In the realm of so-called “prestige entertainment,” comedy all-too-often gets written-off as being “too goofy” or “not serious enough.” Just think about how many comedy actors have had to take on more dramatic roles before winning an Oscar. But as true fans of the genre know, comedy is indeed high art.
Comics—well, good ones at least—don’t merely rely on cheap laughs, but rather smart, well-crafted hits that must not only strike a social nerve but be relatable to crowds of people, whether they’re in a live audience or at home watching TV. The best comedians even manage to transcend time, thinking up classic punchlines that can be enjoyed by generations to come. As for right now, you can catch some of the greats (of both past and present) streaming on Netflix.