Sometimes the best therapy is a few laughs, and there are few better ways to squeeze repeated and consistent laughs into a short space of time than a good stand up comedy special. Not only does laughter produce chemicals in our brains that make us feel good, but the irreverent approach that comedians take to the serious issues can help us see the lighter side.
Lift the weight off your shoulders with these 25 excellent stand up comedy specials currently available on Netflix.
25. John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons (2018)
IMDB Score 7.4/10
This new Netflix stand-up show that aired on October 2018, walks us through a bit of John Leguizamo’s life through the cultural divide and the current state of racism we are now facing more and more here in the United States. Along with a brilliance of some comic relief, John relates to us how it feels to have struggled as a minority growing up and how it is making a strong comeback in today’s world even though he, himself, has made the rich and famous list.
24. Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife (2018)
IMDB Score 7.3/10
We sometimes wonder why female comedians need to joke about female issues, but in this special from rising star Wong, we are glad she did! In her second Netflix special Wong has established that she can punch out lines like the comedy big boys. Wong’s femininity gives her a distinct voice rather than pigeonholing her as a female comedian.
23. Adam Sandler – 100% Fresh (2018)
IMDB Score 7.6/10
Here he is, Adam Sandler, and who would have thought he would ever make another stand-up special. After all, he is our favorite comedic actor. However, he made his Netflix stand-up comeback in October 2018. Of course, he starts off the show by singing one of his out of tune jingles about having car accidents, and it is hilarious. He talks about family and friends with his funny voice impressions. It is one to see for Sandler fans.
22. Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher: The Honeymoon Stand-up Special (2018)
IMDB Score 6.3/10
This comedy couple decided to take their show on the road and landed a Netflix special in April 2018. Beginning the show with a couple’s disagreement on who should perform on stage first, they really open us up to the married life of comics. Natasha being pregnant at the time went on stage first to give us her unforgiving take on what it is like being pregnant, the future of motherhood, and the dangers of being a woman around strange men and doing so in her infamous blunt whatever way.
21. Bill Burr: I’m sorry you feel that way (2014)
IMDB Score 8.4/10
This is a hefty 80 minute set from the well-established comedian known for his straight-shooting and heated style. Fans of Burr’s rough style will find this another solid performance, while new viewers will appreciate his confidence. He is a master of observational humour and in this set he takes in the staple topics of religion, overpopulation and sex, but manages to sound fresh.
20. Ricky Gervais: Humanity (2018)
IMDB Score 7.9/10
In March of 2018, Ricky Gervais in all his British glory took the stage to sarcastically discuss humanity and even dogs. Known for his no apologies repertoire of life’s little lessons, he currently holds the trophy for a dry and devilish type of comedy act.
19. Michael Che: Matters (2016)
IMDB Score 7/10
SNL star Michael Che puts everything on the table in this comedy special and reveals his deepest beliefs, keeping nothing secret. He keeps a rapid pace as he moves through touchy social subjects such as homophobia, abortion and gentrification. Not all of Che’s act feels fresh, but the way he grafts it together works, and feels more like a manifesto for living life more honestly than just a comedy act.
18. Marlon Wayans: Woke-ish (2018)
IMDb Score 6.5/10
February of 2018 one of the famous Wayans brothers took the stage to share his spin on the current climate we live in. From Politics to gay rights, and raising kids,Marlon’s honest but funny take on living in today’s world is one to watch.
17. Fred Armisen: Standup for Drummers (2018)
IMDB Score 5.8/10
How could we have known that Fred Armisen of SNL fame was such a talented musician as well as a comic genius? This was the theme of Fred’s January 2018 feature stand-up act on Netflix. Opening his floor show with an impressive drum solo, he then transitions into explaining other types of music in his famous nonchalant tone of voice, but in a funny way that is relatable to everyday life.
16. Gabriel Iglesias: I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry (2016)
IMDB Score 7.4/10
It is the title of this one that first caught me, since we have all been there. Iglesias manages to keep it light and funny by staying on the safe side of offensive by tackling subjects such as racist gift baskets, Prius-driving cops and all female taco trucks. Nevertheless, you will still find yourself laughing along with the man in the Hawaiian shirt.
15. Iliza : Elder Millennial (2018)
IMDB Score 7.2/10
Iliza manages to keep the laughs coming in her special by catching you off guard with deeply true revelations about the lives of millennial women. She claims that at the age of 35 she is on the cusp of millennialdom, but her outsider status gives her a unique perspective. Definitely don’t watch if you are prudish.
14. Katt Williams: Great America (2018)
IMDB Score 6/10
Pimpin, Pimpin, Katt Williams is back to try again. In January of 2018, after a few years of turbulent tabloid stories, Katt Williams came back to stand-up ready to prove his worth, and Netflix has given him the platform to do so. Straight out of Duuuvalll… he airs this special with his trademark suits and Katt jabs at things like President Trump and the hoods in Jacksonville.
13. Hannibal Buress: Comedy Camisado (2016)
IMDB Score 6.6/10
A camisado is a nighttime sneak attack, and makes an apt name for Buress’ comedy. Buress presents himself as a bit of a laid back stoner-type, talking without intent or continuity. But this allows him to approach subjects from off angles and land his jokes with an unmissable jolt, that propels him seamlessly towards his next target.
12. Dave Chappelle (2017)
IMDB Score 8.1/10
Coming to the stage again for a Netflix stand-up special Dave Chappelle blasts back onto the stage in January 2018 with an in your face comedy spectacle event. Dave discusses and makes us laugh about things such as our current political atmosphere and racial differences. Dave is a no holds bar comedian with a serious but hilarious demeanor. He is the comedy genius of our time.
11. Tom Segura: Disgraceful (2018)
IMDB Score 7.5/10
Tom’s latest comedy special aired on Netflix in January 2018. It is a raw comedy. No surprise in that since his favorite word is undoubtedly the “F” word. He becomes descriptive and funny in explaining the ways technology is taking over our lives and making us a lazy society and he does this in a way that the audience will strangely relate to. It’s a unique spin on how we live in today’s world while making us laugh out loud.
10. Jim Jefferies: Freedumb (2016)
IMDB Score 7.7/10
This Australian comedian takes on serious political and social issues in a way that is both thought-provoking and downright hilarious. Jefferies prefaces his comedy by pointing out that you can joke about anything, and that a joke doesn’t mean intent. This is a pretty good signal that you are in for an outrageous ride.
9. Joe Rogan: Strange Times (2018)
IMDB Score 7.4/10
Politics is at the heart of Rogan’s comedy, and his position that American political beliefs and institutions have outgrown their usefulness. He manages to hit topics on the nose without coming across like he is looking down his nose at other people. In this way he manages to be likeable, even when attacking people’s beliefs.
8. Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Before Seinfeld (2017)
IMDB Score 7/10
Netflix brought the one and only Jerry Seinfeld to their stand-up line-up in September 2017. Jerry started the night off focusing on the theme of the title and his rise to fame with all his different spots on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and his stand-up career at the Improv. Then, Jerry gets on stage to give a classic Seinfeld stand-up show.
10. Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend (2013)
IMDb Score 8/10
In this special Birbiglia bases his comedy around how he met his girlfriend Jenny and the defining moments in their relationship. This is carefully scripted comedy with all but the best lines left on the cutting room floor, but he manages to combine it seamlessly with improvised audience interaction and some impressive physical comedy. Birbiglia is more of a deep thinker than a cynic, and the genuine love story behind the comedy adds a nice level of heart.
6. Chris Rock: Tamborine (2018)
IMDB Score 6.5/10
In February of 2018, Netflix brought a seasoned veteran comedian to the stage. Chris is known to get started as soon as he hits the stage and loudly screeching out the incompetence of how law enforcement officers negligently kill more African Americans than any other race. Instead of making it a sad overtone, he makes us laugh by bringing us into the reality of life.
5. Rory Scovel Tried Stand-up For The First Time (2017)
IMDB Score 6.7/10
Rory starts his June 2017 Netflix show off by what some might deem as an offensive and not so funny spin on his own fantasy of coming to the stage. He portrays himself as a very rude rock star type, but when he wakes up to reality, he is still the nobody Rory. When he arrives onstage in reality, he brilliantly makes jokes around one singular word “anal,” for about ten minutes.
4. Jimmy Carr: Funny Business (2016)
IMDB Score 7.2/10
Despite his seemingly light persona, Jimmy Carr’s comedy goes heavy and he goes into dark territory that even some other comedians don’t like to touch. Carr engages with the taboo, but lightens it up by presenting himself as ‘just being a dick’. If you can manage not to be offended, you will find some laughs.
3. Sarah Silverman – Speck of Dust (2017)
IMDB Score 6.7/10
In May 2017, Sarah Silverman arrived back on stage after a health scare ready to do her thing. With her unique voice and stoic way of sharing over the top and sometimes very raunchy views of the world as only she can.
2. Lucas Bros. – On Drugs (2017)
IMDB Score 5.4/10
This twin duo stepped on the stage to make a Netflix special in April 2017, starting off by criticizing the way Richard Nixon mistreated black America. It was obvious that the comic duo would put a focus on the subject of the way black people have been suppressed in the states and through crooked political politics.
1. Neal Brennan: 3 Mics (2017)
IMDB Score 7.9/10
Neal Brennan starts off his Netflix special that aired in January of 2017 by riffing on vegans and pedophiles, then carries us into the funny truth about all of us who pay to be members of the Netflix entertainment world. He then thrusts us into our modern world of cyber by making jokes about the millennials who are too busy trying to get likes online more than having fun and tons of sex.