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50. Theo Von, No Offense (February 26, 2016) Good news is, Von has a Netflix original stand-up special. Bad news is that it's very poorly rated and there isn't a whole lot entertaining or redeeming about it, though it does rank higher than Ralphie Mayâ€™s Unruly Â and Mike Eppsâ€™ Donâ€™t Take It Personal, which fall in at No. 51 and 52 on this top 50 rundown. Don't take it personal? 48. Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy, We've Been Thinking (August 26, 2016) Foxworthy is still solid as he delivers a dosage of redneck humor and decries America's culture of lawsuits, but Larry, who goes second, must have forgotten to take his Prilosec.
It's pretty much what you'd expect from the pair, which is great if that's what you want; otherwise, not much you haven't seen before. 47. Russell Peters, Almost Famous (October 7, 2016) Peters is a seriously funny dude and talented accent artist, but his material in this special does a disservice to his capacity as a performer. He opens by dishing some racial barbs at audience members and goes back to that well throughout.
Not mad, just disappointed. 46. David Cross, Making America Great Again (August 5, 2016) As the show's title suggests, the heavily bearded and bespectacled Cross focuses on the 2016 US presidential campaign, the rise of "ostentatious billionaire" Donald Trump, and the now-president's fantastical policy proposals.
The show has its moments, but overall Cross meanders, and some of his darkness doesn't quite land with the audience. 45. Doug Benson, Doug Dynasty (November 6, 2014) The perpetually stoned comic has some funny thoughts on dueling piano bars, the mystery of Stanley Steemer, and weed, of course.
Some fan interaction: Benson reads actual audience member tweets he's received during the show and provides some funny commentary on comments on his own performance. 44. Chris Tucker, Chris Tucker Live (July 10, 2015) This special is the stand-up equivalent of a bucket of popcorn: fun to consume but ultimately not memorable and a bit lacking in nutritional value. Points for stamina as the tireless Tucker performs for a full 90 minutes, hitting some high notes (figuratively and literally) along the way.
42. John Hodgman, Ragnarok (June 20, 2013) Hodgman is probably best recognized as the lowly PC in Apple's "Get a Mac" campaign, which he points out right away.
In this show, Hodgman plays a deranged millionaire, and things get a bit weird in what feels less like stand-up and more like a one-man play. A really weird, amusing one-man play with musical interludes. 41. Chelsea Handler, Uganda Be Kidding Me (October 10, 2014) Handler shows that her comedic chops are still on point in this special, which coincided with her book of the same name.
She shares pictures and problems from traveling to Africa, and vents about weird ejaculation faces and unoriginal dirty talk. Â 40. Jimmy Carr, Funny Business (March 18, 2016) He's vulgar, lean, and British -- basically the anti-Jim Gaffigan. It's mostly funny, but occasionally the vulgarity seems designed only to be vulgar, rather than to draw laughs.
The one-liner artist shares a detailed account of his sexual proclivities and describes a condition he calls "joke Tourette's." 39. Reggie Watts, Spatial (December 6, 2016) Wow. This one isn't your typical comedy special, and that's a good thing. The leader of James Cordenâ€™s Late Late Show has a range of talents, from beatboxing to an uncanny ability to spin nonsense into art. Watt spoofs hardcore singers and sings a bit himself with some backup as the show alternates between his stand-up and sideshows, including a goofy sitcom called "Crowe's Nest." This show is probably best consumed in a states that have approved marijuana for recreational use.
38. Chris D'Elia, Incorrigible (April 17, 2015) D'Elia has a good crowd, but probably no one has more fun than the giggly D'Elia himself. The former star of NBC's Undateable dishes on sad gigs early in his stand-up career, man's insatiable desire for sex, and malcontented Russians (with a great impersonation).
37. Cedric the Entertainer, Live from the Ville (September 16, 2016) This is the only Netflix special to open with a 25-member marching band. Overall, it's an entertaining (get it?!) hour as the veteran comic/actor twirls riffs on Hollywood weight loss, attempting to decipher Snapchat, and Barack Obama's last days in office.
36. Bo Burnham, Make Happy (June 3, 2016) Bo Burnham is a talented performer, and his special has, perhaps thanks to his age (he was 25 when Make Happy taped), glowing reviews on Netflix. But it's not for everyone. Heavy on the song shtick, it's a "very planned, to the word, to the gesture" show, as Burnham puts it.
35. Amy Schumer, The Leather Special (March 7, 2017) Schumer has attracted a lot of haters as she's ascended into the upper echelon of Hollywood, which isn't surprising since she's outspoken and unfiltered. She also rose to fame because she can be really funny. This one contains the standard Schumer comedy buffet: sex, blow jobs, some bathroom jokes, and the scent of her vagina.
It has its moments, but is mostly redundant. 34. Dana Carvey, Straight White Male, 60 (November 4, 2016) The Saturday Night Live alum looks a lot like Shaggy and is just as funny as when you saw him last, whenever that was.
Carvey spends a good chunk of time on fatherhood, riffing on teenagers' typically ill-conceived plans and the way they dismiss what they don't like as a "bunch of fucking bullshit." 33.
Iliza Shlesinger, Confirmed Kills (September 23, 2016) In the more recent of Shlesinger's two Netflix specials, she revisits her hilarious "party goblin" bit and dips back into dating horrors and binge-drinking tales. She finds a better stride later with material on millennials interacting with the Greatest Generation.
Her earlier Freezing Hot reached a higher level. 32. Aziz Ansari, Live at Madison Square Garden (March 6, 2015) Maybe it's the lack of intimacy that comes with playing an arena filled with 12,000 people, but this Ansari show just isn't as strong as his other Netflix special, Buried Alive. Even with B material he's an A performer on subjects like the failures of salad and vegetables, being single, and text messaging.
31. Nick Offerman, American Ham (December 12, 2014) Offerman styled and structured his special a bit differently than the rest of the lot here. The full title of the woodworking enthusiast's show is American Ham: 10 Tips for a Prosperous Life.
It's slower-paced but still entertaining, like an old wooden roller coaster. 30. Jen Kirkman, I'm Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine) (May 22, 2015) The longtime writer and on-air contributor for Chelsea Lately combines solid material and impeccable timing to explain how families ruin weddings. It's a convincing case. Kirkman also shares a story about the time she impressed a 20-year-old with her bachelorette cougar pad, and pokes fun at parents who practice toddler empowerment.
29. Jen Kirkman, Just Keep Livin'? (January 2, 2017) Another Kirkman! One special isn't discernibly better than the other, so it made sense to stack them -- either you'll like both or neither. In this 2017 dispatch, she dissects the benefits and limitations of meditation, explores human reproduction, and reveals the inspiration for her unironic ankle tattoo. 28. Chelsea Peretti, One of the Greats (November 14, 2014) The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star brings her act to San Francisco to discuss thwarting unwanted hugs, the difference between "vomit" and "shit" families, and encountering negative material about yourself on the internet.
Peretti delivers solid observational humor punctuated with even better timing. 26. Gabriel Iglesias, I'm Sorry for What I Said When I Was Hungry (December 20, 2016) Folks who like the cynical or blue acts may not take to Iglesias, but entertaining the entire family requires skills.
Using a range of sounds and expressions, the comedian is like a one-man, live version of a Simpsons episode. His hour-and-a-half-long special is fully loaded, and reveals Arnold Schwarzenegger's secret for efficiently meeting and greeting scores of fans.
21. Cristela Alonzo, Lower Classy (January 24, 2017) Netflix unveiled this special shortly after Donald Trump's inauguration so the Texas-born Mexican comic's barbs about the new president's impending wall (or fence) along the US-Mexico border stung even harder.
Alonzo goes beyond politics and talks about growing up with an immigrant mother raising a family too poor to have allergies. She also hilariously hits on some frustrating problems that are now obsolete, like having to buy a CD for just one song. 20. Bill Burr, Walk Your Way Out (January 31, 2017) Coming from the wave of 2017 specials, the extra-cynical Burr trots out a fresh parade of horrible things, including a terrible but seemingly plausible method for population control and why Joseph Stalin gets overshadowed by Adolf Hitler.
It's classic Burr, full of rage, exasperation, and that kind-of-deranged look on his face. 18. Michael Che, Matters (November 25, 2016) It's not an original observation, but Che seems more in his element when riffing from his memory bank on stage than from cue cards set up in front of the "Weekend Update" desk on Saturday Night Live. In this November 2016 special, the comic cleverly covers a range of social and political issues, like gun control, homophobia, and President Trump.
16. Aziz Ansari, Buried Alive (November 1, 2013) The observational tactician nails it in this one, compared with the funny-but-not-quite-as-great 2015 follow-up, Live at Madison Square Garden.
In his frenetic, giggling, eyes-wide-open style, Ansari riffs on parents of young children, marriage, and how incredibly excited people get when they witness magic tricks. 14. Demetri Martin, Live (at the Time) (August 14, 2015) Martin is like a comic IV with a steady drip of one-liners that bounce around topics. [Drip] fajitas! [Drip] No.
1 pencils! He goes everywhere. Soft-spoken and dry, he's like a young Steven Wright who can also whip out a guitar and harmonica before it's all said and done. 12. Joe Rogan, Triggered (October 21, 2016) The UFC commentator, podcaster, and former NewsRadio co-star goes back to his comedian roots for a high-impact performance that covers marijuana edibles in the form of gummy bears, time-traveling selfie takers, and the necessity of lying to children. Rogan admits early that he's not sober, although he operates in a high gear for a guy who's altered his brain chemistry.
11. Jim Jefferies, Freedumb (July 1, 2016) The big Australian's most recent special devotes some time to what made the other one so popular: his full-throated rant against guns and gun lovers' main argument in favor of firearms. Jefferies is firm in his delivery as he also dabbles in Bill Cosby's "methodology," anti-vaxxers, and his all-around bad behavior.
10. Trevor Noah, Afraid of the Dark (February 21, 2017) The Daily Show host's voice and dialect game is on point for this show covering New York City dwellers' extraordinary faith in traffic lights, British colonialism, and the deeply misguided male admonishment "don't be a pussy." Noah is at his best when conversing between a pair of characters he's playing, like when Nelson Mandela trains a young Barack Obama on how to speak like a future black president.
8. Bill Burr, You People Are All the Same (August 16, 2012) Yes, another Burr special (he's that good), and Netflix's first dive into the format. In a packed house at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC, Burr pushes the crowd's comfort levels with topics some comedians would consider untouchable. It's like an hour-plus therapy session, but with booze instead of a co-pay. 7. Mike Birbiglia, Thank God For Jokes (February 28, 2017) A self-described "niche" brand, Birbiglia ambles around the stage and lands almost every joke (except a cat pun) while discussing "late people" versus "on-time people," the challenge of scratching an itch while handcuffed, and how he became a Muppets villain.
Birbiglia also revisits the infamous David O. Russell rant from the taping of I Heart Huckabees; in case you don't remember, he performs a portion of it.
6. John Mulaney, The Comeback Kid (November 13, 2015) The nonthreatening, paper-thin pushover (his own characterization) gave himself a tough act to follow after his fantastic 2012 special, New in Town. But Mulaney comes through in the hour-long Comeback,Â a largely self-deprecating set about relationships, training his disobedient dog, and life as an office temp. 5. Iliza Shlesinger, Freezing Hot (January 23, 2015) Shlesinger is a burst of energy throughout this hour-and-15-minute show covering everything from Pinterest to party goblins (i.e., the inner monster that orders you to do horrible and dangerous things at parties).
She's fast-paced, aggressive, and doesn't waste a line. 4. Mike Birbiglia, My Girlfriend's Boyfriend (August 23, 2013) Birbiglia breaks through in the top 10 again. In My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, Birbiglia -- who looks a lot like at least one guy in your office -- makes his suffering palpable as he describes failed relationships, awkward moments, and seeking justice vigilante-style.
3. Neal Brennan, 3 Mics (January 17, 2017) This special from the Chappelle's Show co-creator goes by 3 Mics because Brennan uses three different microphones for three distinct types of performance: 1) "one-liners," or monologue-type material, 2) confessional-style "emotional stuff" in which he talks about depression and his relationship with his abusive father, and 3) traditional stand-up observational-type material.
Brennan nails it from all three sides. It's raw, different, and brave. 2. Jim Jefferies, BARE (August 29, 2014) The comic devotes about 20 minutes to guns and gun ownership in this special, making his case against American "bullshit arguments" in favor of keeping them. While that's the segment you've probably seen before, Jefferies offers much more social commentary that makes this special one of the best Netflix has put out.
best dating comedy stand up show 2016 - Stand
We just want to say a massive thank you to the best comedians of 2016. These guys brought their A game in a year with a very long list of worst moments.
Thanks to the (and a few outsiders), we had a year full of devouring ’ specials on Netflix and binging on TV shows that had us laughing so hard we cried. If you need a laugh too, here are the of the year. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the In a year when national leaders held nothing back against women and minorities, this foxy firebrand and host of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee answered in suit with vicious, bullet-speed barbs so lethal you’ll have to keep rewinding to catch them.
Compared to the rest of the comedians on late-night TV, who either cowered in family-friendly stances or sat behind desks wagging their fingers condescendingly, Bee made the horror and absurdity of our election personal. Stay out of her way. Kevin Hart is everywhere: Making a reported $87 million between 2015 and 2016, the world’s highest-paid comedian certainly seems to have earned every penny, with over 100 stops on his tour (including a sold-out night at Madison Square Garden), starring roles in Ride Along 2, Central Intelligence and The Secret Life of Pets, a partnership with H&M and new Comedy Central series Hart of the City.
Regardless of his output, Hart’s consistent positivity and high-energy comedy make him irresistible to most audiences. What’s not to love? It’s hard to believe that Saturday Night Live’s reigning star and first out-lesbian cast member has only been regularly filling ’s shoes since March 2015: Her mesmerizing performance instantly felt like she’s been doing it for decades.
While we’re crestfallen that the Long Island native won’t be able to perform as a presidential Clinton for the next four years, we can still cherish her impersonation of Stockholm syndrome patient Kellyanne Conway along with her immortal performance as Dr. Jillian Holtzmann in this summer’s kickass . America’s favorite filthy-mouthed comic is shattering boundaries for women in her field. With $17 million in earnings last year, Schumer became the first woman to ever crack Forbes’ list of highest-earning comedians (which includes some straight white dudes you probably haven’t even heard of).
Besides killing it on the road, the always-controversial lightning rod spoke eloquently about topics like rape, gun violence and body shaming on and in her , The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. We can’t wait to see what she and Goldie Hawn are working on for 2017. At some point between reading Amy Schumer to filth in and , Leslie Jones became an icon. At 49 years old, the long-touring stand-up is the oldest comedian to ever be cast on , and it’s clear that she’s just getting started.
Whether she’s aggressively hitting on Weekend Update host , crushing ghouls in Ghostbusters or gleefully hosting , the 6-foot powerhouse has proven to be unstoppable—and unapologetic. After surviving several hate crime attacks on Twitter this year, Jones stands stronger than ever, with an army of fans and fellow comedians waiting to see what she does next.
This year’s instant superstar came in the form of a seven-months-pregnant Asian American stand-up, in the Netflix special Ali Wong: Baby Cobra. Delivering deep-voiced digs with the speed and swagger of Nicki Minaj, the fearless comic owned a set on straight-male-unfriendly topics like breastfeeding, afterbirth and female anatomy. We wish she could be our mom. Our and hit it big in 2016, with a stellar second season on the deliciously mean Difficult People and a return to his NYC funhouse mirror game show , along with appearances on and in Neighbors 2.
While some politicians may resent New York values, we couldn’t be prouder to have this brilliant comedic madman taking to the streets and celebrating what makes this city the best—and the craziest. The hardworking NYC and stand-up walked into season eight of RuPaul’s Drag Race purse first and stole the show with arched-eyebrow reads and enthusiasm for the craft.
Bob sets himself apart from the rest as “a queen for the people” and has made queer activism and political protest the foundations of his drag brand. As he tours the world and makes memorable appearances on shows like High Maintenance, Bob is building a rich new drag empire that we’ll happily swear fealty to. Genius New Yorker shed her Blaria blogger persona in favor of the big time, with two podcasts hitting the air: Sooo Many White Guys and the wildly popular 2 Dope Queens, which she records at the Bell House with bestie and fellow badass Jessica Williams.
As with her stand-up and podcasts, Robinson shared personal stories and confronted everyday racism in her witty new collection of essays, You Can’t Touch My Hair and Other Things I Still Have to Explain.
Can Robinson and Williams get their own movie franchise now? The sweet, self-aware stand-up (known to many as ’s nebbish Todd) seemed to be killing it in every format this year, with another surreal season of The Chris Gethard Show, a starring role in ’s improv crew movie Don’t Think Twice and a still-extended run of his hilarious and heartbreaking solo performance show, Career Suicide.
And as evidenced by musical numbers on Broad City and Natasha Rothwell’s episode of The Characters, this comedian can dance. The master of bong-based psychedelia and gonzo humor took his act to even more extreme heights this year, taking a bath in front of Flavor Flav on The Eric Andre Show, foiling Jay Baruchel on Man Seeking Woman and even actively endangering himself going behind enemy lines at the .
Nobody is braver—or more insane—than Andre. Do yourself a favor and book a ticket to this bawdy badass’ lewd cabaret show: you’re in for the most riveting lap dance of your life. Jumping off of guest appearances on Inside Amy Schumer, Girls and Lady Dynamite, gained a whole new following of fans to liberate with her signature brand of horny lyrics and body positivity. We can’t wait for her to host someday.
It has been a great year for stand-up specials, but also an excessive one. Where a decade ago there would’ve been maybe 12 televised hours of stand-up, this year there were around 80. The combination of streaming services like Netflix and Seeso releasing a ton of specials and stalwarts like Comedy Central, Showtime, and HBO trying to keep pace resulted in the stand-up shows feeling less like events than check-ins on people’s material.
Even so, you can’t have that many specials without yielding a number of classics, and indeed a lot of very good, very innovative stand-up was released this year. Here are the ten best specials. (Also as a result of the specials glut, this year’s ranking will focus only on televised hours, and won’t include albums or half hours like in years past.) 1.
Kyle Kinane, Loose in Chicago, Comedy Central Another year, another fantastic hour of comedy from Kyle Kinane. In 2012, his . In 2015, his Now, only a year later, he’s back, and finally in the top spot. It’s fitting, as Kyle Kinane is one of the best and most prolific comedians of his generation. Kinane has a way of developing material that is personal, feels universal, and filled with that puts him in that upper echelon.
The second half of Loose is especially impressive, with Kinane building the entire half hour around his recent gout diagnosis. The ability to sustain a bit about a disease of excess for that long is a perfect encapsulation of Kinane’s work and skill as a stand-up.
2. Hannibal Buress, Comedy Camisado, Netflix Buress has one of the most distinct comedic voices working today, with his deadpan evolving into a masterful balance of overstatement and understatement, making big deals of small matters and small deals of big matters. A bit about how the Pelicans is a dumb name for a sports team segues into him describing a video of a pelican, into him being amazed that Smoothie King has the money to get naming rights to a basketball stadium, into a shouting match between a cab driver, a white girlfriend, and a xenophobic onlooker that ends up being a hilarious yet subtle examination of everyday racism.
3. Pete Holmes, Faces and Sounds , HBO Since most people know him from his very popular, very heady, very earnest podcast, , Holmes ends up being an underrated stand-up. In reality, dude crushes hard. This ability is on full display in his HBO special, which shows how Holmes can both tackle big, complicated subjects — be it fear, or the societal expectation that men want to have sex all the time — while still being loose and silly.
The blend makes for an uncommonly satisfying hour of comedy. 4. Janeane Garofalo, If I May, Seeso Garofalo is uncompromising. You want strict setups and punch lines? Watch someone else, because Garofalo is going to do her thing as she always has. If I May is like an onslaught of a person’s brain in the best way, as Garofalo blitzes from topic to topic — some personal, some political, some reality television — leaving you with such a rich picture of who she is in this moment.
Garofalo spends a lot of the start of the set wondering if she’s even a stand-up. She is and always has been. Her being a stand-up revolutionized the form in the ‘90s, pioneering Alternative Comedy, a world where originality and honesty became as important as hard jokes.
To this day, Garofalo remains a force. 5. Rory Scovel, The Charleston Special, Seeso Scovel is one of the most unique stand-ups alive. Meta and extremely loose, at his best Scovel feels like an improviser who was given the suggestion “stand-up special.” I almost put The Charleston Special much higher, but from talking to other people, I realized it actually goes so off the rails in a way that can make it confusing to anyone who isn’t already familiar with Scovel’s material.
Not to spoil anything, but there is an unintentional injury. It is an engrossing, hilarious watch. 6. Kevin Hart, What Now? Stand-up superstardom has often been paired with hack tendencies, which is why it is heartening (Hartening) how good Hart is. This special is shot in a football stadium. A FOOTBALL STADIUM. That is not normal. That is unprecedented. And yet, simply, it doesn’t suck. Hart is one of the most naturally funny people ever, but his material is still strong.
Equally confessional and silly, Hart is able to tell long stories with huge laughs. If he has any major flaw, it’s that he tends to heighten premises too quickly, rushing through to the most ridiculous beat, when he could probably live in a bit a little longer. But, ultimately, you’ll be laughing so much that you won’t really notice.
7. Laurie Kilmartin, 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad, Seeso Everyone experiences tragedy in their life, comedians just happen to be better at talking about it and talking about it in a way that doesn’t feel trite or hokey. In that way, 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad feels like a gift. Kilmartin delivers exactly as promised, and the result is a hilarious, painful, cathartic hour of comedy.
It is also home to my favorite joke of the year: “I take comfort in the fact that he died doing what he did best: growing tumors. It was a skill he learned late in life, but, boy, he turned into a world-class master.” 8. Ali Wong, Baby Cobra, Netflix There is something undeniably powerful seeing a stand-up perform . But Baby Cobra isn’t a magic or freak show; Wong is a tremendous, uncompromising, lewd comedian with a point of view and style that deserves to be celebrated. Like the bit about getting turned on putting a thumb in a man’s butt and getting turned on by the fear they feel when they like it — few comics can pull off taking things that far.
Baby Cobra will be remembered. 9. Reggie Watts, Spatial, Netflix Spatial is a perfect title for this, as Watts’s comedy feels at times like it’s from another planet and he’s learned over time how to translate it for human audience — to a point where a lot of his material is post-verbal, with Watts playing with the tropes of sounds.
That said, Watts has gotten better at the parts between songs, where sort of stream of consciousness rambles. As a further extension of what Steve Martin once did, Watts plays with convention to a point where it might not be clear when to laugh but you always do. 10. Bo Burnham, Make Happy, Netflix This was the hardest slot to fill.
There were a few also worthy specials — namely ones from Michael Che, Big Jay Oakerson, and Deon Cole — that I debated putting here. While all are stronger joke writers than Burnham, I wanted to celebrate Bo’s formal ambition, a thing often lacking in stand-ups. Meticulously orchestrated and deeply meta, Make Happy confronts the belief that stand-up must be a dude in front of brick wall, emptying his soul.
Make Happy might be flawed, but no one used his or her platform to try to push stand-up forward more this year than Burnham.
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