. Though Logan has always headed the business and led his family, he might have to let a thing or two go after his health begins to decline. That leaves his four children to fight for control.
How to watch: Succession is now streaming on HBO Max.
5. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
There’s a lot to love about this iconic sitcom: the rise of Will Smith (who, ironically, plays a character named Will Smith), the ’90s aesthetic, the talented cast, and the snappy writing.
The show has a teenage Will being uprooted from his life in West Philadelphia and moving into his aunt and uncle’s mansion in the wealthy L.A. neighborhood of Bel-Air. He must find a way to adjust to his relatives‘ upperclass lifestyle, and, no — it’s not easy.
How to watch: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is now streaming on HBO Max.
Credit: Merie Wallace/HBO
Issa is funny, bold… and insecure.
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 questions whether she should move on from her unemployed boyfriend after turning 29, Molly struggles to be as successful in her dating life as she is in her attorney career. Raunchy but intelligent, Insecure will keep you on your toes.
How to watch: Insecure is now streaming on HBO Max.
Who would’ve ever expected a TV series about John Cena’s eponymous toxic-bro antihero to be layered with so much thoughtful self-reflection and emotional depth?
Peacemaker is a breath of fresh air for superhuman storytelling, and not just because it has an intro sequence that slaps harder than anything else on TV today. Cena and the cast that’s gathered around him — which includes the powerhouse lineup of Danielle Brooks, Freddie Stroma, Chukwudi Iwuji, Jennifer Holland, and Steve Agee — weave a compelling tale together, and one that’s fueled by an unexpected level of sensitivity as it delves into deeply held trauma and the various ways we process.
The DC show is also an action-packed affair that goes just as hard on the blood-and-guts moments. It’s quite a thing to see Cena’s Peacemaker graphically murder a squad of baddies in one moment and then weep openly as he grapples with startling self-realizations about his family history in the next. But that’s the kind of show you’re signing up for when you turn on Peacemaker. It’s one hell of a ride. —Adam Rosenberg, Senior Entertainment Reporter
How to watch: Peacemaker is now streaming on HBO Max.
Barry gets advice.
Credit: HBO / Kobal / Shutterstock
If you’re asking for something that’s not as intimidating to binge (Big Bang Theory has 279 episodes), Barry might be your answer, especially if you’re craving a darker brand of humor.
The 16-episode series catches up with the titular hitman (Bill Hader), who heads from Ohio to L.A. to murder his next victim. That is, until he stumbles into an acting class and discovers his new passion: theater. (Yes, technically he also sticks around due to his huge crush on one of the aspiring actresses, but that’s beside the point.) His reinvention of the self is a riot, and you get a front-row seat to all the drama. —A.R.
How to watch: Barry is now streaming on HBO Max.
9. Harley Quinn
Yes, there are two DC Comics comedies on this list. There’s no question that they both deserve their spot.
Much like Peacemaker, Harley Quinn is a loud, blood-soaked, riotous antihero story that takes you by surprise as the drama unfolds. While it doesn’t tie directly to the excellent live-action take on the character in Birds of Prey, Kaley Cuoco’s Harley is born from a similar place. She’s fresh out of her intense relationship with Joker when the show opens, and she’s trying to figure out what her newly single existence looks like.
When you live on the wrong side of the law, that involves forming a gang and doing crimes, of course. Harley can’t help who she is. But she does align herself with a tremendous crew in Poison Ivy (Lake Bell), Clayface (Alan Tudyk, who also voices Joker and others), Doctor Psycho (Tony Hale), King Shark (Ron Funches), Sy Borgman (Jason Alexander), and Frank the Plant (J.B. Smoove). The series also spends time with a variety of familiar faves from Gotham City, including what is undoubtedly the very best version of Bane (James Adomian) to date. —A.R.
How to watch: Harley Quinn is now streaming on HBO Max.
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 HBO Max.
11. Our Flag Means Death
Here’s some advice: Don’t look up the real-life history of Stede Bonnet before you watch Our Flag Means Death. It’s not an issue of spoilers, since the show’s Stede quickly veers off from the real Stede’s life. But the so-called „Gentleman Pirate“ is played with such thoughtfulness and care by star Rhys Darby that it’s a shame to sully the show’s reimagining with knowledge of the real-life pirate’s brutal existence and dark ending.
Here’s the thing Our Flag Means Death doesn’t necessarily tell you upfront: It’s a romance and a love story. The laughs start firing right away, but the true focus of this story takes several episodes to reveal itself. At every step, you’ll find yourself rooting for Stede and his crew of lovable screw-ups and miscreants. The sweet friendship between Oluwande (Samson Kayo) and Jim (Vico Ortiz). The unexpectedly tender side of the boastful and initially mutinous Black Pete (Matthew Maher). They’re joined by a strong comedic ensemble that includes Ewen Bremner, Kristian Nairn (Hodor!), and Nathan Foad, to name just a few.
And of course, there’s the most feared pirate of all, Blackbeard. Taiki Waititi brings a perfect mix of unhinged brutality and deceptively sweet innocence to the show’s most complicated role. Not a single character is perfectly heroic or likable on Our Flag Means Death, but by the end of the 10-episode season, you’ll cut through — and be cut by — the darkness as you discover a sensational lineup of hidden and deeply moving delights.
How to watch: Our Flag Means Death is now streaming on HBO Max.
‚Our Flag Means Death’s creator on Rhys Darby, Blackbeard, and more
12. The Other Two
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 HBO Max.
Not to be confused with the subpar American remake, Ghosts is the best Britcom you’re not watching. Imagine an office comedy, where rather than snarky paper pushers and bored secretaries, the characters were a motley band of ghosts all cursed to walk the halls of a forgotten English manor until they get „sucked off.“ (That’s what they call moving on to the great beyond.)
The kooky characters from across time include a chess-loving caveman (Laurence Rickard), a pervy politician (Simon Farnaby), a lovelorn Romantic poet (Mathew Baynton), a naive Georgian party girl (Lolly Adefope), a scowling Edwardian matriarch (Martha Howe-Douglas), and a Tudor nobleman who’s always losing his head (literally!). Culture clashes have been an issue across the ages, but matters get more intense — and hilarious — when a near-death experience clues the new owners (Charlotte Ritchie and Kiell Smith-Bynoe) into their ghostly housemates.
Created by its spirited ensemble who’d previously starred in Horrible Histories and Yonderland, Ghosts has a crackling comedic chemistry, even when the subject matter turns to the macabre. Whether it’s the stress of home renovations, the uncovering of a long-buried betrayal, chasing off home invaders, or the addictive nature of binge-watching Friends, these hilarious haunts find plenty of humor after death. —Kristy Puchko, Deputy Entertainment Editor
How to watch: Ghosts is now streaming on HBO Max.