We Dare You to Keep a Straight Face While Watching These Netflix Stand-Up Specials
Head-spinning deadlines or heart-wrenching headlines have you down? We've all heard of Netflix and chilling, but nothing quite beats Netflix and laughing when you're down in the dumps. Besides housing comedy treasures like The Break With Michelle Wolf (yes, that Michelle Wolf), the streaming site also releases tons of live-recorded stand-up shows each year that are sharp, smart, and increasingly diverse. From Ali Wong's raunchy Hard Knock Wife to Hannah Gadsby's emotional Nanette, we've compiled the most hilarious one-hour comedy specials for your bluest days.
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette
Australian comic Hannah Gadsby ponders whether or not she should quit comedy in the critically acclaimed stand-up special Nanette. Drawing from her experiences as a queer woman, she tackles gender, sexuality, and even art history in this poignant special that'll make you laugh and cry.
Ali Wong: Baby Cobra
In her Netflix stand-up special debut, the very pregnant Fresh Off the Boat writer Ali Wong talks about being the child of Asian immigrants, reminiscing about the sexual escapades of her youth, and trapping her Harvard Business School husband. If you can't get enough of her in Baby Cobra, she also recently dropped the special Hard Knock Wife and is currently working on several Netflix projects, including an animated series with Tiffany Haddish and the team behind Bojack Horseman.
Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife
Busting out a leopard-print dress and shiny gold shoes, Ali Wong unleashes her id yet again with Hard Knock Wife soon after the wild success of Baby Cobra. Throwing in a dash of raunchiness, she'll have you laughing hard as she shares the trials and tribulations of being a working new mother.
W. Kamau Bell: Private School Negro
W. Kamau Bell's silly and incisive special explores what it means for him to be a black father in today's turbulent society. He throws zingers at the Trump administration while singing praises about Disney's Doc McStuffins.
Marc Maron: Too Real
Marc Maron fans will know him from his popular podcast WTF With Marc Maron as well as his role as Sam Sylvia on GLOW. In Too Real, the curmudgeon with a heart of gold tells hilarious stories about everything from growing older to the secret plight of Dave Matthews Band fans.
Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats
You might know Chelsea Peretti as the deadpan office manager and social media maven from Brooklyn Nine-Nine. In addition to acting, she is also an amazing writer and comedian. In One of the Greats, she makes astute (and hilarious) comments about social media, socializing, and being a female comic.
John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid
You might know John Mulaney from his recent host gig on SNL (lobster musical anyone?), but he's been cracking jokes for a long time. After writing many SNL episodes, he went on to do a few projects with Netflix, including the series Big Mouth and many stand-up specials like The Comeback Kid.
Hari Kondabolu: Warn Your Relatives
Hari Kondabolu recently made some waves because of his starring role in the documentary The Problem With Apu. In this special, he weaves together jokes with social commentary, talking about everything from his mother's progressive views to being heckled by Tracy Morgan during a set.
Tig Notaro: Happy to Be Here
Just a few years ago, Netflix dropped Tig, an emotional documentary about comic Tig Notaro's cancer diagnosis as she was trying to have children with her then fiancée Stephanie Allynne. In Happy to Be Here, Notaro takes us through the little moments in her life as a queer family woman with warmth and deferred punchlines.
Michael Che Matters
In one of the few times you'll see him outside of SNL's Weekend Update segment, Michael Che riles up his crowd with his sharp, hot takes. No subject is too taboo for him, from Jesus to guns.
Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust
Sarah Silverman balances subtle with crude as she smartly uses raunchy blue comedy in her first Netflix special. She's not afraid to dissect everything from grief to reproductive rights.
Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King
Speaking to a crowd in Davis, CA, Hasan Minhaj gets real about struggling as a young comedian and meeting his future boss Jon Stewart. While discussing his career struggles, he also touches upon growing up Muslim Indian, the prejudices he faced because of his background, and grappling with his family's values. The special comes fresh off of Minhaj's role at the 2017 White House Correspondents' Dinner as the featured speaker.
Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For the Rest of Your Life
Two of the most influential comedy figures making fun of each other for an hour? Deal us in. Steve Martin and Martin Short make up the definition of synergy.
Maria Bamford: Old Baby
Maria Bamford strings together bizarre, hilarious gibberish in her quirky comedy special Old Baby. If you can't get enough of her, she also stars in Lady Dynamite, a Netflix series based on her life.
Patton Oswalt: Annihilation
After unexpectedly losing his wife, Patton Oswalt uses this special to explore how he and his young daughter grieved. Although it touches upon a sensitive topic, Annihilation draws laughs with its honest and warm humor.
Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark
Fans of The Daily Show might know the South African comedian for his sharp jokes about politics. In Afraid of the Dark, he brings forth his notorious wit to take on everything from New Yorkers who follow traffic signals to Brexit.
Chris Rock: Tamborine
Chris Rock is no stranger when it comes to drawing out humor in conversations about politics and love. But this is the first time he's had a live concert in a decade, so he gets personal as he talks about race relations and infidelity.
Fred Armisen: Standup For Drummers
You know Fred Armisen from basically everywhere — Late Night With Seth Meyers, Portlandia, Big Mouth, and of course, Saturday Night Live. In his Netflix special, the comic shares his take on accents and music genres with an audience of drummers.
Iliza Shlesinger: Confirmed Kills
Iliza Shlesinger's feminist comedy is clever and punchy, touching on a wide range of different subjects. You'll crack up over everything from her quips at mermaids to her insights on her grandparents.
Russell Peters: Almost Famous
Known for his jokes about racism and race relations, Russell Peters brings in fresh perspectives on everything from furniture building to bathroom visits in his latest Netflix special. Peters's Notorious also happens to be the very first Netflix stand-up special, so you'll be able to play it on the streaming site as well.
Bo Burnham: Make Happy
Make Happy ultimately explores the art of performance. With wit and self-deprecating humor, Bo Burnham uses music and jokes to, you've guessed it, make fun of music and jokes.
Mike Birbiglia: Thank God For Jokes
In Thank God For Jokes, This American Life contributor Mike Birbiglia circles around his experience hosting the Gotham Awards for indie filmmakers. His special feels very meta, as it examines his life as a comedian and how he deals with crowds and delivery.
Jerry Before Seinfeld
Seinfeld is an American icon in the sitcom world, but Jerry Seinfeld hasn't done a stand-up special in two decades. Now he's back with new material (and less constraints) thanks to Netflix.
Maz Jobrani: Immigrant
Immigrant focuses on what its name implies: the issue of immigration in today's politics as well as Maz Jobrani's experience as an immigrant. While the comic talks about a heavy issue, he surrounds it with uplift from stories about parenting and the lighter side of protest.
Jeff Dunham: Relative Disaster
Jeff Dunham doesn't crack jokes with feel-good Muppets. He and his sassy dummies go all the way to Ireland to talk about family and politics in Relative Disaster.