The best comedy TV shows of 2021 on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney Plus and more

Prestige dramas are nice and all, but sometimes you just want to laugh. Thankfully, streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are packed with an endless selection of comedies; plus, legacy networks are going digital, like NBC with Peacock, which has a vault of golden era classics.

So far in 2021, we’ve written about a range of comedies that you can find across platforms like Disney Plus and Amazon Prime, as well as the streaming service we sincerely wish had a better interface (Apple TV Plus). These aren’t necessarily a shortlist of Golden Globe nominees, but rather the best shows we’ve seen and have been excited enough about to share them with everyone we know (or at least everyone who reads SFGATE). The list includes a few nods to local heroes like Tory Belleci, 1990s heroes like “The Mighty Ducks” and superheroes like “Invincible.” Lots of heroes!

Tory Belleci and Richard Hammond star in

Tory Belleci and Richard Hammond star in “The Great Escapists” on Amazon Prime Video.

Courtesy of Buchwald

For good measure, we’ve also included a few of our favorites from 2020, ranging from “Monty Python”-style farces to an Anna Kendrick’s rom-com whose creative release schedule enticed even the most binge-averse viewer. 


“In the year 2021, it is news to no one that celebrities do terrible things and that normal people do even worse things to become celebrities. But most people don’t typically see the professionals who clean up the mess, the crisis-managing publicists who pick the somber fonts for apology posts, manipulate the media narrative, and in the case of ‘Flack,’ even fake sex tapes.” Dan Gentile, read more


“In Amazon Prime’s new animated superhero show ‘Invincible,’ the adjective ‘invincible’ is adopted as a moniker by Mark Grayson (voiced by Steven Yeun of ‘Minari’), as his powers begin to bloom in high school. The son of also-invincible superhero Omni-Man, Grayson has no physical weakness, except for the age-old trope of an inability to show up on time for dates with his girlfriend. When the world’s marquee team of heroes known as the Guardians of the Globe are mysteriously murdered, Invincible is forced to tackle enemies beyond his pay grade, while a new team of Guardians grapples with internal squabbles and the question of who killed their predecessors.” — Dan Gentile, read more

“Mighty Ducks: Game Changers”

“To be totally honest, I was fully prepared to hate this ‘Mighty Ducks’ reboot. Probably because I’ve been forever scarred by unnecessary sequels and spinoffs (*cough*cough*’Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’*cough*), but also because Disney doesn’t have a great history of made-for-TV versions of these (see: ‘The Return of Jafar’). But, you guys, ‘Mighty Ducks: Game Changers’ is actually incredible.” Grant Marek, read more


“In case you’re unfamiliar, ‘WandaVision’ is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) television show to debut on Disney Plus, and the first new MCU content in over a year. It presented itself as a mystery-sitcom hybrid that paid homage to classic television shows while unraveling the mystery of how Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) turned the entire town of Westview, New Jersey, into a warped sitcom reality with powers not even she understands. If you’re on YouTube, you may have seen the glut of weekly theory videos — most of which came nowhere close to true.” — Eric Ting, read more

“Young Rock”

“Filmed during 2020 in Australia, the show revolves around Dwayne Johnson running for president in 2032, an idea that he hasn’t ruled out in real life. In a series of promotional TV interviews for his fictitious campaign, he recounts stories from his past, which are re-enacted by Uli Latukefu, as well as Adrian Groulx (at age 10) and Bradley Constant (age 15). The show has drawn the largest audience of any NBC comedy since 2017.” — Dan Gentile, read more

“The Great Escapists”

“In Tory Belleci’s new Amazon Prime show, ‘The Great Escapists,’ the former ‘Mythbusters’ alum finds himself shipwrecked on a desert island alongside ‘Top Gear’ host Richard Hammond. The goal is to find a way back to civilization, but unlike the typical Bear Grylls outdoor adventure, surviving is the easy part. ‘We figure out water, food and shelter straight away. The real challenge is how do we deal with the boredom of being stuck on this island,’ says Belleci over Zoom.” Dan Gentile, read more

“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”

An exception to the new trend, a blend of the old and new, is the NBC musical comedy-drama ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,’ which returned for season two on Jan. 5. ‘Zoey’s’ doesn’t use a traditional theme; instead, members of the cast cover a pop hit in a prelude to the title screen. The camera then focuses on Zoey (Jane Levy) who usually mouths a curse word, censored by the show’s title card.” Adam Duke, read more

Plus here’s some favorites from 2020


“If you were a kid in the 1990s, you likely fell into one of two camps of cartoon worship. You either kneeled at the altar of ‘Ren & Stimpy,’ or you looked up to the Warner Bros. water tower that housed Wakko Warner, Yakko Warner and their sister Dot.” Dan Gentile, read more


“Ted Lasso”

“Like ‘Parks & Rec’ or ‘The Office,’ there’s something special and rare about a show that’s truly rewatchable. With ‘Ted Lasso,’ I’ve found myself running it back on specific episodes to elicit a feeling I very specifically associate with that episode — one that somehow isn’t lessened even when I know exactly what’s going to happen. I get the same chills from the highs, the same emotional outpouring from the lows, and I still laugh at that ‘Step Brothers’ joke every single time.” Grant Marek, read more


“Unless you’re Norwegian, it’s not surprising if you missed Netflix’s ‘Norsemen.’ The first season premiered on Norway’s biggest channel in 2016 and won their equivalent of a Golden Globe before catching the eye of Netflix, which will release Season 3 of the series on July 22. A clever marketing plan targeting cities with large Norwegian populations bumped it up in the service’s recommendation algorithm; however, the show’s cover image likely kept it from broader audiences because it still looks like any other deadly serious ‘Thrones’ clone like ‘Witcher’ or … ‘Vikings.'” Dan Gentile, read more

“Love Life”

“The show follows Kendrick as a lovelorn single twenty-something navigating these relationships in the fertile/futile dating pool of New York City. Think of it as a female-led ‘Master of None’ that swaps Aziz Ansari’s beta hipster escapades with a sincerity that doesn’t turn too syrupy (but like, a little syrupy). Each episode chronicles the rise and fall of a relationship, showing flirtations snowballing into coupling, then dissolving into a sad puddle of a breakup. 35 minutes later, we’ve jumped months or years ahead, skipping dry spells and showing Kendrick’s emotional growth (and lack thereof).” Dan Gentile, read more