10 Comedies We Can’t Wait to See in 2023
Who knows what the new year will have in store for us? But at least we can take a little comfort in mapping out some potentially great comedies coming our way. From highly anticipated stand-up specials to amusing summer blockbusters to the return of beloved cult series, 2023 has a little bit of everything on tap.
In alphabetical order, let’s highlight the 10 most promising prospects…
Barbie (July 21st)
Amidst all the summer’s high-profile event movies — the latest Mission: Impossible, Christopher Nolan’s somber Oppenheimer — perhaps the film that’s most intriguing is about a Mattel doll. Yes, Barbie will star Margot Robbie as the iconic toy, who goes on an epic quest, with Ryan Gosling playing Ken. (Will Ferrell, Issa Rae, Michael Cera and America Ferrera are also part of the ensemble.) Warner Bros. has kept the plot mostly secret, letting the movie’s ultra-colorful look and starry cast serve as the selling points. That’s more than enough to get us hooked — plus, the film’s directed and co-written by Greta Gerwig, responsible for the Oscar-winning Lady Bird. If this hits, Barbie could be one of the year’s funniest and most delightful films. Lord knows Gerwig’s already more than halfway there: You couldn’t have asked for a better Barbie and Ken.
Ali Wong has delivered a series of great recent stand-up specials, not to mention co-starring in and co-writing the 2019 rom-com Always Be My Maybe. Her next project will be a little darker, though: She’ll be in Beef with Steven Yeun, playing characters who, according to Variety, “let a road rage incident burrow into their minds and slowly consume their every thought and action.” The Netflix series was created by Lee Sung Jin, a writer on Dave who was Emmy-nominated for his work on Silicon Valley. Beef is described as a comedy-drama, so it’s hard to know for sure how outright funny it’ll be. Still, the involvement of Wong and Yeun — who was hilarious in last year’s Nope — suggests there’s going to be room for humor in what certainly sounds like an intense premise.
You’d better not be tired of Pete Davidson, because he’s not going anywhere. The current Taco Bell pitchman and permanent tabloid fixture has demonstrated he’s a solid actor thanks to films like The King of Staten Island, and now he’ll be starring in his own series. Premiering on Peacock later this year, Bupkis was described in Deadline as “a heightened, fictionalized version of Davidson’s real life. The series will combine grounded storytelling with absurd elements from the unfiltered and completely original worldview for which Pete is well known.”
Davidson, who also co-wrote the series, is joined by some heavy hitters, including Edie Falco as his mom and Joe Pesci as his grandfather. (If that wasn’t enough, Charlie Day, Brad Garrett, Ray Romano and Kenan Thompson are also putting in appearances.) Bupkis has been rumored to be Curb-esque, and there’s no denying Davidson has fashioned a popular persona that will draw viewers. The question is whether he’ll be able to carry a whole show.
Chris Rock: Selective Outrage (March 4th)
Perhaps you heard that Chris Rock had a memorable 2022. Ever since being the recipient of The Slap at last year’s Oscars, the comedian has been busy touring, very occasionally referencing his altercation with Will Smith. So expectations are high that he’ll finally make his most public comments during Selective Outrage, his new Netflix stand-up special — which is the streaming platform’s first live special. He remains a titan of the form, with his last special, Tamborine, appearing on Netflix five years ago. But even those with only a passing interest in Rock will want to tune in: Who wouldn’t be curious to hear what Rock has to say nearly a year after he and Smith tangled?
Clone High (TBD)
Before Phil Lord and Christopher Miller became famous as the guys who brought 21 Jump Street to the big screen — or masterminded The Lego Movie — they were buddies in college hatching the idea for a series that was a riff on teen dramas such as Dawson’s Creek, except it was about the clones of historical figures. In the early 2000s, with the help of Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence, the short-lived Clone High became a reality, finding a cult audience before getting axed. But in November, after years of hinting at a revamp, Lord announced that a new season of Clone High will be coming out in 2023 through HBO Max. No word yet on when, exactly, we’ll see the show, but hopefully Will Forte and the rest of the original voice cast will be back for this revival.
Mrs. American Pie (TBD)
Bridesmaids proved that Kristen Wiig could do more grounded comedy. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar demonstrated her ability to be deeply weird. Tonally, where will Mrs. American Pie reside? Based on the Juliet McDaniel beach-read novel, this Apple TV+ series is set in the early 1970s, when have-not Maxine (Wiig) tries to enter the world of upper-crust Palm Beach society. Billed as a “story about gorgeously impossible people,” this comedy miniseries will be executive-produced by Laura Dern, who’s going to co-star alongside Allison Janney, Ricky Martin and Carol Burnett. That’s an eclectic cast, and the hope is that Mrs. American Pie gives Wiig a Big Little Lies-esque vehicle — albeit without the dead bodies, we assume.
Next Goal Wins (September 22th)
Taika Waititi has become comedy royalty in recent years, directing the smash Thor: Ragnarok and then winning an Oscar for his Hitler satire Jojo Rabbit. Even if last year’s Thor: Love and Thunder was a disappointment, his involvement with the well-reviewed Our Flag Means Death only continued his hit streak. He returns in 2023 with this underdog sports comedy based on actual events: In the buildup to the 2014 World Cup, the pitiful American Samoa soccer team hired an unconventional coach, Thomas Rongen, to turn their fortunes around.
Based on the documentary of the same name, Next Goal Wins stars Oscar-nominee Michael Fassbender and definitely looks like the kind of crowd-pleasing sports comedy that audiences can’t get enough of. “It's basically the Cool Runnings of soccer” is how Waititi described it, which may be all the enticement viewers need.
Party Down (February 24)
It’s been 13 years since a new episode of Party Down aired, and in that time the Starz series’ stature has only grown, with several of its cast members going on to bigger, starrier roles. Naturally, there’s been a steady drumbeat from hardcore fans hoping for a revival ever since, which always leaves me with mixed feelings. Sure, it would be great to get more Party Down, but sometimes a show’s magic is hard to replicate, even if you bring everyone back. (Look no further than Arrested Development: The later seasons had their moments, but time had passed, and the special alchemy wasn’t quite there anymore.) Nonetheless, let’s be optimistic that Adam Scott and his co-stars will prove us wrong, reviving that dreary catering company and its miserable employees, the show’s wit and low-key poignancy still intact.
Ted Lasso (TBD)
The second season of Ted Lasso ended with some cliffhangers, but the real suspense has taken place since the Emmy-winning comedy-drama stopped airing new episodes in late 2021. Production delays kept the third season from debuting in 2022, as was initially expected, and then there’s the question of whether this will be the show’s final season. (“I think the only person who can give an answer is Jason (Sudeikis),” co-star Jeremy Swift said recently. “And I don’t think even he knows.”) Plus, there’s been the added drama of the very public end of Sudeikis’ relationship to actor/director Olivia Wilde, which has grabbed headlines for some of the silliest reasons.
All of that speculation and gossip only adds more pressure to a show already facing huge expectations. Love or hate Ted Lasso, it became a zeitgeist-y sensation. Can Season Three continue to build on that momentum? And if this is the end, will Ted Lasso go out as triumphantly as it came in?
You Hurt My Feelings (TBD)
In 2013, writer-director Nicole Holofcener released Enough Said, a sweet, funny, sad rom-com for adults, which starred Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini as divorced single parents who decide to start dating. Ten years later, Holofcener reunites with the former Seinfeld star for a film that has a killer premise. Louis-Dreyfus plays Beth, a writer who’s been working on her latest novel for years, encouraged by her loving husband Don (Tobias Menzies) — but then, one day, she accidentally overhears Don admitting to someone that, actually, he thinks her book isn’t very good.
Billed as a comedy about insecurity and narcissism, You Hurt My Feelings should strike a chord with anyone who’s had to lie in a relationship to protect their partner’s feelings — or, conversely, discovered that their soulmate hasn’t always been truthful with them. The movie premieres at Sundance, with A24 releasing later this year. Louis-Dreyfus so rarely makes films, so it’s exciting to see what she brings to the role. If it’s not good, though, I promise not to tell her what I really think.