Comedy is a highly subjective art form, so not everyone will agree on which releases are actually the funniest movies of all time. Still, many of our favorite Black actors, directors, and writers have worked tirelessly as the film industry has evolved to keep telling stories that leave us feeling uplifted and inspired after enjoying some belly laughs. Thanks to the streaming era, it’s easier than ever before to access everything from Eddie Murphy’s 80s characters like Axel Foley and Prince Akeem to dating advice from Steve Harvey in the star-studded Think Like a Man.

If you’re planning a movie night in with friends or a date, comedy is typically a go-to genre for keeping things lighthearted. At the same time, it can help you understand other people’s sense of humor, therefore strengthening your bond. Keep scrolling to see some of our favorite funny flicks from 1984 to modern day, and tell us what titles we might’ve missed in the comments.

22. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

IMDb: 7.4/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%

The fourth installment of Eddie Muphy’s Beverly Hills Cop film franchise is due out on Netflix this summer, 40 years after the original 1984 action comedy first graced the big screen. The renowned actor played Axel Foley in one of his earliest roles, a rebellious cop determined to solve the case of his childhood friend’s brutal murder. While this not might sound lighthearted enough to keep you laughing, Murphy’s delivery and comedic timing will have you on your toes as he works to outsmart Lt. Bogomil (played by Ronny Cox) of the BHPD.

21. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

IMDb: 7.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

Matthew Broderick was actually 23 years old when he brought the iconic Ferris Bueller to life, and it’s hard to deny that he nailed the young man’s adventurous spirit on screen. Currently streaming on Apple TV+ and Paramount+, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off will take you back to the nostalgia of high school as our leading man teaches us a thing or two about getting away with skipping class in Chicago. Other noteworthy cast members include Alan Ruck, Charlie Sheen and Mia Sara.

20. Coming To America (1988)

IMDb: 7.1/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%

In the 80s, Eddie Murphy’s career was only just beginning. Still, the work done by the New York native so long ago helped to pave the way for every Black actor following in his footsteps. At the tail end of the decade, Murphy starred in Coming to America, a gut-busting film about Prince Akeem, who flees from Africa to the United States to avoid an arranged marriage. Disguising himself as a foreign student who works in the fast food industry, Akeem learns plenty about life outside his wealthy bubble, especially as his story continues in 2021’s Coming 2 America.

19. Sister Act (1992)

IMDb: 6.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%

1992’s Sister Act is another comedy that was well-received enough to earn a sequel, not to mention a third edition that’s long been in the works, potentially with Keke Palmer. The original family movie follows Whoopi Goldberg as Deloris Van Cartier, a lounge singer who witnesses her mobster man commit murder and relocates quickly after to protect herself. Settling into her new life as a nun in a California convent isn’t easy, but Deloris eventually brings her talent for singing to the choir, which she’s able to transform into a vibrant and soulful group of performers.

18. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

IMDb: 7.1/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 77%

One of the late Robin Williams’ most memorable roles was as Mrs. Doubtfire in 1993. Dressed as an elderly woman, the Flubber star hardly looks like himself, which is exactly what his character Daniel Hillard is going for. The divorced man has little access to his children and hatches an elaborate plan to disguise himself as a female British caretaker to spend more time with his family throughout this transition. We never got to see a sequel or spin-off during Williams’ life, though Kevin Hart did once say he’d be interested in carrying on the torch.

17. Bad Boys (1995)

IMDb: 6.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%

Will Smith’s career prospects were looking bleak after he infamously slapped Will Smith at the Oscars. Nevertheless, no matter how turned off audiences were by that, they simply can’t resist watching the father of three alongside Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys. The crime fighting duo first came together in 1995 and Bad Boys II followed in 2003. Almost two decades later they revived the Miami-based franchise and later this summer they’re set to return in Bad Boys: Ride or Die.

16. Friday (1995)

IMDb: 7.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

A funniest movies list without Friday on it just wouldn’t feel complete, so we’re giving the 1995 stoner comedy the props it deserves. Icons like Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long, Regina King, Bernie Mac, Faizon Love and Meagan Good are all Black icons whose careers began to take off thanks to the success of the 1995 F. Gary Gray-directed project.

15. Happy Gilmore (1996)

IMDb: 7/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%

In recent years, Adam Sandler’s acting career has matured significantly thanks to his intense role in the Safdie Brother’s Uncut Gems. Movie buffs loved that and were sad to see it snubbed for an Oscar, but there are still some who wouldn’t mind if the Grown Ups actor stuck to funny business from here on out. One of his most memorable unserious roles is the lead in 1996’s Happy Gilmore, in which Sandler acts as a young man with aspirations of playing professional hockey. However, he suddenly realizes his skills are much stronger in another competitive sport as he seeks to raise enough money to keep his grandmother from losing her house. The late Carl Weathers starred alongside the 57-year-old, as well as Julie Bowen, Bob Barker and Christopher McDonald.

14. Rush Hour (1998)

IMDb: 7/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%

As the 90s were wrapping up, Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker introduced us to Hong Kong Detective Inspector Lee and LAPD Detectove James Carter in Rush Hour. The iconic interracial duo have joined forces again for two other movies, Rush Hour 2 in 2001 and a third installment in 2007. Chan confirmed months ago that he and Tucker are hoping to reconnect for a fourth movie, but are still looking for the right script to take them on more wild adventures.

13. The Players Club (1998)

IMDb: 5.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%

Ice Cube was all the way in his bag for 1998’s The Players Club, both starring as Reggie and sitting in the director’s chair. the dark comedy thriller follows Diana Armstrong (LisaRaye McCoy), a single mother who takes up stripping to pay her college tuition and support her little one. Not only does “Diamond” have to worry about impressing those she performs for, but she’s also got club owner Dolla Bill (Bernie Mac) constantly on her back, and a cousin, Ebony (Monica Calhoun) who’s new to the dancing game and in need of some advice.

12. Zoolander (2001)

IMDb: 6.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%

Anyone with a subscription to Apple TV+ or Paramount+ in need of a laugh would do well to add Zoolander to their watchlist. Ben Stiller leads the charge in the outlandish 2001 project, which he also directed as his character is catapulted to the top of the modelling world before losing his spot to his number one opp and falling victim to brainwashing. Other comedy favorites like Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn also appear, along with Lenny Kravitz and Nathan Lee Graham.

11. Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

IMDb: 6.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 44%

Beyoncé doesn’t take on movie roles now like she did when she was starting out in the industry, but we still love to revisit the Houston native’ filmography. In 2002 channelled the ultimate hot girl, Foxxy Cleopatra in Austin Powers in Goldmember, marking her first ever feature film role. Since then, Queen B has appeared in The Pink Panther and Dreamgirls, played Etta James in Cadillac Records, starred in 2009’s Obsessed and most recently voiced Nala in Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion King.

10. Love Don’t Cost a Thing (2003)

IMDb: 5.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%

These days, Nick Cannon is best known for his seemingly ever-growing group of baby mamas and children, but let’s not forget his contributions to the world of early 2000s romantic comedies. In 2003, he acted opposite the beautiful Christina Milian in Love Don’t Cost a Thing. Cannon’s character, Alvin Johnson, has everything he needs to impress his teachers, but can’t say the same for attracting the opposite sex. However, when a popular girl at school, Paris Morgan (Milian) urgently needs her mom’s cat fixed, Alvin promises to help her in exchange for two weeks of dating her, which comes with coveted access to the popular clique.

9. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

IMDb: 7/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%

In June of 2024, Napoleon Dynamite will celebrate its’ 20th anniversary. When making the cult classic so many years ago, lead actor Jon Heder had no idea his dopey, awkward high school character would go on to become such a massive success, which is likely why he accepted a $1,000 check for playing Napoleon. Thankfully Heder was able to later negotiate higher pay after the Idaho-based movie’s success.

8. White Chicks (2004)

IMDb: 5.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 55%

Our funniest movies of all time list continues with White Chicks, which remains highly divisive but is still bound to get lots of laughter from most audiences. Brothers Marlon and Shawn Wayans have done many projects together across their careers, but this 2004 release remains the most famous. If you’re not familiar, White Chicks sees the real-life siblings take their family ties on screen as FBI agent brothers who mess up a drug bust. To make up for their mistake, Marcus and Kevin Copeland are tasked with escorting a group of socialites to the Hamptons to bait a kidnapper. As fate would have it, their plans go awry, causing the Black men to radically alter their appearance into White women.

7. Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005)

IMDb: 5.7/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%

Comedy lovers who don’t pay for streaming services can still find comedy movies online for free that are worth watching, such as those in Tubi’s library. Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman is currently on the platform. His beloved character Madea is at the center of the hilarious tale, as the loudmouthed elderly woman helps her granddaughter (Kimberly Elise) seek revenge on her husband of 18 years (Steve Harris) who announces he’s shacking up with a younger woman. Cicely Tyson, Shemar Moore and Tamara Taylor also appear.

6. Norbit (2007)

IMDb: 4.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 53%

A movie like Norbit would likely never get green-flagged today, but in 2007, there were far fewer limits in comedy, particularly when making jokes about other people’s bodies. Much of the humor in the Brian Robbins-directed film comes from the sheer size difference between Norbit (Eddie Murphy) and his forced wife Rasputia (also Murphy). The Haunted Mansion actor underwent several hours in makeup to transform into his other half on set, also wearing a 34-kilogram fat suit to completely alter his body. Katt Williams, Thandie Newton, Terry Crews and Cuba Gooding Jr. also appear.

5. Step Brothers (2008)

IMDb: 6.9/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 69%

Perhaps the most quotable movie of this century (at least for a significant period) is the buddy comedy Step Brothers. Adam McKay directed Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in the 2008 project, which sees the two grown men hilariously resolve their issues as their parents begin a romantic relationship.

4. Think Like a Man (2012)

IMDb: 6.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%

Not only was Think Like a Man directed by a Black man (Tim Story), but the 2012 flick also has a star-studded cast of good looking Black actors, such as Michael Ealy, Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good, Kevin Hart and Gabrielle Union. The plot follows a group of male friends whose love lives aren’t exactly thriving – until they realize the women they’re seeing are all taking advice from comic Steve Harvey. Once they become privvy to this knowledge, they’re able to take some advice from the “romance guru” too, turning the tables on their dates.

3. Girls Trip (2017)

IMDb: 6.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%

The Flossy Posse’s return to the big screen is imminent, though we don’t yet have an official release date for the Girls Trip sequel. In the original 2017 release, Tiffany Haddish, Regina Hall, Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith play four best friends who have let life get in the way of their friendship. When one of them is offered the opportunity to speak at Essence Festival in New Orleans, the women are granted the opportunity to turn the big moment into a vacation they won’t soon forget.

2. Bad Trip (2021)

IMDb: 6.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%

Eric Andre’s Bad Trip is another must-see comedy we suggest to our readers. Netflix unveiled the wild project in 2021, and to be honest, it’s essentially the male counterpart to Girls Trip. In Kitao Sakurai’s movie (which also stars Haddish and Lil Rel Howery), two pals play clever pranks on unsuspecting people while on an unforgettable adventure together.

1. The Blackening (2022)

IMDb: 6/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%

The newest recommendation we have for anyone searching out the funniest movies of all time is The Blackening, which is streaming on Starz at the time of publication. Tim Story directed the horror comedy mash-up, which stars Jermaine Fowler, Dewayne Perkins, Melvin Gregg and Sinqua Walls. The group of friends head out to a cabin for a weekend trip and wind up trapped with a killer who has a vendetta and is out for blood.