Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Best Free Comedy Movies You Can Watch On YouTube Right Now

We live in overwhelming times. Millions of hours of movies and television branch out across dozens of streaming services, spinning off into infinite fractals of entertainment possibilities. If that sounds exhausting, it's only because it really, really is. Sometimes you don't want to turn your smart TV into a basic cable news chyron of endlessly scrolling movie previews. Sometimes, you just want to watch an actor who makes more money in a day than you do in a year getting hit in the crotch by, say, an animatronic raccoon.

With this struggle in mind, we've tossed together a list of comedy flicks currently available to stream on YouTube, all for the entirely reasonable price of no dollars and free cents. They're by no means the only gut busters offered for free on the service — YouTube has over a thousand titles for you to peruse at your leisure — but they're a solid place to start if you're looking for a candidate for your next movie night.

Galaxy Quest

Nerds are a tough group to impress, so it's no small feat to create what's considered one of the best Star Trek movies ever made. Even more striking: pulling it off without making an actual Star Trek movie.

Director Dean Parisot really stuck the landing with Galaxy Quest, 1999's warmhearted homage to television sci-fi, and the actors whose lives become defined by it. When it first came out, the film was a moderate success, receiving generally positive reviews. More than 20 years later, it's widely considered one of the greatest comedies of all time. David Mamet took it one step further, calling it one of four perfect movies in existence.

He might not have been wrong, either. Galaxy Quest features spot-on performances from Alan Rickman and Sam Rockwell, actors that would spend the next few years cementing themselves as performers who could do no wrong. Tim Allen turns in some of his career-best work as Jason Nesmith, the William Shatner to the movie's fictional '80s sci-fi show, taken in by aliens who don't understand that the series they've been watching is pretend. Sigourney Weaver is basically perfect as the Nichelle Nichols analogue, accidentally winding up as the only member of the crew who's actually capable of doing their job. Also, you can spot Rainn Wilson if you keep your eyes peeled, more or less playing what you'd imagine Dwight Schrute would be like if he got his anxiety under control.

Mars Attacks!

"I want the people to know that they still have two out of three branches of the government working for them, and that ain't bad." With these words, President James Dale (Jack Nicholson) assuaged the fears of a nation that had just watched Congress get disintegrated, and carved out a spot as one of the greatest orators in the history of fictional POTUSes.

Mars Attacks! came during that sweet spot in Tim Burton's career: after he'd picked up steam as a visionary director, but before his creative process became "throw darts with character names written on them at photos of Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp." The inspiration for Mars Attacks! came in equal parts from his work on Ed Wood and his fascination with a collection of old trading cards featuring skull-faced martians slaughtering Earth's residents with a full spectrum of over-the-top sci-fi weaponry.

Thanks to a singular vision, an all-star cast, and some of the best hyper-violent slapstick in cinematic history, Mars Attacks! stands out as a definitive weirdness highlight in the career of a director who, for context, had already made Beetlejuice. The martians themselves may have put it best when they said, and this is a quote, "ack, ack ack ack, ack."

Thank You For Smoking

If you like your comedies to punch you right in the solar plexus, while grinning and maintaining eye contact with you, you could do a lot worse than Thank You For Smoking, the 2005 feature film debut of writer-director and controversial Ghostbusters-commenter Jason Reitman.

Based on the novel of the same name, Thank You For Smoking follows the life and times of Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), a spokesman for the tobacco industry who is so good at his job, that it's borderline uncomfortable to watch him work. With nothing but charisma and, when the occasion calls for it, a briefcase full of cash, Naylor can seemingly argue his way out of anything. He convinces a guilt-ridden, dying ex-Marlboro Man (Sam Elliott) to keep his opinions to himself. He successfully argues, on national television, that Big Tobacco has more to lose than anti-smoking lobbyists when smokers get sick — he'd be losing a customer, while the bleeding hearts would get another sad story to point at and ask for more funding. 

It's bleak. It's also amazing.

Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge never broke out stateside the way that he did in the U.K.. Even if you've never seen his BAFTA-winning television series or internet video shorts, you've definitely felt echoes of his work any time that you watched a British comedy that had you straddling the fence between laughing uncontrollably and curling into a cringing ball of vicarious humiliation.

Partridge, played by Steve Coogan, is the brainchild of Coogan and Veep creator Armando Iannucci. He's the quintessential British media personality, minus the self awareness that reminds a person to stop talking until it's already ten seconds too late. In 2013, 22 years after the character's debut on BBC Radio 4, Partridge got his first feature film, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. Released simply as Alan Partridge in the U.S., the movie comes out of the gate with immediately quotable lines and a range of human behaviors that will make you sympathetically nauseous.

Hot Rod

Here in the year 2021, we're all pretty much aware that Andy Samberg is a precious jewel who must be protected at all costs. In 2007, he was still just two-seasons deep into his tenure at SNL, and vocally optimistic about his new movie, Hot Rod, getting terrible reviews. In an Entertainment Weekly article entitled "Andy Samberg gets stupid in Hot Rod," he reveled in the idea that critics would hate the picture, pointing to other classics that took years to find a permanent audience.

Directed by The Lonely Island member Akiva Schaffer, Hot Rod definitely fit the bill. Reviewers were not kind to the picture, which tells the story of a too-earnest-by-miles aspiring moped stuntman, and his never-ending quest to beat up his stepdad, Frank (Ian McShane).

Today, Hot Rod is one of those comedies with no middle ground in terms of viewership. People either hate it, or keep a copy of it loaded into their DVD player at all times. The bad news is that this habit has probably melted the disc by now. The good news is that Hot Rod is now available to stream for free on YouTube.