Home > Movies & TV > Take refuge from the cold with these red-hot…

Take refuge from the cold with these red-hot comedy specials on Netflix

For most comedians, stand-up comedy is revered as the purist expression of the art form. Though onstage comedy dates back to ancient Greece, contemporary stand-up has its roots in American vaudeville shows and British music halls of the 19th century. From Mark Twain to Kevin Hart, talented orators — regardless of style, race, or gender — have entertained audiences with laughter across the decades.

More: Dave Chappelle continues comeback with three Netflix comedy specials

Today, many of comedy’s biggest names have made their way to the red-and-black halls of Netflix. The streaming heavyweight now boasts a sizable collection of stand-up specials, both recorded exclusively for Netflix and licensed from other networks. If you’re in the mood for some laughs, a stand-up special is a great choice, especially if you don’t want to commit to a new TV show or feature-length movie. Netflix’s diverse catalog can be daunting, though, so we’ve put together this alphabetized list that features some of the best comedy shows currently streaming on the platform. Don’t blame us if your knees end up sore.

Aziz Ansari — Buried Alive

You’d be hard-pressed to find a “best Netflix comedy specials” list without Buried Alive on it, and for good reason. Aziz Ansari’s explosive energy and excellent comedic timing help make this one of our favorites, and he supplements his natural comedic tendencies with a real dedication to research and writing. Though fans of Parks and Rec know Ansari best as the hyperactive Tom Haverford, his stand-up specials — and his popular scripted comedy Master of None — display his diverse comedy chops. Whether he’s in the middle of a well-rehearsed monologue or taking quick-witted jabs at the spectators in the front row, he always seems within himself and on top of his game.

Watch it now on:

Netflix

Mike Birbiglia — My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

Mike Birbiglia My Girlfriend's Boyfriend

While some comics depend on raunchy or ridiculous subject matter, Mike Birbiglia thrives on the ordinary. Nearly all of his material — whether true or not — stems from everyday situations that we’ve all experienced at some point. This particular show is full of stories about past relationships that would be depressing if Birbiglia wasn’t the one telling them. Predictably, each of these doomed relationships plays out as a preamble to the one he now shares with his wife, Jen. Birbiglia’s casual demeanor imbues the show with a sense of authenticity, too, as if he actually has no idea how he gets into these situations. The show flows so naturally that, at times, you feel like you’re just listening to a story from a friend at a cocktail party, despite the large audience.

Watch it now on:

Netflix

Bo Burnham — what.

Bo Burnham what.

Bo Burnham, one of the earliest products of the YouTube generation, brings together cynicism, self-deprecation, and musical talent in what. The show features the 23-year-old comic ruminating on a number of topics, ranging from his own sexual preferences to God’s perspective on mankind. Burnham also performs several musical numbers alongside traditional material, and even mimes masturbation in a segment called “Beating Off in A Minor (the key, not the felony).” Quick witted and relatable, the show sees him reflecting on his own identity, both individually and within society as a whole, and skewering cultural trends that most of us have come to accept as the norm.

Watch it now on:

Netflix

Bill Burr — I’m Sorry You Feel That Way

This black-and-white Netflix exclusive is a microcosm of Bill Burr’s comedy: simple, honest, and straight to the point. Burr dispenses with the pre-show theatrics that dot many contemporary comedy specials, and gets right down to business. In this case, “business” is 80 minutes of Burr saying whatever he wants, and it’s absolutely hilarious. Despite the title, Bill really doesn’t care how you feel about, well, pretty much anything. He’s uniformly unafraid of broaching topics like how local weather affects interracial relationships (his wife is black), and his borderline-arrogant attitude works to drive the show forward. Burr is simultaneously approachable and intimidating, with a fast-paced New England accent that perfectly underlines his comedic style.

Watch it now on:

Netflix

Louis C.K — Hilarious

Choosing a Louis C.K. special is like choosing the best original Star Wars film; people might argue with your selection, but there’s really no wrong answer. The acerbic comedian, writer, and producer earned four Emmy nominations for this 2013 HBO special, winning one to bring his grand total to six (plus two Grammys and a Peabody Award). Though C.K.’s brutal honesty has been co-opted by many comedians since his rise to fame, no one does it quite like Louis. In Hilarious, everyone’s favorite cynic mulls over common issues — parenting, finding love, dealing with contemporary technology — with the same combination of self-deprecation and bitter faithlessness that catapulted him into comedy’s A-list. It’s a must-watch for any fans of the true art of comedy.

Watch it now on:

Netflix

1 of 3