Every holiday movie has the same plot: girl unexpectedly meets boy, boy falls in love with girl, something tragic happens, boy and girl profess their feelings, they kiss passionately against the backdrop of a professionally decorated Christmas tree with fake snow falling around them. Yawn.
Although I usually put up with that cookie-cutter plot every year, I decided to try something a bit different (and way more entertaining) this December: re-watching the holiday episodes from my favorite TV shows.
Given that basically every holiday party is canceled, in-person shopping is hardly a thing, and the gyms are closed (although let’s face it, I wouldn’t be going even if they were open), I had all the time in the world to cuddle up with a weighted blanket and a (spiked) hot drink and laugh, cry, and feel all sorts of emotion while watching classic shows like Parks and Recreation, Gilmore Girls, and 30 Rock.
As my wonderful gift to you, I’ve listed the best holiday episodes from all our favorite shows so that you too can fill your time this December with something other than watching people’s annoying Instagram Stories and cringey attempts at creating Reels. Enjoy!
‘New Girl’ – “LAXmas” Season 4 Episode 11
There is literally nothing more relatable in these COVID-19 times than having your holiday plans ruined, your vacation canceled, and you therefore not being able to post that thirst trap bikini pic in December. Call me a masochist, but that’s why I loved re-watching this episode of New Girl. I got to commiserate, emphasize, and shout “HA! You got screwed too!” at the TV when Jess, Nick, Winston, and Schmidt’s holiday flights were canceled.
’30 Rock’ – “Ludachristmas” Season 2 Episode 9
It’s as if Tina Fey knew we needed something to prove that there are families out there more dysfunctional than our own when they created this episode. In the most hilarious way, we see the picture-perfect Lemon family break down after an outing with Jack and his mother, and the TGS crew have their party plans hijacked by Kenneth. Plus, I promise this is the exact Rockefeller-related holiday content you need to get that sad excuse for a tree they put up this year out of your mind.
‘The O.C.’ – “The Best Chrismukkah Ever” Season 1 Episode 13
Confession time: I completely forgot about The O.C. until I Googled “shows like Gossip Girl” this summer… and then promptly re-binged it with no regrets. And one of the most entertaining, dramatic, and heartwarming episodes happens to be a holiday one, where Seth introduces Ryan to the wonders of Chrismukkah and struggles in a love triangle between himself, Anna, and Summer. I have to admit, seeing a love triangle that didn’t involve me, my fridge, and Netflix was actually pretty refreshing.
‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ – “Christmas Chaos” Season 16 Episode 9
Being invited to the Kardashians’ annual Holiday Party is on my bucket list, Amazon wishlist, and in my letter to Santa every year. Is there anywhere else I can add it at this point? But while my invite is still lost in the mail, the next best thing is to watch the party unfold on TV. And I promise you, this is one of the most iconic holiday episodes ever. It’s the one where Kim is literally quoted saying, “This is so inappropriate. It is so so much money for one night.” Do I need to say more?
‘The Office’ – “A Benihana Christmas” Season 3 Episode 10 & 11
We’ve all been that psycho b*tch, but in this episode Michael takes crazy to a whole new level. How? By Photoshopping his face onto his girlfriend’s ex-husband’s body in one of their old family photos, and sending it out as his Christmas card. And, no spoilers, but this episode includes some major Pam vs. Angela drama and a classic Jim prank on Dwight that will make you forget about TikTok for, like, 20 minutes.
‘Gilmore Girls’ – “Women of Questionable Morals” Season 5 Episode 11
Some things are just the f*cking worst until someone comes along and makes it special for you (like Valentine’s Day, for a totally random example). And that’s the case for Lorelai and her feelings toward snow in this episode, until Luke surprises her with a romantic snow-related gift that made even a Grinch like me say, “AWWWW!”. Beyond the snow drama, this episode also features the cutest little stray dog that brings Emily and Richard together in a true holiday miracle kind of way.
‘Friends’ – “The One with Phoebe’s Dad” Season 2, Episode 9
You know that friend who waits until the last possible moment to buy their presents? Well, be prepared to watch Joey and Chandler do that exact thing… and be forced to buy their gifts at a place I only go into when I really need to pee during a road trip. And, as if that’s not enough comedy, what screams tradition more than some classic Ross and Rachel drama? Be prepared to get your fill of it this episode.
‘Gossip Girl’ – “Roman Holiday” Season 1 Episode 11
I’ve watched this episode about 14 times, so at this point let’s just say it’s a holiday tradition. I swear, no matter how many times you see Blair come up with a conniving plan to break up her Dad and his boyfriend, the story is guaranteed to transport you from your burrito-stained sweats and unmade bed to the Upper East side within moments. It’s the exact escape you didn’t even know you needed.
‘New Girl’ – “The 23rd” Season 1 Episode 9
Picture this: Schmidt shirtless, wearing just a Santa hat and Santa shorts. If that’s not enough to convince you to re-watch this episode, keep in mind that the theme is how dealing with new relationships around the holidays is stressful AF (relatable, right?). Like any New Girl episode, this one will have you laughing at the lovable, entertaining, and slightly inappropriate trouble the crew gets themselves into at Schmidt’s office party.
‘Fuller House’ – “Oh My Santa” Season 4 Episode 1
Even though the holidays may suck more than usual this year, just know that for the first and probably only time in your life, your holiday season is going better than Lori Loughlin’s. And speaking of which, this episode of Fuller House is sure to bring a smile to your face, despite how cheesy the plot is. The most relatable part? Tommy throwing a tantrum in the mall. Been there, done that (and over much less, if I may add).
‘Parks and Recreation’ – “Citizen Knope” Season 4 Episode 10
Are you one of those people who re-gifts an old box of chocolate or nauseating-smelling candle to your co-workers every year? If you said “yes”, you seriously need to take notes during this episode. While Leslie is off work for two weeks, Ann rallies the Parks department to create a special holiday gift for Leslie. As cheesy as the gift is, it’s actually pretty sweet (pun intended) and will probably make you feel as warm and fuzzy inside as the spiked eggnog you’re sipping.
‘Ally McBeal’ – “Silver Bells” Season 1 Episode 11
There’s something about watching Ally McBeal that brings back all sorts of early ‘00s nostalgia. And this episode gives us just that against the backdrop of a hectic office during the holidays (TBT to offices), and plots about Ally being her usual badass self and the romantic troubles the couples in the office are facing. I won’t reveal if there are any holiday miracles at the end of the episode, but I can safely say you’ll be feeling emotions far from the disappointment Kyle Richards felt when she realized bangs just weren’t her thing.
‘Modern Family’ – “Undeck the Halls” Season 1 Episode 10
If you want to escape the stressful bullsh*t of your family’s holiday Zoom call by finding another family going through equally dramatic times, look no further. In a mix of both hilarious and feel-good storylines, you’ll get to emphasize with the Dunphy kids as their parents cancel Christmas until someone fesses up to ruining their sofa. Plus, you get to see what happens when Cam and Mitchell say something we’ve all thought at least once in our lives: “this mall Santa is just not jolly enough”.
Cougar Town – “Cry To Me” Season 2 Episode 14
If you’re the kind of person who gets pissed when people leave their holiday decor up way past December, this episode will make you feel more seen than ever. Now bear with me, because this episode is actually more about Valentine’s Day than Christmas, but it still delivers an accurate depiction of how crazy people get around any holiday.
‘Brooklyn 99’ – “The Pontiac Bandit Returns” Season 2 Episode 10
Amy’s weird-yet-adorable admiration for Captain Holt is somehow one of the most entertaining things to watch (because who TF actually likes their boss?). And as odd as their relationship is, this episode delivers just the right amount of it, showing us Amy working hard (but hardly working on her actual work) to get around Holt’s “no gift” policy. And, to quote the queen of the holidays, Dorinda Medley, we see Jake “make it nice” with his nemesis/best friend Doug Judy in order to gather intel for Rosa.
Images: Netflix; Giphy (12)
Anybody who knows me (and many people who don’t know me but read my Vanderpump Rules recaps) knows that my favorite show of all time is Parks and Recreation. It is the best show to ever exist. Yes, even better than The Office. While The Office is hilarious, Parks and Rec is both hilarious and a very good political satire, which pushes it above The Office. But anyway, I’m not a TV critic, and nobody cares about my ranking of NBC comedies.
The point is, all this extra time at home has got me thinking, and also watching a lot of Parks and Rec. So I thought, how would our beloved Parks employees be spending this pandemic? Let me, a person with a self-administered Master’s degree in Parks and Recreation-ology, answer that for you.
After her two terms as President, during which she reduced unemployment, increased jobs, enacted universal healthcare, and made National Waffle Day a federal holiday, Leslie returned to a quiet life as a private citizen. Psych! Do you know Leslie? She immediately moved back to Pawnee, where she resumed her former dream role on City Council, which was not against the law because frankly, nobody in Pawnee ever thought something like that could happen. She is now spearheading multiple coronavirus relief efforts in Pawnee, which is the worldwide epicenter of COVID-19. She’s started a national campaign, All Hands On Deck, encouraging people to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds. She’s 3D printing masks at home and hand-delivering them to hospitals. In her remaining free time, she’s going around to all the parks and yelling through a megaphone at all the people who are not maintaining proper distance.
Ben cannot stop obsessing over how flippant every single person in Pawnee is acting about this virus. It’s maddening. For the record, Ben has been working from home for a month now, and has never eaten more calzones in his life. When he’s not working, he is yelling out his window at everyone outside not practicing social distancing. He started back up his claymation hobby. At the current rate, he will have a movie out by next year. He is very depressed.
Andy didn’t take the virus seriously at first and was still playing packed-out venues with Mouserat. But as the pandemic grew even more serious, he decided to put his skills to use. He has now written the single most popular jingle about the importance of hand washing, and he films Johnny Karate from his living room. You can watch all 17 hit seasons on Gryzzl’s new streaming platform. He has only taken Dwyer showers in the past two weeks, which is how, when he does go outside, he’s able to get people to stay away from him.
April, too, thought COVID-19 was a joke at first, and she went around to Costco to cough on free samples just to scare people. But then she got a slight cough and immediately freaked out. She and Andy retreated to Ron’s cabin with Champion in tow. Once settled there, she adopted every remaining foster animal in Pawnee.
Regal Meagle has been livin’ large ever since November, which is when she first caught wind of the novel coronavirus in an obscure corner of Reddit. She took no chances and fled to her private island, where nobody else is allowed to join her. (Not even Tom, much to his dismay.) Much like the Benz, her island is pristine. Years from now, scientists will study it as the one remaining place on Earth to not have a single case of coronavirus.
Ron secretly thinks coronavirus is for the weak, like vegans and people who drink skim milk. But he’ll take any opportunity to avoid people at all costs, so outwardly, he takes it extremely seriously. He disappeared to one of his many properties in with Diane and the girls and has been earning a living selling his handmade wood furniture. He is singlehandedly responsible for the nationwide shortage of eggs and bacon.
Tom managed to get special permission from the FDA to bring back Snake Juice—which was previously banned—and market it as a cognac-hand-sanitizer combo, given that it contains 80% alcohol. Tommy’s Bistro is still open for contactless delivery by drone. He is not letting anyone into his apartment without having their temperature checked by his staff of personal bouncers at the door.
Jean-Ralphio un-faked his own death just so he could fake coronavirus for the clout. His dad administered the test, which he streamed on Instagram live. He started a line of counterfeit Louis Vuitton face masks, which are big in the Youtube influencer community, and he is flush with cash.
Mona Lisa Saperstein
Thinks she’s immune to coronavirus, and went viral for an interview soundbite in which she threatened to beat up the virus (she thought “Corona” was the name of her ex-boyfriend’s now-girlfriend). She is actually an asymptomatic carrier. She’s been jet setting all over the globe because she can’t resist cheap flights, and infecting everyone she meets along the way.
Beautiful tropical fish Ann Perkins has been working overtime at the hospital and fielding calls from Leslie about updates on the virus. Her Venmo has been blowing up with donations from horny Illinois men who saw her give an interview on the local news and started sending her money.
Chris has never been more stressed out in his life, living in constant fear of COVID-19 compromising the microchip. Forget a grain of sand, he says, the coronavirus would be a whole freaking beach. Doctors have tried their hardest to assure him that, even if he were to get infected, he would have a 100% chance of survival since he is the healthiest man alive, but it’s no use. Chris runs seven consecutive marathons a day indoors.
Jamm has been singlehandedly leading the movement espousing the belief that COVID-19 isn’t real and is just a conspiracy made up by the Chinese government to destabilize the markets and come out on top… in spite of the fact that Jamm himself has been experiencing a dry cough and tested positive for the virus a week ago.
CRAIG DOESN’T GET HOW YOU IDIOTS ARE NOT TAKING THIS SERIOUSLY!! IT’S A PANDEMIC, NOT A SUMMER VACATION!!! IF YOU KEEP GALLIVANTING AROUND NOW, YOU’LL NEVER GET TO GO OUTSIDE UNTIL IT’S WINTER!!!! HE FEELS LIKE HE’S YELLING AT A WALL!!!!!!!!
He has upped his therapy sessions with Dr. Richard Nygard to five times a week.
Greg Pikitis is huge on TikTok and started the #CoronavirusChallenge where he would go around licking toilet seats in public restrooms. He is already infected and will start showing symptoms in three days.
Jerry is COVID-19 patient zero.
Images: Chris Haston/NBC; Giphy
Halloween is almost here, and I say this with all the enthusiasm of someone who will be spending the holiday double fisting Kit-Kats and red wine. Look, I know technically Halloween falls on a Thursday this year, so it is socially acceptable to black out like you would on any other thirsty Thursday, but by god I just can’t do it. In fact, the only celebrating I intend to do is with my dog as we sit on the couch and re-watch our favorite Halloween episodes to ever air on TV whilst dressed in costume as Dobby the house elf and his prized sock (I’ll let you figure out who is who in that scenario). So, for those of you who are looking to go all out on the couch this year, here are the best TV shows to watch to get you in the Halloween spirit (without really being in the Halloween spirit).
Friends: “The One With The Halloween Party” (Season 8, Episode 6)
Tbh I was never a huge fan of Friends. I know, I know. Let’s tie me to the stake now because apparently that is an unforgivable sin. Sighs. That said, I do love a good Halloween episode, even if it’s a Friends episode. Monica and Chandler decide to host a Halloween party where Ross tragically shows up dressed as a spud…nik. No one gets his costume and he is appropriately shamed throughout. If anything, you should watch the episode for costume inspo (it’s seriously gold) and also for the hilarity of Joey showing up dressed like Chandler.
Parks & Rec: “Greg Pikitis” (Season 2, Episode 7)
Parks & Rec had quite a few Halloween episodes, but my favorite has always been the first one, which aired during the second season. Leslie Knope stands off against her sworn enemy, Greg Pikitis, a junior high delinquent who pranks the Parks Department every Halloween. This is also the episode where we meet Burt Macklin, FBI agent, for the first time, when Leslie asks Andy to interrogate Greg over his whereabouts and “maybe waterboard” him. To this day I wish you knew how much I regret not naming my dog “Pikitis” so that whenever she secretly sabotages me by chewing a hole in the crotch of my favorite leggings I could venomously whisper “Pikitis” under my breath. Also, Ann throws a Halloween party and it’s trash because Ann is trash. Watching Ann miserably fail at being fun is in itself worth a re-watch.
One Tree Hill: “An Attempt To Tip The Scales” (Season 3, Episode 4)
Were you even truly living in the early ’00s if you weren’t tuning in every week to watch the utter madness that was One Tree Hill? The show was about two half brothers who share the same scumbag dad and a love of basketball, but one of them is rich and one of them is a bastard. This is like, the least dramatic plot line of the entire show, and to illustrate this point, let me recommend to you the Halloween episode of season three. Haley comes back from her world (??) music tour and tries to reconnect with her husband, Nathan. She is a sophomore in high school. Lucas, also a sophomore in high school, tries to be exclusive with his f*ck buddy Brooke (baby Sophia Bush), and he believes his worthiness and willingness to commit must be proven via a killer Halloween costume. He chooses Tommy Lee. I think that says enough about how their relationship inevitably turns out.
Peyton, not being dramatic at all, decides to dress as an angel of death, and her father only gives a half-hearted shrug in protest to this alarming outfit choice. The episode culminates at a Halloween party at underage nightclub TRIC, where Fall Out Boy casually performs. Watching this episode live on air, my only question was, where I can I replicate the angel of death outfit to properly alarm my mother? Watching the episode as an adult has me asking quite a few more questions, like why is there so much leather during this underage party? Is it too late to call a hotline about Peyton’s obvious issues with depression? And what blackmail did The CW have on Fall Out Boy to get them to continually perform on this godforsaken show? THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT KEEP ME UP AT NIGHT.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: “Halloween” (Season 2, Episode 6)
For those of you who are like, Buffy The Vampire Slayer? What’s that? SHAME ON YOU, YOUTHS. To educate you poor, misguided children, Buffy is iconic and, as far as I’m concerned, should be mandatory viewing in all schools, sort of like how that Romeo & Juliet movie from the 1960s was. The show follows Buffy, high school cool girl and avid scrunchie wearer, who eviscerates people with snarky one-liners by day and slays vampires by night. If anyone has a problem with that plot description, they can take it up with me and the pointy end of my stake, mmkay?
Any one episode will have enough monsters and vampires to feel like a Halloween special, but the Halloween episode from season two is truly something else. In an effort to seduce the vampire she has a crush on, Buffy dresses up like a girl from his youth: an early 1800s noblewoman. I took a similar tactic to impress the guy in Kappa Sig I dated by dressing up like a cheerleader one Halloween, complete with underwear that said “haze me” on the butt. To each their own I guess, Buffy! Things go amiss for Buffy and her friends when the owner of the Halloween store enchants everyone’s costume so that you transform into the thing or person you’ve dressed up as. Mayhem ensues. The episode is complete with treacherous wigs and even more treacherous English accents, and is an absolute must-watch.
The Office: “Costume Contest” (Season 7, Episode 6)
Like Parks & Rec, The Office has a LOT of Halloween episodes to choose from, but I think we can all agree that the one from season seven was the best. Pam raises the stakes of the annual costume contest by awarding the winner a Scranton book of coupons that could amount to $15,00o in savings. This leads the employees of Dunder Mifflin to think that the book is literally worth $15K and so everyone goes all out for the costume contest. Angela shows up in a naughty nurse outfit (lol I can’t wait to hear how she rationalizes that one to Jesus), Jim actually wears a costume, and Gabe is doing the most as Lady Gaga.
Stranger Things: “Trick or Treat, Freak” (Season 2, Episode 2)
Guys, is there literally anything in this world that’s cuter than watching 13-year-old nerds coordinate their group Halloween outfits?! I don’t f*cking think so. Stranger Things is fun to rewatch because it feels appropriately spooky and nostalgic, which is what Halloween is all about. Plus, at one point during the episode Nancy gets drunk at a costume party and yells at Steve. I’m sorry, but if drunkenly sobbing in a bathroom after fighting with your boyfriend isn’t a Halloween mood THEN I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS.
Gossip Girl: “The Witches of Bushwick” (Season 4, Eipside 9)
First of all, I forgot this episode of Gossip Girl even existed, let alone that it’s aptly titled “The Witches of Bushwick.” As a person who used to call Bushwick her
penance for past sins home, I can honestly say that there are, in fact, witches in this area of Brooklyn. Not to name names but there was a very suspicious incident at a vegan cafe wherein I mistakenly asked for creamer in my coffee and later became mysteriously ill. I’m just saying, it’s suspicious is all. The episode takes place at Chuck’s Saints and Sinners masquerade party at the Empire Hotel and it is PEAK Gossip Girl in terms of fashion and fighting. It’s a very Serena-heavy episode in the sense that Jenny and friends try to overthrow her while Nate and Dan both try and woo her. Also, Chuck and Blair are there and are perfect.
New Girl: “Keaton” (Season 3, Episode 6)
New Girl has always been the gift that keeps on giving for me, especially since I’ve always self-identified as having the spirit of a crotchety, 90-year-old man, in the same way that Nick Miller does. This is one of my all-time favorite episodes because we find out that Nick has been sending Schmidt fake messages from actor Michael Keaton FOR YEARS. Schmidt for some reason believes with his whole heart that the actor who plays Batman has been sending him supportive letters and emails for his entire life when in fact it’s been his mom and then roommate Nick writing the sage advice. I almost peed myself watching this episode—it’s that good.
These are the best Halloween episodes to re-watch in preparation for (or during) Halloween. If you don’t spend the next 3-6 hours watching this powerhouse lineup of television, I’ll be personally offended. Smell ya later!
Images: Giphy (5); Tenor (1); weheartit (1)
Parks and Rec is one of the greatest shows of all time, and if you don’t agree, you can fight me—in the comments section or literally, whichever you prefer. Case in point: We are literally living in one giant episode of Parks and Rec with a president who makes Jeremy Jamm look like fucking Elizabeth Warren. But I’m not here to talk about how our political arena has basically descended into one giant parody that’s actually real. Not today, anyway. One of the biggest mysteries throughout Parks and Rec is how Jerry Gergich, the lovable klutz who’s not exactly a looker, ended up with Gayle, who is hotter at age 60 than I am right now at age 26. Seriously, it baffles everybody.
Here is Ben trying, in vain, to explain how Gayle and Jerry got together:
No one in the entire series can wrap their head around it, but I know why and how Gayle chose Jerry Gergich aka Garry Gergich, and it’s actually very simple. Before I divulge my theory, I’d just like to say that I’ve been sitting on this for years but have only just typed it all out now, so I hope nobody’s beaten me to the punch. Anyway.
Let’s look at the facts. First of all, despite being a bumbling idiot at work, Jerry is a very confident and self-assured guy when he’s comfortable. Just think about the scene where he’s in his element, and home having breakfast with his family. (I tried in vain to find a Youtube clip, so I’ll just have to do this the old-fashioned way and describe it with my words.) Jerry and his family cheerily sing the “Eggs, Bacon and Toast” breakfast song. At one point, Jerry even tosses a mug up into the air, watches it flip around a bunch of times, and then catches it seamlessly. Leslie is shocked. But she shouldn’t be. When Jerry is comfortable, he’s a fun-loving and, dare I say, smooth guy. That’s number one.
Number two is that Jerry is probably the nicest guy on the planet. Think about if you’re Gayle, you’ve been hot your whole life and probably dealt with a bunch of assholes. Then confident Jerry comes along and, wait, he’s actually the sweetest guy ever who’d never harm a fly? Jerry is constantly made fun of, and not only does he never care, he’s a really good sport in the face of constant mockery. Just look to the scene where Jerry gets demoted when he’s only a few years from retirement. Does he get upset? No, he’s Jerry—he finds the silver lining even in getting a pay cut. Again, I WOULD have embedded a video, but NBC really has a lock on Parks and Rec videos. Damn it. Anyway, so here’s the gist: Jerry interviews for the Animal Control job. Over the course of the interview, it comes out that the college Jerry went to is now a four-year college, but was only a two-year college during his attendance. Hence, he never graduated from a four-year college, which technically makes him unqualified for his current job. Follow me? Cool. April says, “You’re fired!” Then Chris says, “You’re not fired, but we’re definitely going to have to lower your salary.” Jerry says, “Oh, well fair is fair,” and chuckles. See? Jerry could be a more positive person than even Chris. He’s low-key a gem.
Third, there’s one point in some episode my friend just reminded me where Jerry says that he used to look like Chris before he had kids. So maybe when Gayle met Jerry, he was hot and he just let himself go as he got older. People do that, you know.
But the real kicker comes in a one-off in the episode where all the men in Pawnee are sending Ann photos of their junk because she correctly diagnosed one guy as having mumps by looking at his dick pic. Are you ready for it? Because this explains everything.
Game, set, match. Suddenly it all makes sense. You are all very welcome.
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.