Netflix specials: All the comedians with pitch black dark humor jokes
In these stressful times, a lot of us have taken to humor as a coping mechanism. To be more specific, we love dark humor jokes to cope with the terrifying realities of living. Researchers from the Humor Research Lab will tell you that it’s okay to laugh at dark humor jokes. Why? They call it a benign violation when we try to find the comedy in tragedy or humor in calamities.
Thankfully, stand-up comedians, over the years, have made sure to feed us a steady diet of dark humor. Whether they’re talking about death as if the grim reaper is a pal or just using humor to knock some serious points home, here are some Netflix specials that go into unchartered territories & aren’t afraid to go slightly risqué.
Daniel Sloss: Dark & Jigsaw
Scottish Comedian Daniel Sloss is the flagbearer of the darkest variety of humor, which explains why his special is called Dark. He talks about losing his sister Josie as a kid, ordinarily a dark place of grief. But he manages to bring dark humor into the equation for punchlines that are bound to leave you aghast.
At another point, he talks about a joke related to religion that offended most of his audience at an Indiana gig. The fact that he chooses to narrate it again – this time on a global platform – isn’t just gutsy; it’s also very symbolic of his irreverence.
He takes the irreverence a notch up in his second special called Jigsaw, where he talks about relationships, heartbreaks, veganism, among other things. He really treads that very fragile line between inappropriate & horrifying as he goes on to make jokes about how “pedophiles are better than Facebook vegans, because at least pedophiles don’t brag about being pedophiles.”
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette & Douglas
The thing with Hannah Gadsby is that this Australian comedian is relentless in breaking the rules of comedy. She indulges in self-deprecating comedy, feasts on it, but in the end circles back to equate self-deprecation by someone on the margins as humiliation in her debut special Nanette.
She’s given us some of the most profound one-liners in her second special Douglas. But the winner in her dark jokes is the story behind the names of both her specials.
Taylor Tomlinson: Quarter-Life Crisis
Taylor Tomlinson is relatively young in the sea of comedians with pitch black dark humor, but she holds back on nothing. She can talk about failed relationships, co-dependence, hot chicks – all the while smiling her trademark nasty smile – and you’ll suddenly be struck by a highly inappropriate joke. By the time you realize, you’d be too deep into a laughing fit.
Her self-assured breeziness is refreshing, too. She can get scathing with brides, no holds barred as she gives a judgement, “Huh, that’s your best? Interesting.”
Katherine Ryan: In Trouble & Glitter Room
Canadian comedian Katherine Ryan brings a lot to the table: her English daughter’s eccentricities, her tumultuous dating life, among other things. She spares no one – clearly, her daughter is the butt of many jokes – but she also manages to make the audience comfortably uncomfortable at all times.
Ali Wong: Baby Cobra & Hard Knock Wife
Ali Wong has a thing for performing when pregnant. So far, it’s working well for her. She brings a perspective never heard before, that of a pregnant woman who’s not in the mood to be idolized & would rather be obeyed. She’s not sugar-coating it, “I’m busy making an eyeball, okay? Are you making a foot? I didn’t think so.”
Ricky Gervais: Humanity
British Comedian Ricky Gervais is not a big fan of humanity. It makes for a great story about why he named his special Humanity then. There’s a lot to love about Gervais (remember his unhinged Golden Globes gig?) but his dark & temerarious humor might be top of the list.