The 35 Best Black Comedy Movies of All Time, from 'Friday' to 'Girls Trip' – PureWow
Being raised in a household that was filled with a diverse collection of Black movies, I’ve grown to develop a deep appreciation for Black cinema. If I want to watch something that makes me think, I can turn to Spike Lee. And if I’m feeling nostalgic, it’s time to break out ‘90s classics like Soul Food and Brown Sugar. But lately, I’ve been devouring feel-good flicks that keep me laughing nonstop, from Friday to Coming to America. Keep reading for 35 of the funniest Black comedy movies you can stream on Netflix, Amazon Prime and more.
RELATED 53 Funny Lady Movies for When You Need a Good Laugh
In this comedy, Eddie Murphy shines as the overconfident ad executive and ladies’ man, Marcus Graham. When Marcus begins to work with Jacqueline Boyer (Robin Givens), the new head of his department, he realizes that she’s exactly like him, and when they begin to date, he’s totally put off by her behavior. Fortunately, there may be hope for him yet, as he starts to fall for Jacqueline’s thoughtful colleague, Angela (Halle Berry). Expect Murphy to provide non-stop laughs.
After Craig Jones (Ice Cube) gets fired from his job for stealing, he spends his Friday hanging out with his best friend and drug peddler, Smokey (Chris Tucker). As the day rolls on, we get some insight into their everyday life in South-Central L.A., which has no shortage of drug addicts and drive-by shootings. Craig and Smoke find themselves in a number of funny situations that will definitely make you chuckle.
Another stand-out comedy starring Ice Cube? The iconic Barbershop, which centers on his character, Calvin Palmer Jr. who inherits his late father’s struggling barbershop—despite having no interest in taking over the business. He immediately decides to sell the shop to a loan shark, but after realizing how much this place means to the community, Calvin has a change of heart. Cedric the Entertainer, who plays Eddie Walker, is remarkable in this one.
After serving two years in jail for a diamond heist, Miles Logan is free and ready to retrieve his treasure from its hiding place. The only problem? That location has been turned into a police station. Determined to get his loot back, Miles poses as “Detective Malone” to infiltrate the building, leading to plenty of hilarious moments.
In one of his most iconic roles, Eddie Murphy plays Prince Akeem, the wealthy African prince of Zamunda. After being presented with a bride that he doesn’t love, he and his partner in crime, Semmi (Arsenio Hall), travel to America to find his future queen. From smart one-liners to clever satire, you’ll be entertained from start to finish. (Oh, and did I mention that Coming to America has a sequel?!)
Is it just us, or is it impossible to hear Inner Circle’s “Bad Boys” without thinking of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence? The action-comedy follows close friends and Miami detectives Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence), who are sent out to investigate the theft of over $100 million worth of heroin from a police vault. Smith and Lawrence together are, simply put, comedy gold.
You may recognize Kid and Play from the popular hip-hop duo, Kid ‘n Play. In this film, Peter “Play” Martin (Christopher “Play” Martin) decides to throw a big party because his parents are out of town. His BFF, Christopher “Kid” Robinson, Jr. (Christopher “Kid” Reid), unfortunately gets grounded after getting into a fight at school, but because he’s determined to see his crush, he sneaks out to celebrate at one of the biggest parties of the year. Prepare for freestyle battles, make out sessions and the works.
Not only does this have laughs, but it also offers some thought-provoking commentary about race relations in America. Spike Lee’s groundbreaking film follows Mookie, a young delivery guy who works at a pizzeria in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Racial tensions rise in the neighborhood when people start to take issue with the pizzeria’s Wall of Fame exhibit, which features exactly zero Black actors. (And it doesn’t help that the pizzeria’s owner, Sal Fragione (Danny Aiello) is hesitant to make any changes).
Yes, that’s probably the longest movie title you’ll ever see in your life, but don’t let that detail faze you. The entire film essentially pokes fun at cliché, coming-of-age films that center on African Americans from poor neighborhoods. Shawn and Marlon Wayans will have you laughing from start to finish.
Meet Eva Dandrige (Gabrielle Union). While she only wants the best for her three little sisters, her approach can be a bit much—and the sisters’ boyfriends aren’t happy about it. In an attempt to get Eva off their backs, the three men hire a professional player named Ray (LL Cool J) to seduce her—but things don’t exactly go according to plan.
Join the Flossy Posse as they reunite for one of the wildest trips ever. Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall), Sasha Franklin (Queen Latifah), Lisa Cooper (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Dina (Tiffany Haddish travel together to New Orleans, turning what started as a work trip into a party-filled vacation. Not only is the acting phenomenal, but these ladies will have you cracking up from start to finish.
Leslie Wright (Queen Latifah) gets the job of a lifetime as a physical therapist for basketball star Scott McKnight (Common). It’s not long before Leslie catches feelings, but unfortunately for her, Scott is too busy focusing on her gorgeous friend, Morgan (Paula Patton), to notice. If you’re a big fan of cutesy rom-coms, then this is a must-watch.
The crime comedy was written and directed by Eddie Murphy, who also stars alongside the legendary Richard Pryor. Set in 1918 Harlem, the movie follows Sugar Ray (Pryor) and his adopted son, Quick (Murphy), who run a nightclub together. After a dangerous competitor learns that their establishment is earning more money than his own club, he hires a dirty cop to try and close them down.
Based on the true story of the Jamaica national bobsleigh team’s debut at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Canada, Cool Runnings follows a group of four Jamaican athletes who dream of competing in the Olympics as a bobsled team—even though they’ve never experienced the cold. It’s as inspiring as it is funny.
When Harper Stewart (Taye Diggs), reunites with his squad for their friend Lance’s (Morris Chestnut) wedding, he desperately tries to prevent the groom from reading his juicy new novel, which happens to include details that could jeopardize everything. To make matters even more complicated, Harper learns that his ex, Jordan Armstrong (Nia Long), has an advance copy of his book.
Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan are simply a delight to watch in this action comedy—and the action sequences are pretty amazing. When a Chinese diplomat’s daughter is kidnapped for a huge ransom, Hong Kong Detective Inspector Yan Naing Lee (Jackie Chan) teams up with Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) to crack the case. As expected, they don’t get along, but with a young girl’s life at stake, they must overcome their differences and get her back.
Former detective Andre Shame (Keenen Ivory Wayans) is down on his luck. Despite taking on a number of dangerous jobs as a private investigator, he simply can’t afford to keep his firm afloat. But when an old officer from his past informs Shame that there’s a break in his unsolved case, he jumps at the opportunity to finish what he started.
Critics might have hated the film, but trust me when I say this film will elicit some big laughs. In Black Knight, Martin Lawrence plays Jamal Walker, a slacker who works at the Medieval World Amusement Park. While on the job, he stumbles upon a shiny medallion, and when he tries to take it, he’s magically transported to 1328 England. We’ll leave it at that.
Four tight-knit friends, Dominic (Michael Ealy), Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara), Michael (Terrence J) and Zeke (Romany Malco), are caught off-guard when they learn that their girlfriends have been taking advice from Steve Harvey’s book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. In response, the men conspire to use the book’s advice to turn the tables, except it only leads to more problems. Incredible ensemble cast aside, Think Like a Man packs a lot of laughs and some swoon-worthy moments.
Two New Yorkers, Ray Gibson (Eddie Murphy) and Claude Banks (Martin Lawrence), travel to Mississippi on a bootlegging mission to pay off a large debt. But when they get there, the two are framed for murder and sentenced to prison for the rest of their lives. While serving time, they try to overcome their differences and to prove their innocence. While the plot does sound rather dark, there’s no shortage of funny moments.
This Barbershop spin-off follows Gina (Queen Latifah), a popular hairstylist who quits her job and decides to start her own business. Unfortunately, a number of issues threaten the success of her salon, and it’s all because of her jealous former boss, who’s determined to bring her down.
Andre Ellis (Taye Diggs) and Sidney Shaw (Sanaa Lathan) have been close friends since childhood, and it’s largely due to their shared passions for hip-hop. Both turn out to be successful adults with careers in the industry, but when they try to embark on romantic relationships with other people, they finally begin to realize they may have feelings for each other. Prepare to laugh and catch all the feels.
While he seems to have it all on the surface, businessman Ricard Cooper (Chris Rock) feels trapped in a boring marriage. So, when he crosses paths with an attractive ex, Nicki (Kerry Washington), he struggles to fight the temptation to cheat.
Womanizer Darnell Wright (Martin Lawrence) is in for a rude awakening when he hooks up with a stunning woman Brandi (Lynn Whitfield). When he tries to kick her to the curb like his other flings, he discovers that she’s not willing to let go without a fight.
Alex “Hitch” Hitchens (Will Smith) may be a love doctor when it comes to coaching other men, but the same can’t be said for his own romantic relationships. While his client, Albert (Kevin James), makes significant progress in winning over his dream girl, Hitch is surprised to find that his techniques aren’t working as well on his own love interest, Sara Melas (Eva Mendes). Smith is hysterical in this film, as always.
Professor Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy), who happens to be a brilliant scientist, invents a magical solution that makes him appear thinner. However, due to adverse side effects, the potion turns him into an arrogant and self-absorbed person. His new appearance seems to do wonders for his reputation, but the longer he continues to rely on his invention, the more obnoxious he gets.
Lakeith Stanfield truly stands out in this film, which will probably be one of the most unique and insightful comedies you ever watch. In the film, Stanfield plays Cassius Green, a telemarketer in Oakland, California. After struggling on the job, a co-worker encourages him to use his “white voice.” And from that point on, things start to look up for him—but it’s hard to ignore the protests of co-workers who are speaking out against capitalist greed.
After a whirlwind romance, Sabrina Watson (Paula Patton) and Jason Taylor (Laz Alonso) are engaged to be married. But when Sabrina’s upper-class parents meet Jason’s colorful family at their luxurious estate, hilarity and awkwardness ensue. Cast members include Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Mike Epps and Meagan Good.
RJ Stevens (Martin Lawrence), who was always the awkward outsider in his family, is now a major talk-show host with millions of fans. When he gets the opportunity to return home and celebrate his parents’ anniversary, RJ is determined to prove how he has grown—although this proves to be more challenging than he thought.
In this classic comedy, Eddie Murphy plays Alex Foley, a Detroit detective who’s determined to bring the killer of his best friend to justice.
It’s no wonder this movie landed on Netflix’s top ten list after it hit the platform. In this funny film, James (Charlie Sheen) helps law enforcement bring a criminal named Franklin (Chris Tucker) to justice. Franklin, however, manages to escape during his journey to prison, and when several officers are killed in the process, the authorities blame him. To help prove his innocence, he turns to James, but this only lands them both in more trouble.
When Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah), a shy cookware salesclerk, learns that she has a terminal illness, she decides to live life to the fullest. As she embarks on adventure after adventure, she also strikes up a romance with her handsome co-worker, Sean Williams (LL Cool J).
This laugh-out-loud comedy follows Deloris Van Cartier (Whoopi Goldberg), a talented singer who moves to California and poses as a nun after witnessing a crime. When she joins Saint Katherine’s Convent, Deloris is assigned to lead the convent’s choir, which she turns into a hugely successful act.
After confronting a rude woman in a public parking lot and engaging in a high-speed car chase, Madea (Tyler Perry) lands behind bars. Meanwhile, Josh Hardaway (Derek Luke), a successful attorney, takes on a new case that involves an old friend and drug addict, Candace (Keshia Knight Pulliam). However, his jealous fiancée begins to suspect that they have feelings for each other.
After ruining a drug bust, FBI agents Marcus (Marlon Wayans) and Kevin Copeland (Shawn Wayans) are forced to escort two famous white twins to the Hamptons in order to catch a kidnapper. But when this plan goes south, the agents decide to assume the identities of both sisters. This is, by far, one of the funniest movies by the Wayans brothers.
RELATED The 60 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time