Classic Black TV comedies you can stream right now

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·6 min read
Classic Black TV comedies you can stream right now
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Moesha, Girlfriends, Sister, Sister, More Classic Black Comedies are Headed to Netflix

Netflix is ready to transport its audience to an era that was COVID-19 free and laughs were much easier to find.

Long overdue, streaming services have been blessing us with a never-ending treasure trove of Black comedies we've grown up loving and still watch today. This includes classics that feature some of today's household names like Jamie Foxx, Tracee Ellis Ross, Will Smith and more.

If you need help finding your way into a binge, EW has the hook up with 12 of the best Black comedies available on streaming from Peacock, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BET+, Netflix, and HBO Max. Throw away those weekend plans immediately.

Everybody Hates Chris (streaming on Peacock)

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Starring: Terry Crews as dad Julius, Tyler James Williams as son Chris, Tichina Arnold as mom Rochelle, Tequan Richmond as Drew, Imani Hakim as Tonya, and Vincent Martella as Chris's friend Greg.

Comedian Chris Rock created Everybody Hates Chris as a comedic take on his own childhood. The show ran from 2005-2009, earning a Golden Globe nomination in 2006 for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.

Girlfriends (streaming on Netflix)

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Starring: Tracee Ellis Ross as lawyer Joan Carol Clayton, Golden Brooks as Maya Denise Wilkes, Persia White as Lynn Ann Searcy, Jill Marie Jones as Antoinette "Toni" Marie Childress-Garrett, and Reggie Hayes as William Jerome Dent.

Girlfriends ran from 2000-2008 (UPN season 1-6, CW seasons 7-8), following a group of highly ambitious women who navigate the trials and tribulations of friendship, love and maintaining a satisfying career while still living your dreams.

Living Single (streaming on Hulu)

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Starring: Queen Latifah as magazine editor Khadijah James, Kim Fields as Khadija's childhood friend Regina "Regine" Hunter, Erika Alexander as attorney Maxine "Max" Felice Shaw, and Kim Coles as aspiring actress Synclaire James-Jones.

Living Single ran on FOX from 1993-1998. On The Late Late Show With James Corden, Latifah said Living Single inspired an NBC executive to start the hit sitcom Friends. "If you're going to rock it, that's the way to do it," she said.

The Game (streaming on Peacock)

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Starring: Tia Mowry as Melanie Barnett-Davis, a doctor and wife to fictional pro football player Derwin Davis, played by Pooch Hall, Brittany Daniel as Kelly Pitts, Coby Bell as Kelly's husband and star wide receiver Jason Pitts, and Hosea Chanchez as star quarterback Malik Wright.

The Game ran from 2006-2015 (The CW season 1-3, BET seasons 4-9). The dramedy followed the lives of the hard-working women married into the ego-driven world of pro football. Aldis Hodge (Jim Brown in One Night in Miami) starred in the pilot, but was later swapped for Pooch Hall for the rest of the season and series.

Moesha (streaming on Netflix)

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Starring: Brandy as Moesha Mitchell, a stereotype-smashing high schooler who aspires to be a woman of the new Millenium, Countess Vaughn as bestie Kimberly Parker, Sheryl Lee Ralph as stepmom Dee Mitchell, Marcus T. Paulk as younger brother Myles Mitchell, and William Allen Young as father Frank Mitchell.

The UPN hit ran for six seasons from 1996-2001, coinciding with Brandy's meteoric rise as an R&B singer (1998's "The Boy Is Mine" spent 13 weeks atop the Billboard charts.) The show featured the likes of Gabrielle Union and Usher as guest stars early on in their careers.

Family Matters (streaming on Hulu)

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Starring: Jaleel White as notorious nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel, Reginald VelJohnson as father of the house Carl Winslow, Darius McCrary as son Eddie Winslow, Kellie Shanygne Williams Jackson as daughter Laura Winslow, and Joe Marie Payton as mother Harriette.

Family Matters ran for nine seasons from 1989-1998 (ABC for the first eight, then CBS for the final). The show quickly gained steam behind breakout character Urkel, who became known for the coyish "Did I do that?" and his suave alter-ego Stefan. (See EW's 2017 reunion with the cast.)

The Bernie Mac Show (streaming on Hulu)

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Starring: The late great Bernie Mac as dad Bernie McCullough, Kellita Smith as wife Wanda, Niecy Nash as Bernie's sister (season 3-5), Anthony Anderson as father of Bernie's niece Bryanna, Bryan (season 5).

The Bernie Mac Show premiered in 2001 with a unique take on the nuclear family sitcom: Bernie's character takes in his sister's children after she is taken into rehab. The Bernie Mac Show was created by comedian Larry Wilmore, best known for being a longtime correspondent on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and later co-creator of HBO's Insecure.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (streaming on HBO Max)

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Starring: Will Smith as a West Philadelphia teen named Will who moves to California to live with wealthy relatives, James Avery as Uncle Phil Banks, Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks, Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks, Tatyana Ali as Ashley Banks, Joseph Marcell as beloved butler Geoffrey, and first Janet Hubert and later Daphne Maxwell Reid as Aunt Viv.

Fresh Prince ran from six seasons (1990-96) on NBC, making us fall in love with Will Smith the actor and Carlton the dancer.

Sister, Sister (streaming on Netflix)

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Starring: Tia and Tamera Mowry as Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell, Detroit-area twins separated at adoption but brought back together after the fateful "sweater-sweatshirt" mixup at the local mall, Jackée Harry as Tia's adoptive mother Lisa Landry Sims, Tim Reid as Tamera's adoptive father Ray, and Marques Houston as the boy next door, Roger.

Sister, Sister ran on ABC (seasons 1-2) and the WB (seasons 3-6) from 1994 to 1999. Brittany Murphy starred as one of Tia and Tamera's best friends in the first season, but became unavailable after booking her role in Clueless.

The Boondocks (streaming on HBO Max)

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Starring: Regina King as brothers Riley and Huey Freeman and John Witherspoon as Grandad Freeman.

The Boondocks has become an animated cult classic for portraying a Black family navigating life in a predominately white neighborhood. The show originally ran on Adult Swim from 2005 to 2014.

The Jamie Foxx Show (streaming on BET+)

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Starring: Jamie Foxx as aspiring Hollywood actor Jamie King, original SNL cast member Garrett Morris as Junior King, and Garcelle Beauvais as love interest Fancy Monroe

The Jamie Foxx Show debuted on the WB in 1996, showcasing to audiences the triple threat of Foxx on his own after first breaking out a few years earlier as a cast member on In Living Color. Foxx's stardom catapulted during this time, with big-screen star turns in Booty Call, Any Given Sunday, and Ali alongside Will Smith.

A Different World (streaming on Amazon Prime Video)

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Starring: Lisa Bonet as Denise Huxtable (season 1), Jasmine Guy as Whitley Marion Gilbert, Kadeem Hardison as Dwayne Cleofis Wayne, Marisa Tomei as Maggie Lauten (season 1), Sinbad as Coach Walter Oakes (seasons 2-4), and Jada Pinkett Smith as Lena James (seasons 5-6).

A Different World began as a Cosby Show spin-off following daughter Denise to Hillman, a fictional historically Black college, but when Bonet became pregnant in real life (with daughter Zoe Kravitz) Bill Cosby felt audiences wouldn't accept her character as an unwed mother and Bonet was kicked off the show before the second season.

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