The best stand-up comedy on Netflix (June 2018)

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

For most comedians, stand-up is revered as the purest expression of the art form. Though onstage comedy dates back to ancient Greece, contemporary stand-up has its roots in American vaudeville shows and the 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 centuries.

These days, you don’t have to buy tickets or DVDs to see good comedy — you can stream it straight to your brain from your internet pipeline. Netflix boasts an impressive collection of stand-up specials, and we’ve put together this list (in no particular order) featuring some of the best stand-up on the platform.

For more laughs, try our picks for the best comedies on Netflix. If none of this piques your interest, check out this month’s new Netflix additions.

Jerry Seinfeld– Jerry Before Seinfeld

So, what is the deal with airplane food? Netflix threw a reported $100 million at Jerry Seinfeld for streaming rights to his Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee series and two stand-up specials, and the comedian’s first effort is a return to his comedy roots. Jerry Before Seinfeld explores the comedian’s early stand-up career before he became an icon with his titular sitcom in the 1990s. The special is part documentary, part stand-up, and all hilarious confirmation that Seinfeld’s brand of humor is timeless. If you’re a die-hard Seinfeld fan who can stand laughing for nearly an hour, Jerry Before Seinfeld needs to be in your Instant Queue.

Watch it now on:

Netflix

Michael Che — Michael Che Matters

In his hourlong Netflix special, the Saturday Night Live comedian throws you into the most uncomfortable situations and guides you out along a trail of jokes. The sullen face and sharp wit that power Che’s SNL Weekend Update bits are on full display as he tackles racism, gun control, and the confusing theory that evil people from different eras go to the same hell. You know, all of the tough topics we all think about. Che’s subject matter — and his lack of political correctness — is definitely liable to offend some people, but we’d rather see him confront such issues than skirt around them.

Watch it now on:

Netflix

Kevin Hart — What Now?

Anyone who told you that stand-up comedy and action films have nothing in common clearly never watched Kevin Hart’s latest special. Hart is as physically active onstage as anyone you’ll find, and the first 15 minutes of his 2016 performance sees him pissing Don Cheadle off during a game of poker, fighting evil henchmen with Halle Berry, and cleaning blood off himself before jettisoning from under the Lincoln Financial Field stage in Philadelphia. Once he starts, it’s an avalanche of humorous tidbits about his son being afraid of a glow-in-the-dark Batman, a scary experience while viewing The Conjuring, and what exactly a “preemie week” is.

Watch it now on:

Netflix

Aziz Ansari — Buried Alive

Aziz Ansari’s explosive energy and excellent comedic timing help make this special 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 Netflix series Master of None — display the diverse writing chops that go along with his natural talent. 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

Tig Notaro — Happy to Be Here

If you’re unfamiliar with Tig Notaro, get familiar, because she’s both a wickedly funny comedian and an inspiration to cancer patients everywhere. In 2012, following a breast cancer diagnosis, Notaro took to the stage to air her grievances in a legendary set at L.A’s Largo club. Later, despite the fact that Louis C.K. sold copies of that Largo performance to raise money for Notaro, she used her series One Mississippi as a platform to call upon women to make their voices heard, prompting investigations that submarined C.K.’s career. In Happy to Be Here, as the title implies,Notaro is more jovial than ever, happily joking about her gender identity and performing bits of goofy physical comedy without any hint of hesitation. It’s both hilarious and heartwarming, and if you like comedy, you should see it.

Watch it now on:

Netflix

Neal Brennan — 3 Mics

If you were a fan of Chappelle’s Show  — and who wasn’t? — you’re probably a Neal Brennan fan, even if you didn’t know it. Brennan, who worked on the show as both a writer and producer, is best known as Chappelle’s creative co-pilot, but he’s also more than capable behind the microphone. The aptly named 3 Mics sees the comic alternating between three separate styles of performance. At the first mic, Brennan reads one-liners off of cue cards. At the second mic, he tells sincere stories about his life and his insecurities, temporarily abandoning comedy to give the show a sense of weight and authenticity. At the third mic, he performs traditional stand-up, with long builds in story form. In doing so, Brennan manages to make you feel for him, creating a sense of authenticity that’s often missing from comedy shows. Plus, he’s really funny.

Watch it now on:

Netflix

Fred Armisen — Standup for Drummers

Rarely (if ever) will you see a stand-up special targeted toward such a niche subject or group of people. Fred Armisen — he of Saturday Night Live and Portlandia fame — doesn’t care. As the drummer and bandleader for Seth Meyers’ late-night house band (and, formerly, Chicago punk outfit Trenchmouth), Armisen is uniquely equipped to write drumming-related jokes, which he does with expertise and aplomb. The special is also definitely funny for the drumming impaired, thanks to Armisen’s incredible physical comedy abilities and his generally hilarious vibe, but most of the jokes will land better for those who hit stuff with sticks for a living.

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 preshow 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

Chris Rock — Tamborine

The first of two comedy specials Rock will produce for Netflix as part of a very lucrative dealTamborine combines the kind of social awareness we’ve come to expect from contemporary stand-up performances with some more intimate, sensitive material. The first half of the program sees Rock skewering the “All Lives Matter” movement and commenting on the experience of being black in contemporary America; he hits mostly familiar notes, but with the same verve and vocal affectations that shot him to stardom in the first place. Later, he considers his personal shortcomings, exploring the many reasons behind his marriage’s failure, including admissions of a borderline porn addiction and a tendency toward arrogance. It’s an uneven show (directed by Bo Burnham), but if you like Rock’s comedy, it should hit home.

Watch it now on:

Netflix

Sarah Silverman — A Speck of Dust

While Sarah Silverman hasn’t completely abandoned the shock-value jokes that put her on the map — and, let’s be real, she probably never will — A Speck of Dust sees the now-40-something comedian slowing her roll a bit, mixing some charm and sincerity into the acid vat. Silverman’s newest offering touches on a litany of personal subjects, including the death of a beloved pet, and imbues some of her routines with a biting sense of self-awareness that effectively serves new material while deconstructing the old. If you’re here for the gross-out punchlines, they’re still around, but it no longer feels like the focus of her comedy, and we appreciate it.

Watch it now on:

Netflix

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Laptop screen extenders and self-healing tents

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in July, from ‘Arrested Development’ to ‘Mad Men’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Virtual Reality

Got a Gear VR headset? These are the apps and games you've got to try

Before you put on your new Gear VR headset, you should know which apps and games are worth downloading. Whether you're a fan of documentaries or arcade games, here's a list of the best Gear VR apps and games to be had.
Photography

The magic hour creates magic photos. Here’s how to capture dreamy stunners

The golden hour, a.k.a. the magic hour, is a special time for photographers that happens twice a day. Here are some simple tips for making the most of this time to capture stunning portraits, landscapes, and the like.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in July 2018, from ‘Coco’ to ‘Jurassic Park’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Mobile

If you're looking for a good laugh, here are more than 60 questions to ask Siri

Siri has come a long way since her first appearance on the iPhone 4S in 2011. We know she can make appointments and give directions, did you know she can make you laugh too? If you want proof, here are lots of funny questions to ask Siri.
Movies & TV

15 epic sci-fi novels you should read before they become blockbuster films

You can get ahead of the next crop of science-fiction movies coming out of Hollywood by picking up the books that inspired them. We compiled a list of books you can add to your reading list now to get a glimpse of the future.
Gaming

Watch Nathan Fillion’s superb ‘Uncharted’ fan film right now

Nathan Fillion looks a whole lot like Nathan Drake; fans of Uncharted have said that for years. Now you can watch Fillion play the adventurer in a superb 15-minute fan film that will have you wishing it was a full movie.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Bask in the glory of your home theater with these 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays

What good is a 4K TV if you don't have the means of pushing it to its limits? Here are our favorite 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, all of which are nothing short of stunning. It'll make you wonder why you haven't always watched movies this way.
Home Theater

Still wondering why you should buy a smart TV? Here's what you should consider

If you've been living under a rock, you might wonder: What is a smart TV, anyway? Lucky for you stone-dwellers, we've put together a quick-hit guide to teach you everything you need to know about televisions with big brains.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

New looks at 'The Walking Dead' and 'Star Trek: Discovery' debut at Comic-Con

Comic-Con always means the premiere of some of the biggest movie trailers and television previews of the year. From Aquaman and Venom to Star Trek: Discovery and The Walking Dead, here is what we're most excited about this year.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Gaming

The best PlayStation 4 games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Home Theater

Here's how to preserve your precious VHS memories in a modern format

There's no reason you should have to lose those precious home videos just because VHS is a dying format. Here, we'll show you how to convert VHS tapes to a digital format, and save those memories forever.
Movies & TV

‘Iron Fist’ season 2 premiere date and teaser trailer revealed at Comic-Con

The first teaser trailer for Iron Fist season 2 reveals that Finn Jones will return to Netflix as Marvel Comics' popular kung fu superhero Danny Rand in September, and offers a peek at what's to come for the show.
Movies & TV

First photos from 'Star Trek: Discovery' season 2 debut during Comic-Con

The crew of the U.S.S. Discovery will return for more adventures on CBS All Access in the near future. Here's everything we know about Star Trek: Discovery season 2, from the cast and themes to the season premiere.
Music

Listen up! These are the best movie soundtracks of all time

Whether you're a lover of beautifully composed original scores or a fan of perfectly compiled background music, these are the best movie soundtracks of all time — from Star Wars to Garden State.
Movies & TV

First footage from 'It: Chapter Two' says to bring your 'adult diapers'

A second film based on Stephen King's novel It hits theaters in September 2019. Here's everything we know about It: Chapter 2, which is set 27 years after the events of 2017's box-office blockbuster, It.
Movies & TV

Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' gets a new release date

Quentin Tarantino's ninth feature film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, uses the infamous 1969 Manson murders as a backdrop to tell a story set in bohemian Los Angeles. Here's everything we know so far.
Home Theater

Don’t wake the baby! How to connect headphones to a TV

Do you need to connect a pair of headphones to your TV? Our handy guide will show you how to hook up your headphones in a variety of ways, whether you're using wired headphones, wireless headphones, or gaming headsets.
1 of 2