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The best stand-up comedy on Netflix right now

There are plenty of comedic highlights coming to Netflix in May. There are new specials from Hannah Gadsby and Wanda Sykes, not to mention the return of the off-kilter I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson.

With new movies and shows coming to Netflix all the time, stand-up comedy is always growing. We’ve done the dirty work of curating so you can enjoy the best stand-up comedy available on the streaming service.

So pop some corn and settle in with the best stand-up comedy on Netflix right now.

Looking for something else? We’ve also rounded up the best movies on Netflix, the best movies on Hulu, the best movies on Amazon Prime, and the best movies on Disney+. For Netflix fans, check out the 10 most popular shows on Netflix right now.

Hannah Gadsby: Something Special (2023) new
Hannah Gadsby: Something Special
Genre Comedy
Stars Hannah Gadsby
Directed by Jenney Shamash
Hannah Gadsby graces the Netflix stand-up stage for the third time, this time coming from the famed Sydney Opera House in Australia. Gadsby’s first special became a phenomenon, while the second was strong as well. The third promises to deliver even more strong content while uplifting audiences. Topics will include marriage proposals, wedding cakes, and bunnies. It premieres on May 9.
Wanda Sykes: I’m An Entertainer (2023) new
Wanda Sykes: I’m An Entertainer
Genre Comedy
Stars Wanda Sykes
Directed by Linda Mendoza
The comedy legend is back at it this month with I’m An Entertainer, which premieres on the service on May 23. The hour-long special, Sykes’ second on Netflix, will see her discuss co-parenting with her French wife and the tragedy that is the public bathroom.
John Mulaney: Baby J (2023)
John Mulaney: Baby J
Genre Comedy
Stars John Mulaney
Directed by Alex Timbers
Netflix favorite John Mulaney came back with a new special, but his life is much different than the last time he graced the stand-up stage for the streamer. He is now the father to a child with actress Olivia Munn, likely the source of the special’s title, Baby J. Plus, he’s been in treatment for cocaine addiction. The new special premiered on April 25.
Chris Rock: Selective Outrage (2023)
Chris Rock: Selective Outrage
Genre Comedy
Stars Chris Rock
There’s not much to say about Selective Outrage after its March premiere. Why? It was the Chris Rock experience at its purest. It was Netflix’s first global live-streaming event. Unsurprisingly, he tackled his feelings about Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith in his first major event since last year’s Oscars, when Smith infamously hit the comedian across the face on national television. The special, filmed in Baltimore, follows Rock’s previous popular Netflix special, Tamborine.
Jim Jefferies: High n' Dry (2023)
Jim Jefferies: High n' Dry
Genre Comedy
Stars Jim Jefferies
Jim Jefferies may not be the right date-night choice for everyone, but it’s easy to assume he probably doesn’t care. In his latest special, High n’ Dry, Jefferies jumps between topics ranging from stoned koalas to his own sex drive, making the Valentine’s Day release of the special extremely on point. The 45-year-old has several specials available on Netflix, including the phenomenal Bare.
Chelsea Handler: Revolution (2022)
Chelsea Handler: Revolution
Genre Comedy
Stars Chelsea Handler
Directed by Jo Koy
After dropping Evolution on HBO in 2020, Chelsea Handler took things a step further with Revolution. Directed by comedian Jo Koy, Handler’s special dives into personal topics like dating during the pandemic and choosing not to bring a child into the world. She also hops on her soapbox regarding an important topic: why men shouldn’t wear flip-flops. Handler has a long history with Netflix, including a talk show for the streaming service.
Trevor Noah: I Wish You Would (2022)
Trevor Noah: I Wish You Would
Genre Comedy
Stars Trevor Noah
Directed by David Paul Meyer
Trevor Noah returns to the stand-up stage with I Wish You Would. The South African comedian has a worldly set, performed in Canada and touching on subjects like learning German and eating curry in Scotland. It was Noah’s first special in four years and arrived at an intriguing time for Noah, directly before he ended his run as the host of The Daily Show. Noah professed a desire to travel the world more as one of his reasons for leaving the show, and this special should provide some insight into his thought process.
Nick Kroll: Little Big Boy (2022)
Nick Kroll: Little Big Boy
Genre Comedy
Stars Nick Kroll
Directed by Bill Benz
Nick Kroll took just enough time off from making uproarious Big Mouth episodes to film a new stand-up special for Netflix. In Little Big Boy — a title that also describes the essence of his animated show — Kroll touches on heartbreak, hypnosis, and getting his start in comedy. This is Kroll’s first special for Netflix and his first stand-up special in more than a decade.
Joel Kim Booster: Psychosexual (2022)
Joel Kim Booster: Psychosexual
Genre Comedy
Stars Joel Kim Booster
Directed by Doron Max Hagay
Joel Kim Booster had a big 2022. The comedian starred in his first Netflix stand-up special as well as the Hulu movie Fire Island, and he played a part in the Apple TV+ series Loot. In Psychosexual, Booster openly talks about his sexuality, as well as how his ethnicity impacts his life. He works the crowd and makes sure to draw the line between laughter and clapter for the points he makes. Booster cemented himself as a comedian on the rise.
Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special (2022)
Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special
Genre Comedy, Documentary
Stars Norm Macdonald, Adam Sandler, Conan O'Brien
Norm Macdonald tragically passed in September 2021, but he had one more gift for his fans. Nothing Special, released posthumously, shows the comic performing a set by himself in his living room during the height of the pandemic. Self-taped, the special hits on the same smart witticisms Macdonald became known for during his career. The special also includes a featurette of comedians paying tribute to Macdonald and his legacy. Participants include Adam Sandler, Conan O’Brien, and David Letterman.
Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh (2018)
Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh
r 73m
Genre Comedy, Music
Stars Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Dan Bulla
Directed by Steven Brill
Adam Sandler is most known for his movie career, but he has tried dabbling in stand-up comedy as well. In his 2018 special 100% Fresh, Sandler reemerges from a stand-up hibernation with earnest and hilarious songs, connecting fairly easily to his audience. Sandler rocks out on the guitar but doesn’t take on the aura of an out-of-touch rockstar, instead showing a form of humility and honesty as he copes with getting older and coming to terms with the mortality of comedians. Some have declared the special one of Sandler’s, funniest and it’s hard to disagree.
Jim Gaffigan: Comedy Monster (2021)
Jim Gaffigan: Comedy Monster
Genre Comedy
Stars Jim Gaffigan
Directed by Jim Gaffigan
Jim Gaffigan’s trademark style is back on the stage in Comedy Monster. This was the comedian’s first stand-up special of 2021, the ninth of his career, and the sixth on Netflix alone; he’s prolific like that. His observational style is also unique in that he avoids cursing in most of his storytelling. This special covered the year that was, as well as the seemingly never-ending appetite for billionaires to launch themselves into space. Gaffigan has scored numerous Grammy nominations for his comedy albums en route to becoming one of the more popular comedians of his generation.
Katherine Ryan: In Trouble (2017)
Katherine Ryan: In Trouble
Genre Comedy
Stars Katherine Ryan
Directed by Colin Dench
In Trouble features Canadian comedian Katherine Ryan expounding on some dark topics and doing so in a tight set that never slows down. Her range is strong, jumping through topics from aging all the way to the popularity of Taylor Swift. She can be raunchy and cheeky but also tackles heavy subjects such as Donald Trump, showing no problem eviscerating the then-recently elected president (this was filmed in 2017).
Katherine Ryan: In Trouble | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix
Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby (2019)
Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby
Genre Comedy
Cast Seth Meyers
The former Weekend Update host and late-night talking head emerges from behind his desk to tell stories about his life, such as the time his wife had a baby in a lobby (as everyone does at one point in life). Meyers is on his A-game when talking about current events and politics, the bread-and-butter of his television stints. But Lobby Baby demonstrates another side of the comedian, one that is flawed and human and family-oriented, things that are tougher to see in his day-to-day gigs. Obviously, there’s still plenty of talk about politics, and this came out in 2019 when Donald Trump was president, but there’s a pretty clever way to skip ahead if you’re not interested in that part of the special.
Seth Meyers Netflix Standup Special Trailer - Lobby Baby - Fake Toy
James Acaster: Repertoire (2018)
James Acaster: Repertoire
Genre Comedy
Cast James Acaster
James Acaster’s four-part collection of stand-up routines was released to Netflix back in 2018. It drew comparisons with Bo Burnham’s nominal special, Inside. In Repertoire, the audience isn’t always in on the joke. Acaster seems to be speaking in traditional stand-up prose for the most part, but he is doing it in all sorts of unconventional ways, beginning the first show on his knees with no explanation for several minutes. His act can feel emotional at times and cerebral at others, simultaneously keeping audiences at a distance and inviting them deep into a psyche. Put simply, it’s a different type of stand-up, one that is becoming more accepted in the mainstream.
James Acaster: Repertoire | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix
Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American (2021)
Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American
Genre Comedy
Cast Nate Bargatze
Nate Bargatze has become a staple of the Netflix stand-up lineup and returns once more with 2021’s The Greatest Average American. Shot during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bargatze is back with insights about life under lockdown, from Zoom frustrations to the challenges many marriages and families have dealt with over the past year. Bargatze’s insights are funny but can also be quite poignant, such as when he touches on the aging of his parents. The special never gets too bogged down in emotions, however, with Bargatze seemingly well aware of how much the common American needs a laugh right about now. He’s happy to supply them in ample doses.
Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American | Official Trailer | Netflix
Michael Che Matters (2016)
Michael Che Matters
Genre Comedy
Cast Michael Che
Michael Che’s star continues to the rose on Saturday Night Live, but like much of the show’s cast, he’s cut his teeth on the stand-up circuit. In Michael Che Matters, Che addresses many subjects, many echoing the matter broadcast during his Weekend Updates segments. In November 2016, Che inevitably talked about Donald Trump, but he also talked about gun control, homophobia, and racism, giving takes that still feel relevant. The best part is Che’s delivery, which is never meant to shock the audience. Instead, it’s all about getting on his relatively calm wavelength, allowing the comedy and insights to land at a much more level decibel.
Michael Che Matters | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Bo Burnham: Inside (2021)
Bo Burnham: Inside
98 %
Genre Comedy
Cast Bo Burnham
It’s tough to find anything to which you can compare Bo Burnham: Inside. Burnham recorded the special in his home during the COVID-19 pandemic — without a crew or an audience — over the course of a year. Along with hilarious sketches about things like reaction videos and video game streaming, Inside is filled with Burnham’s original songs. At first, songs of pure comedy like FaceTime with My Mom (Tonight) are interspersed with more biting satires like How the World Works, but as the year and special progress — and Burnham goes from slightly shaggy to full-on mountain-man — things get increasingly darker until the comedian will sing something like “it’ll be over soon,” and you’re not sure if he’s talking about the pandemic, the world, or both.

Pete Davidson: Alive from New York (2020)
Pete Davidson: Alive from New York
52 %
Genre Comedy
Cast Pete Davidson
Pete Davidson has drawn more scrutiny and interest than any other Saturday Night Live cast member in recent memory. In Alive from New York, Davidson dishes on some of the hot gossip around his life, beginning the stand-up set by explaining his public feud with disgraced comedian Louis C.K. Part jokes, part real-life introspection, Davidson’s special doesn’t shy away from the controversies he’s been swept up in. The comedian stirs the pot around jokes he made on SNL about figures such as Congressman Dan Crenshaw and pop superstar Ariana Grande, with whom Davidson formerly shared a much-publicized relationship. It’s relatively brief at 49 minutes, suggesting Davidson is only scratching the surface as a comic.
Pete Davidson: Alive From New York | Official Trailer | Netflix Standup Comedy Special

John Mulaney: New in Town (2012)
John Mulaney: New in Town
Genre Comedy
Cast John Mulaney
John Mulaney is now accepted as one of the greatest stand-up comics of a generation. Before then, however, he was just New in Town — well, not really. Mulaney’s first true stand-up special was filmed in 2012 when he was still perfecting his idiosyncratic style. This special doesn’t quite hit the same highs as future specials (also on this list), but there are still jokes that hold up perfectly upon each rewatch, well after the special first aired. Two particular gems in this special involve Ice-T’s memorable turn on Law & Order: SVU as well as a pitch-perfect delivery about a homeless person Mulaney once ran into on the streets of New York City.

Brian Regan: On the Rocks (2021)
Brian Regan: On the Rocks
Genre Comedy
Cast Brian Regan
In his second special for Netflix, Brian Regan utilizes his trademark style of comedy (i.e., keeping it clean) to discuss issues ranging from the serious — like aging (hello gray hair!) and OCD — to the asinine (raisins). Regan has a long-standing association with the legendary comedian Jerry Seinfeld, so if you like Seinfeld, you’ll probably like Regan. On the Rocks is also among Netflix specials with a pandemic-driven format of stand-up, as it was filmed outside, with a socially distanced crowd laughing with masks firmly on their faces.
Brian Regan: On The Rocks | Official Trailer | Netflix Standup Comedy Special

Rhys Nicholson: Live at the Athenaeum (2020)
Rhys Nicholson: Live at the Athenaeum
Genre Comedy
Cast Rhys Nicholson
According to Rhys Nicholson’s act, the only way he’ll attend a house party is if someone there will be so “wrong” that they’ll make him feel better about himself. Thankfully, he doesn’t hold to similar rules for stand-up specials. He delivers his thoughts on the dangers of hallucinogens, his struggles with mental health, and society’s mishandling of controversial gender issues with his signature brand of hilarious self-deprecating cynicism.

Kevin Hart: Zero F**ks Given (2020)
Kevin Hart: Zero F**ks Given
Genre Comedy
Cast Kevin Hart
Kevin Hart’s COVID-era special recorded in his own home with the comedian performing in his pajamas has a pretty misleading title. The title Zero F**ks Given braces you for an hour of no-holds-barred ranting, but that isn’t what you get. While Hart is no less free with obscenities than usual, Zero F**ks is an impressively funny and surprisingly introspective comedy special. Much of it revolves around Hart coming to terms not only with the pitfalls of fame but with how it’s changed him. He explores his own ups and downs as a celebrity with hilarious stories about being filmed in fast-food parking lots, his short and fruitless boxing career, and having pizza with Jerry Seinfeld.

Ari Eldjárn: Pardon My Icelandic (2020)
Ari Eldjárn: Pardon My Icelandic
Genre Comedy
Cast Ari Eldjárn
If you’re not from Iceland, then Ari Eldjárn has a few things to teach you. Through the comic’s wit and observation, you learn about the crushing sense of inadequacy under which Eldjárn’s fellow Icelanders apparently suffer, not only in comparison to the larger countries of the world but even among the other Nordic nations. You’ll be tickled to learn of the national pride Iceland took in grounding the rest of Europe’s planes with a volcano, the pride they take in their handball, and Marvel fans won’t want to miss Eldjárn’s take on Hollywood’s version of the thunder god, Thor.

Marc Maron: End Times Fun (2020)
Marc Maron: End Times Fun
Genre Comedy
Cast Marc Maron
Everybody’s favorite podcasting middle-aged cynic, Marc Maron, takes his trademark bleak attitude toward everything to Netflix in this suitably titled special. Maron discusses vitamin hustlers, evangelicals, grown male nerd children, and many more harbingers of the end times as he weaves his way toward a truly climactic secret apocalyptic fantasy.
Marc Maron: End Times Fun | Official Trailer | Netflix Stand-Up Comedy Special

Hannah Gadsby: Nanette (2018)
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette
Genre Comedy
Cast Hannah Gadsby
Widely regarded as one of the most groundbreaking, unique, and powerful stand-up specials of a generation, Australian comic Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette deconstructs the very nature of stand-up comedy and the human experience. Originally planned as Gadsby’s final stand-up show (although the comedian ended up launching Douglas in 2019 after Nanette’s wild success), Nanette is as hysterically funny as it is emotionally raw. The special debuted on Netflix in June 2018 to critical acclaim and almost immediately inspired countless think pieces celebrating Gadsby’s surprisingly layered exploration of LGBTQ issues, gender, mental health, and even art history. The brilliance of Nanette is best understood when you go into it without knowing too much about how the special unfolds, so we’ll leave it at that and hope to see you on the other side.
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Hannibal Buress: Comedy Camisado (2016)
Hannibal Buress: Comedy Camisado
Genre Comedy
Cast Hannibal Buress
Hannibal Buress was already relatively famous when the Bill Cosby scandal broke. When it came out that Buress had already called Cosby out for sweeping his sexual assault allegations under the rug in a previous comedy special, his popularity exploded. In Comedy Camisado, Buress addresses the fallout from his Cosby routine in his customarily sly, dry way. He also delves into zipper etiquette and the legacy of steroids — important topics for everyone to consider.

Eric Andre: Legalize Everything (2020)
Eric Andre: Legalize Everything
Genre Comedy
Cast Eric André
Eric Andre is well-known for pushing the envelope in ways both provocative and inane. When he takes the stage in New Orleans in this comedy special, Andre brings his textbook energy and shamelessness to new heights. Tackling everything from flawed fast-food icons to the bizarre choice of the Cops theme song, Andre takes a more political note, striking at commercialism and a broken society in Legalize Everything.
Eric Andre: Legalize Everything | Official Trailer | Netflix

Bill Burr: Paper Tiger (2019)
Bill Burr: Paper Tiger
Genre Comedy
Cast Bill Burr
Bill Burr has never been called “subtle,” and it’s extremely clear why in this Netflix special filmed in front of a full house at the Royal Albert Hall in London. In this raucous, scathing special, Burr complains about Michelle Obama’s book tour, takes on male feminists, explores his hang-ups on taking baths, and explains why his personality may very well destroy his marriage.
Bill Burr: Paper Tiger | Official Trailer | Netflix

Taylor Tomlinson: Quarter-Life Crisis (2020)
Taylor Tomlinson: Quarter-Life Crisis
Genre Comedy
Cast Taylor Tomlinson
Taylor Tomlinson followed up her Netflix debut on The Comedy Lineup Part 1 with her first dedicated Netflix special just two years later. By this point of her career, Tomlinson has accomplished much more than many other comedians, and she learned many, many lessons in that quarter decade — most notably that the 20s are far from “the best years of your life” like everybody keeps telling her they are. Tomlinson talks about working on herself, realistic relationship goals, and all those other millennial buzz topics with a caustic wit that shows her to be one of the great voices of reason in comedy.
Taylor Tomlinson: Quarter-Life Crisis | Netflix Standup Comedy Special | Trailer

Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah (2019)
Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah
Genre Comedy
Cast Tiffany Haddish
Tiffany Haddish has become such a full-fledged movie star at this point that it’s easy to forget that she cut her teeth in stand-up for more than a decade before hitting the big time. In her first Netflix comedy special, which, again, is crazy considering how long she’s been doing this, she shows why her star took off so suddenly once she finally got the recognition she deserved. Exploring the eccentricities of being a Black Jewish woman and her uncomfortable relationship with fame, Haddish is delightful, relatable, and, of course, hilarious in this  special.
Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah | Official Trailer | Netflix

Iliza Shlesinger: Elder Millennial (2018)
Iliza Shlesinger: Elder Millennial
Genre Comedy
Cast Iliza Shlesinger
Iliza Shlesinger has long been a Netflix stand-up stalwart, with numerous specials (Freezing Hot, War Paint, Confirmed Kills, etc.) and a sketch show, but Elder Millennial is her masterpiece. Taking aim at her own generation as well as every other one, Elder Millennial feels strangely like listening to your grandmother on her annual Thanksgiving tirade. Yet Shlesinger is infinitely more charming than your grandmother — no offense. Nailing everything from dating, sex, and the double standards and hypocrisy that pervade our society’s every interaction and government’s operation, Shlesinger walks a tightrope of wisdom and purposeful naivete. She’s an elder millennial with much to learn but she also knows how to tell it how she sees it.
Iliza: Elder Millennial | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones (2019)
Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones
Genre Comedy
Cast Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle’s long-awaited return to stand-up specials did not disappoint in the slightest. With his characteristically caustic wit and self-referential humor, Chappelle struts into the special like Tom Cruise in Top Gun, an action hero who returned to glory after a self-imposed hiatus. The guy left on top, he’s returning on top. Of course, times have changed since the final episode of Chappelle’s Show aired in 2006, and Chappelle’s famous impressions of people of different races and unfiltered opinions on race relations in the U.S. (the Jussie Smollett incident, for one) haven’t aged well for all. That’s likely why critics widely panned the special. Audiences and die-hard Chappelle fans, however, loved it because Chappelle has refused to change with the times, even if that means living a few steps over the line. If you like Chappelle, you’ll love Sticks & Stones.
Dave Chappelle Netflix Standup Comedy Special Trailer | Sticks & Stones

Ronny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America! (2019)
Ronny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America!
Genre Comedy
Cast Ronny Chieng
Capitalizing on American hysteria over … well, everything, and Americans’ exceptionalist attitude toward … well, everything, Chieng has some good-natured fun with cultural differences between people. Chieng worked as a Daily Show correspondent who was born in Malaysia, was raised in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Singapore, and attended the University of Melbourne. He has been around, seen the world, and actively engaged with it, and it shows in his stand-up.
Ronny Chieng Netflix Standup Comedy Special | Asian Comedian Destroys America! Trailer

Whitney Cummings: Can I Touch It? (2019)
Whitney Cummings: Can I Touch It?
Genre Comedy
Cast Whitney Cummings
By her own admission, Whitney Cummings has evolved. “Generalizing about men and women paid for my house,” Cummings notes, referring to her sitcoms, 2 Broke Girls, which she produced, and her short-lived starring vehicle Whitney. That was the old Cummings. While Can I Touch It? tackles similar material, it does so with more nuance and self-reflection than Cummings’ past work. Not that the comedian has lost her ability to shock, of course. The part of Can I Touch It? that everyone will be talking about comes in its second half, when Cummings brings out a custom-built sex robot that looks exactly like her before launching into an extended bit about how man-on-robot relations might pave the way for the next feminist revolution. Is it uncomfortable? That depends on how you feel about sleeping with an automaton. Is it raunchy, funny, and weird? You bet.
Whitney Cummings: Can I Touch It? | Official Trailer | Netflix

Fortune Feimster: Sweet & Salty (2020)
Fortune Feimster: Sweet & Salty
Genre Comedy
Cast Fortune Feimster
Fortune Feimster is a Southern, lesbian, full-bodied woman, which is to say she is fairly unique in stand-up comedy. In her Netflix special debut, she shows off why she’s such a rare talent with an original perspective. Though she sometimes ventures into well-traveled stand-up topics, Feimster does it with unabashed brashness and unapologetic fury — a tour de force you don’t often see on stand-up stages. She’s a laugh-out-loud talent with a lot to say and the charisma to make you take notice.
Fortune Feimster: Sweet & Salty | Official Trailer | Netflix

Aziz Ansari: Right Now (2019)
Aziz Ansari: Right Now
72 %
Genre Comedy, TV Movie
Cast Aziz Ansari
In January 2018, an anonymous woman accused Ansari of sexual misconduct in a scathing article on Right Now, directed by Spike Jonze, is Ansari’s response. The comedian opens Right Now by expressing his shame and regret over the incident (although, notably, he never quite apologizes), then spends the rest of the special interrogating the effect of “wokeness'” on pop culture — and Ansari himself. Right Now is at its best when Ansari turns the spotlight inward, dissecting some of his older bits — an ode to R. Kelly, for example, that has aged spectacularly poorly — and re-examining his past behavior. No, it isn’t laugh-out-loud funny. It shouldn’t be. Compared to Ansari’s other specials, Right Now is surprisingly honest and raises some interesting questions. Given the context, that’s enough.
Aziz Ansari: Right Now | Official Teaser | Netflix

Anthony Jeselnik: Fire in the Maternity Ward (2019)
Anthony Jeselnik: Fire in the Maternity Ward
Genre Comedy
Cast Anthony Jeselnik
Anthony Jeselnik is still a bad, bad man — or, at least the character he plays is — but Fire in the Maternity Ward is the comedian’s cleanest, most accessible special yet. That’s not to say that it’s tame. Jeselnik still wrings laughs out of topics like white supremacy, abortion, and dropping babies. And yet, the cartoonish racism and misogyny that defined Jeselnik’s earlier work are gone, making it easier to appreciate Jeselnik’s craft — and his craft deserves appreciation. Unlike other off-color comedians, Jeselnik is a disciplined and patient performer. He takes his time, which makes his punchlines’ inevitable twists all the worse. Going into Fire in the Maternity Ward, many fans worried the political climate might dull Jeselnik’s edge. They shouldn’t have. Jeselnik might be a sociopath, but he’s a funny one, and Fire in the Maternity Ward shows the comedian is at the top of his game.
Anthony Jeselnik: Fire in the Maternity Ward | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

John Leguizamo's Latin History for Morons (2018)
John Leguizamo's Latin History for Morons
Genre Comedy
Cast John Leguizamo, Rubén Blades, Oskar Eustis
John Leguizamo premiered his one-man stage show Latin History for Morons in 2017, and the performance went on to earn a Tony Award for its exploration of the influence and importance of Latin Americans throughout U.S. history. Netflix brought the show to subscribers in November 2018, offering a chance for everyone who couldn’t make it to Broadway (or afford tickets) to experience the fascinating, kinetic history lesson taught by Leguizamo across 90 minutes of energetic explanation — complete with chalkboard and assorted props. While it’s not traditional stand-up comedy, the show’s one-man format and nonstop humor make it stand out from the crowd as both educational and entertaining.
John Leguizamo's Latin History For Morons | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King (2017)
Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King
Genre Comedy
Cast Hasan Minhaj
The first stand-up special from former The Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj, Homecoming King, won a Peabody Award in 2018 for its brilliantly crafted, tremendously funny exploration of the immigrant experience in the U.S. and Minhaj’s experiences growing up in an Indian-American Muslim family. That Minhaj is able to do so without resorting to the most expected, well-worn topics is what makes the special so unique, and the heartwarming — and occasionally heartbreaking — stories he shares about his life are the sort that often find as much common ground in the human experience as that of the immigrant experience.
Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Before Seinfeld (2017)
Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Before Seinfeld
74 %
Genre Comedy, Documentary
Cast Jerry Seinfeld, Johnny Carson, Mark Schiff
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 was 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 queue.
Jerry Before Seinfeld | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Tig Notaro: Happy To Be Here (2018)
Tig Notaro: Happy To Be Here
Genre Comedy
Cast Tig Notaro
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, even though 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.
Tig Notaro: Happy To Be Here | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust (2017)
Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust
Genre Comedy
Cast Sarah Silverman, Michael Sheen
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 comedian slowing her roll a bit, mixing some charm and sincerity into the acid vat. Silverman’s 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.
Sarah Silverman: A Speck Of Dust | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City (2018)
John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City
Genre Comedy
Cast John Mulaney
Following the overwhelming success of his first two specials, New in Town and The Comeback Kid, former SNL writer John Mulaney hit the big-time, as evidenced by the sellout crowd packing New York’s iconic Radio City Music Hall for his third taped performance (the second made specifically for Netflix). This time around, age has begun to catch up to Mulaney, who laments his body’s transformation into the “gross” period of life while acknowledging that he still kinda looks like a giant child. Thanks in part to some other comedic ventures that registered as both successes (Big Mouth) and failures (his short-lived sitcom Mulaney), the comic is sharper than ever here, mixing swaths of new subject matter in with his trademark self-deprecation.

Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979)
Richard Pryor: Live in Concert
Genre Comedy
Stars Richard Pryor, Jennifer Lee Pryor
Directed by Jeff Margolis
Pryor’s no-holds-barred, profanity-laced comedic style influenced an entire generation of actors and stand-up comedians, as did the legendary stand-up film Live in Concert. Pryor’s physical, high-energy brand of comedy brings his jokes to life, as the troubled comic all but jumps off the screen. Live in Concert plays far better on a screen than it does through a set of speakers, as Pryor’s hyper-dramatized facial expressions truly bring his jokes to life. His manic mimicry is at its best when he’s joking about his own life, from snorting cocaine in front of grandma to stepping in the ring with Muhammad Ali. Pryor’s classic set holds up decades later.

Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife (2018)
Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife
Genre Comedy
Cast Ali Wong
As you might have guessed by reading this far, women are depressingly underrepresented both in stand-up comedy as a whole and in Netflix’s library. Reprising her extremely-pregnant role from Baby Cobra, the 2016 Netflix special which shot her to stardom, Wong riffs on the difficulties of pregnancy and parenting with no regard for the stomachs of her audience. “Motherhood is a wack-ass job,” she tells us while primed to pump out kid No. 2 at any second. She’s similarly uninterested in riding the fence of political correctness, addressing questions of race and gender with brutal honesty befitting her high-octane style. Her comedy isn’t for everyone, but it’s undeniably powerful.
Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Hari Kondabolu: Warn Your Relatives (2018)
Hari Kondabolu: Warn Your Relatives
Genre Comedy
Cast Hari Kondabolu
While he may, in his own words, “look like a Muppet getting his Ph.D.,” don’t let Hari Kondabolu’s non-threatening outward appearance fool you. Kondabolu has a unique and sometimes intense voice, especially when things get topical and he starts comparing American presidents to Mortal Kombat characters. As passionate as he is about subjects like race and sexism, he strikes a surprisingly easy balance with lighter material like how much funnier his mother is than him and his dreams of hosting a mango podcast. Warn Your Relatives is an hour of laughter both playful and political, and if nothing else is worth watching for his hilarious anecdote about getting heckled by fellow comedian Tracy Morgan.
Hari Kondabolu: Warn Your Relatives | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Patton Oswalt: Annihilation (2017)
Patton Oswalt: Annihilation
Genre Comedy
Cast Patton Oswalt
Annihilation was Patton Oswalt’s first stand-up special after the unexpected death of his first wife — true-crime writer Michelle McNamara — in 2016. He talks about the aftermath, particularly being faced with the sudden reality of raising his daughter alone, with poise and humor. But while he may get you to tear up a time or two, the special is more than therapy. While a good chunk of the second half deals with his loss, there’s still plenty of tear-jerk-free humor covering robocalls, bad haunted houses, and the best street fight Patton Oswalt ever saw.
Patton Oswalt: Annihilation | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Demetri Martin: The Overthinker (2018)
Demetri Martin: The Overthinker
Genre Comedy
Cast Demetri Martin
Demetri Martin brings his signature deadpan delivery to the stage in 2018’s The Overthinker. Martin seems a little looser than in earlier stand-ups, and unlike in his first Netflix special — 2016’s Live (At the Time) — his large white pad returns with his hilarious satirical cartoons, including his design for a p-shirt (as opposed to a t-shirt) and a graph tracking how well his jokes do. And as usual, we get about four minutes of guitar accompanying a stream of classic one-liners like “Nearly half of all Americans are torsos” and “Experts believe there’s about 25% more camouflage than we realize.”
Demetri Martin: The Overthinker | Teaser [HD] | Netflix

Editors' Recommendations

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Nick Perry
Nick Perry is a freelance writer who bounced from Hollywood to Silicon Beach to pajama pants. His work has been featured on…
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