We give you our ten picks for the best Sci-Fi Comedy films.
Inserting comedy into a genre film has been a Hollywood staple for decades. When done right, the result can be one of the most entertaining times at the movie theater. When it comes to sci-fi films, there are plenty of examples where this combination has not only been side-splittingly fun, but the movies also end up being some of the best in film history.
Let’s take a look at the 10 best sci-fi comedies Hollywood has to offer.
Men in Black (1997)
What makes the best of Barry Sonnenfeld sci-fi comedies work so well are its two stars, Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith (pre-slap). They are opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to personality: Jones a buttoned-up, by-the-book agent while Will Smith is more free-flowing and fun.
The laughs are high as Agent K, while impressed with the newly minted Agent J, is not too receptive to his banter. The first case they work together has them trailing a particularly nasty “bug” who loves to kill and take over human skin. Together Agents K and J do what they do, and you’ll be smiling the entire way.
Galaxy Quest (1999)
Galaxy Quest is what you get when you are looking to parody sci-fi movies and TV shows while also making it a homage to said films and TV. The film hilariously lampoons Star Trek and media of the same ilk as it tells the story of the cast of a fictional science fiction television series whose show is well past its prime. Together this group begrudgingly shows up at sci-fi conventions, sign autographs, then go back to their collective homes to sit and stew.
The laughs come quickly when Tim Allen and his castmates are mistaken for their TV counterparts and are transported to an actual alien spacecraft with the hopes that the crew can help save the alien species from a deadly threat. Allen leads the cast which includes Sigourney Weaver, the late Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Daryl Mitchell, Justin Long, and scene-stealer Sam Rockwell, who dials up the big laughs as Guy Fleegman, the “redshirt” who knows he will be the first to die. You will die laughing at one of the best sci-fi comedies ever made.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
No one really knew what to expect with this James Gunn film that brought sci-fi comedy to Marvel audiences. The film stars Chris Pratt, pitch-perfect as Peter Quill, along with Zoe Saldaña as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket. Together they form the Guardians.
The action is heavy (it IS a Marvel movie) but the laughs are plenty as the Guardians try to work together for a common cause. Quill’s sense of himself is the oftentimes laugh maker while Bautista’s turn as Drax showed a sense of humor not many knew he had. It’s one of the top sci-fi comedies that also scores big in the soundtrack department as well.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
This sci-fi comedy is based on the Douglas Adams science fiction franchise, which included a BBC series, novels, comic books, and TV series. The film, whose screenplay Adams co-wrote before he passed, stars Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, Bill Nighy, and in another unhinged sci-fi comedy performance, Sam Rockwell.
The laughs are plenty when Freeman’s Arthur Dent discovers that his friend, journalist Ford Perfect (Def), is actually an alien, on Earth to write the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Ford then warns Dent that Earth is on the verge of being obliterated so aliens can make way for a hyperspace bypass.
Rockwell delivers (when doesn’t he) as Zaphod Beeblebrox. You’ll be smiling at this fun sci-fi comedy.
You can’t utter sci-fi comedy and not include Mel Brooks’ 1987 Star Wars parody, Spaceballs. Brooks tees it up as director, co-writer, and star and leaves no stone unturned as he delivers laugh after laugh, all at the expense of Star Wars.
Bill Pullman plays Lone Starr, a mercenary (ala Han Solo) who travels the galaxy in his flying Winnebago, joined by Barf (John Candy) the “mawg” (half-man, half-dog). You know what you are going to get with a Mel Brooks film, and he doesn’t disappoint with this one. Daphne Zuniga and Joan Rivers join in the fun, but it is Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet that brings many of the laughs. This is sci-fi comedy gold.
Paul is another sci-fi comedy that fancies itself as a parody, taking shots at sci-films in general, but with a bullseye on those of Steven Spielberg. The film was written by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, whose earlier films include Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
Paul follows a couple of science fiction nerds who stumble upon an alien they call Paul (voice by Seth Rogen) and end up helping him escape the clutches of the secret service so they can get him back to his home world. Jason Bateman is on board to deliver laughs as Special Agent Lorenzo Zoil, as are Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader.
The Fifth Element (1997)
It’s not that The Fifth Element isn’t a fun and funny sci-fi comedy from the start, because it is, but the laughs truly pick up when Chris Tucker joins the fun as Ruby Rhod. The Fifth Element stars Bruce Willis as Korben Dallas, a cabbie in 2263 who picks up an unlikely passenger who cannot speak English. Little does Dallas know that his passenger, Leeloo (Mila Jovovich), is actually the Fifth Element and meant to save the world.
The humor is sly and not particularly in your face, but you will have fun. The humor jumps when Ruby Rhod arrives and trust us, if you have not seen Tucker’s performance in The Fifth Element, it is one not to be missed.
Mars Attacks! (1996)
Tim Burton brought together an A-list of stars for his sci-fi comedy Mars Attacks! and he proved he had no problem wiping them out as well. The story follows aliens from Mars, who arrive on Earth claiming to bring peace. What they bring instead is a major ass-whooping and a bunch of laughs.
Jack Nicholson leads the cast as the President of the United States and is joined by Annette Benning, Glenn Close, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Martin Short, Michael J. Fox, Natalie Portman, and football legend Jim Brown. Some stick around for the length of the film, while others don’t. One thing is for sure, though, you will grab some big laughs at this wild alien invasion.
This 1993 sci-fi comedy comes to you courtesy of Saturday Night Live. The Coneheads was a number of comedy sketches back in the heyday of SNL that starred Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtain as Beldar and Prymaat, and Lorraine Newman as their daughter Conjaab. Both Aykroyd and Curtain reprised their roles while Michelle Burke replaced Newman.
The comedy is Saturday Night Live worthy and the film, co-written by Aykroyd, includes cameos by numerous SNL vets that including Chris Farley, David Spade, Adam Sandler, Garret Morris, Phil Hartman, and Kevin Nealon. Also on board delivering laughs are Michael McKean, Sinbad, Michael Richards, Eddie Griffin, and Dave Thomas. It is a Saturday Night Live-filled sci-fi comedy.
The sci-fi comedy Idiocracy comes from the mind of Beavis and Butt-Head creator Mike Judge. It tells the story of Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson), a U.S. Army librarian who, after a botched government-funded hibernation experiment, wakes up 500 years into the future. What he finds out is that the future is full of a bunch of stupid people.
Technology, as it has developed, has made humans dumb and lazy.
Also starring with Wilson are Maya Rudolph, Justin Long, Terry Crews, and Dax Shepard. Although the film never enjoyed a wide release in movie theaters, it has since developed a cult following and is now considered to be one of the top sci-fi comedies.