We get it, there’s a lot of shows to watch out there. But sometimes murder docs and reality shows are exhausting and you just want to turn your brain off and laugh. After Ali Wong’s killer Baby Cobra special came out on Netflix, we looked at Netflix comedy in a whole new light. It was like seeing Laney Boggs take off her glasses for the first time – wow, maybe Netflix is the new prom queen of comedy? Anyways, if you’re in the mood for stand-up, here are some specials currently on Netflix you should catch up on if you know what’s good for you.
1. Rory Scovel Tries Standup for the First Time
Rory Scovel is probably one of the most underrated comedians right now, because he’s killer but isn’t a household name outside comedians just yet. Don’t worry, he’s going to be, so get on board now. He was just in The House, which we didn’t watch, but he made it to the trailer so that’s a good sign. Anyways, watch this special because he manages to be both sweet and absurd at the same time. He starts this off by asking the audience if they’ve ever done anal, and it goes on for far too long, but it works because you can tell he truly doesn’t care what the audience thinks, and that is the hottest thing of all. We approve of anyone who does not need our approval.
2. Colin Quinn: The New York Story
You’d think this would be like watching your dad do standup, but it’s more like watching your grumpy neighbor living in the one rent-controlled apartment in your building do standup. He’s funny and he is unapologetic about what he finds funny, despite touching on stereotypes and the (ugh) idea of “political correctness”. He doesn’t give AF about offending people, but he’s also not a shitty person so it like, works. Much like how we at Betches know that it’s okay to judge someone for who they are as long we judge everyone and believe us, we do. Also if you have lived in New York for a while you’ll like this special.
3. John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid
Mulaney is def a middle of the road comic, but in a good way. You know how sometimes you literally just want a grilled chicken Casesar salad, and then you order it and it’s like one of the best salads you’ve ever had? It’s like ordering pad thai at a Thai restaurant every time. You know what you’re going to get, and it’s still good. Mulaney is a strong joke writer and the structure of his special is tight while also making you feel like you’re in a chill conversation with him. He’s safe, but not like in a boring way. More like safe in the sense that you have an IUD and you’ve been with your boyfriend for 2 years but he’s still hot AF to you.
4. Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King
The Daily Show correspondent and very quickly rising star Hasan Minhaj kills it in this special. He talks about being an immigrant without being hacky, which is like a feat considering how many ill-advised Hollywood execs still think a gong noise is an appropriate punchline. You’ll fall in love with him as he talks about his family conflicts and serious shit in the funniest way possible. He’s a great storyteller and you’ll start to wonder if he could be your plus one to that wedding you have to go to next month. Anyways, watch this shit because he’s from The Daily Show for God’s sake.
5. Maria Bamford: Old Baby
Normally the term quirky is reserved for our ugliest friend, but in Maria Bamford’s case it is a thing to be celebrated. In case you missed her last special (The Special Special Special!) where she performed for her parents, Bamford’s style is on paper what we’d call “weird” but in reality it’s done in a way that’s so funny even the made up cheerleader in Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” would find Maria funny. She switches up her audience by performing for strangers in the park to her husband and it still works every time. As betches we always say there’s no need to change who we are because we’re perfect, and Maria takes this to the next level.
6. Lucas Bros: On Drugs
These chill AF twins are highly underrated, but it’s probably because of how chill they are. You might recognize them from 22 Jump Street or their Lucas Bros. Moving Co. animated show from a few years ago. They are the epitome of stoners without the high strung anxiety of bearded straight white male comics. Their signature style of mumbling over each other while still hitting with wry punchlines makes this special one to watch while you’re getting high on your couch. Here’s a chill line from their special: “You should never do shrooms with a guy that looks like you, man.”
7. Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark
We love Trevor Noah for his role as host on The Daily Show, but he really shines when he’s on the stage doing his own material. Usually we would be opposed to the new girl in school telling us what’s wrong with us, but Trevor makes profound observations about America without like harshing our vibe. He’s like the big sister who gives us the same advice our friends do about boys, but when she says it we actually listen. He’s charming, funny, smart, and the special flows with strong storytelling that makes this worth watching.
8. Jen Kirkman: Just Keep Living?
We love Jen and if you don’t follow her on Twitter already you definitely should. She leans into the angry feminist stereotype in a tongue in cheek way while still championing relatable issues we struggle with. She talks about getting cat called and how shitty it is when men ask her where her boyfriend is, and honestly we agree with all of it. We also like that she makes bad decisions, like getting a tattoo of a Matthew McConaughey quote, and having zero regrets about it.
9. Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats
This special has been out for a while but it deserves more attention. You might know Chelsea from Brooklyn Nine Nine, and honestly more people should be aware of her. She’s married to Jordan Peele and that should be an indication of how funny and chill she is. She’s like a BSCB that’s chill at the same time, and her bit about girls who post “no makeup” selfies is spot on.
READ: The Best Things to Stream On Netflix This Summer When It’s Too Hot To Move
Netflix does a few things really well, and one of those things is pumping out some must-see stand-up specials. The other is providing a paper-thin reasoning for inviting a guy over to your place instead of going through the trouble of planning an actual date. Put them both together, and you may actually have an enjoyable hookup on your hands. Rare for this day and age. Even if you’re not looking for an excuse to invite over a potential mate, Netflix stand-up specials are great if you’re not ready to sit down and binge an entirely new series or if you just watched 13 Reasons Why and now everything seems really depressing and you just need a laugh. Here’s what to watched based on your current mood, so that you can make use of your valuable Netflix and Chill time, with or without a guest.
You’re Ready For A Girls’ Night: Iliza, Confirmed Kills
Iliza, formerly Iliza Shlesinger, balances the perfect amount of real talk and just straight-up funny jokes. Like, she touches on some issues that affect women, but she isn’t totally preachy about it. It’s like hanging out with the funniest girl at book club all night—she keeps it real but keeps you laughing. If you remember, she’s the comedian who came up with the concept of “the party goblin”, that part of your inner psyche that comes out when you’ve had too many vodka sodas. Anyway, she’s funny, she keeps it light and moving. It’s best to watch if you need to prep for girls’ night out or an upcoming bachelorette party. Her material will be all too real.
You’re Feeling The Burden Of Being A Millennial: Aziz Ansari, Live at Madison Square Garden
The best thing about Aziz, whether he’s acting as Tom in Parks and Recreation or Dev in Master of None, is that he really captures what it’s like to be part of the greatest generation in a super silly, yet pretty realistic way. Yes, I just referred to millennials as “the greatest generation”. Suck it, baby boomers. Aziz tackles online dating and what it’s like to need to Google and Yelp everything before you can make a decision on what to do during the day. If you feel like being a youth is really weighing on you right now, this is the one to watch.
You’re Feeling Nostalgic: Dave Chappelle, Dave Chappelle
You probably remember Dave Chappelle from your high school years, or maybe even earlier, and you definitely remember every boy in your class quoting Chappelle’s Show (“I’M RICK JAMES, BITCH!!!”) It was the Key and Peele before Key and Peele. (Dave casually mentions that in his Netflix special and it’s so accurate.) We haven’t really seen much from Chappelle lately because he, like, went crazy a few years ago and took a pause from doing comedy stuff. Well, now he’s back with a two-part special and the same tone of jokes that were popular in 2006. Also, I guess this was shot like a couple years ago so some of the material is a little dated.
You’re Feeling Nerdy: John Mulaney, The Comeback Kid
Real talk, you may or may not develop a crush on John Mulaney throughout the course of this special, so if you’re unsatisfied with the men in your life, this may also be the special for you. He’s got that nerdy-hot thing down pat, and it doesn’t hurt that his stand-up is laugh out loud funny. It’s not particularly crass, he doesn’t swear a ton, and he isn’t raunchy about sex. If this special was a high school boyfriend, it’d be the one that your parents liked the most, but somehow that doesn’t really bother you too much.
You’re Feeling Sexy: Ali Wong, Baby Cobra
Yes, Ali Wong is super pregnant during this special. But, don’t let that deter you from thinking there’s a lot of sex talk up in this. I mean, I’m pretty sure she talks about popping Plan B like Skittles—kind of ironic because she is pregnant, but like, I’m pretty sure her baby was on purpose. Anyway, if you’re interested in some baby-making stand-up, this is the way to go. Sure, male comics talk about their sex lives all the time, but do you really want to hear another bald, fat, 40-something talk about how much he masturbates? No, thank you. Go with this instead.
You Just Want To Cuddle And Laugh: Mike Birbiglia, Thank God For Jokes
The great thing about Mike Birbiglia’s comedy is that he’s probably the best storyteller out there. His stand-up kind of meanders around a central story, but there are some great punch lines and one-liners spread throughout. If you never thought a joke about The Muppets could be genuinely funny, you need to watch this. Sure, he has a dad bod, but he’s still kind of sweet and endearing, especially when he talks about his wife. Unlike a lot of other male comedians, you probably wouldn’t feel freaked out being in a room alone with him. That’s high praise these days for just seeming like a genuinely good dude.
You’re Okay With Being Emotional: Neal Brennan, 3 Mics
If you didn’t know, Neal Brennan is a skinny white dude who used to be Dave Chappelle’s writing partner on Chappelle’s Show. So, if you were a fan of that, you’ll probably be a fan of this. There are literally three mics in the special: one for one-liners, one for actual stand-up and one for emotional stuff. He tackles the shitty issues like dealing with depression and anxiety and having a bad relationship with his dad. It might not all be laugh out loud funny, but it will get you thinking and stays pretty entertaining. Just don’t go into it thinking you’re going to get a pee-your-pants kind of laugh fest.