HomeOur ObsessionsBingewatch Netflix’s best comedy specials

Bingewatch Netflix’s best comedy specials

Add these 14 essential comedy specials on Netflix to your list immediately: the belly-busters and side-splitters to keep your face aching for days.

Bingewatch Netflix’s best comedy specials

Searching for the right comedy special on Netflix can be no laughing matter. The streaming giant currently has a gargantuan range of them available to stream – scrolling fatigue, anyone? When there are so many options, where do you even start?

If you need a quick fix of the funnies regularly, you need to add these 14 essential comedy specials on Netflix to your list immediately. These are the best of the best: the belly-busters and side-splitters to keep your face aching for days. Or at least 90 minutes.

Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats

Full of acerbic energy and wry observations about everything from gender politics to the differences between vomit families and poop families, Peretti’s eviscerating wit is as boundless as her charisma.

Hannibal Takes Edinburgh

Deadpan comedian Hannibal Buress (Daddy’s Home) shines in this special which is part-stand-up and part-documentary and follows the progression of his stand-up over the course of 28-days of sets at the Edinburgh festival. The special captures the difficulties of comedy with hilarious finesse and shows Buress slowly unravelling and losing his trademark cool.

Tracy Morgan: Staying Alive

Morgan’s first comedy special since his near-fatal car accident in 2014 addresses some dark topics. But delivered with the comedian’s trademark buoyant wit, the entire set is pure comedy catharsis.

Margaret Cho: PsyCHO

The legendary comedian is as fearless as ever in this provocative special in which she takes on loaded issues like terrorism, racism, and sexuality with a bewitching confidence.

Michael Bolton’s Big, Sexy Valentine’s Day Special

Created and written by Akiva Schaffer (The Watch) and Scott Aukerman (Comedy Bang! Bang!), the Sexy Valentine’s Day Special is a stick of sensual dynamite at any time of the year. With an on-form Bolton parodying himself while doing a telethon to encourage some serious baby-making activities, alongside a range of guest stars like Andy Samberg and Maya Rudolph, it’s an unexpectedly anarchic treat.

Sarah Silverman: A Speck Of Dust

Silverman’s Netflix special was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special and it wholeheartedly deserved it. Full of unmerciful twists, brazen honesty, and uncomfortable punchlines, A Speck Of Dust is Sarah Silverman at her finest.

Problem Child: Leslie Jones

Best known for Saturday Night Live and Ghostbusters, Problem Child flaunts Jones’s comedic skill as a solo standup artist, touching upon her childhood experiences, her love life as a “big bitch”, and getting that good D.

Chelsea Handler: Uganda Be Kidding Me

Recounting her adventures in Africa, Handler’s set is full of self-deprecating jabs and bawdy anecdotes to howl in the face of political correctness.

Maria Bamford: Old Baby

The Lady Dynamite creator delivers one of the most unique comedy specials you may ever see. This roving show sees Bamford performing a fast-paced set for crowds on park benches, in bowling alleys, and at LA theaters.

Dave Chappelle: Equanimity & The Bird Revelation

No stranger to controversy, Chappelle’s latest special managed to stir up a great deal of chatter concerning what some regarded as “reckless” jokes about the #MeToo movement and transgender people. Controversial or otherwise, his delivery is sharp and his jokes offer a shrewd perspective on society.

Marc Maron: Too Real

Maron’s distinctive voice lends itself well to this strangely insightful special which offers audiences a glimpse into the comedian’s rattled perspective on modern life.

Jen Kirkman: I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine)

Kirkman (Home Again) pulls no punches in this snappy special in which she dissects her recent divorce, the joys of turning 40, and the assumption that every woman wants, and needs, to have kids.

Iliza Shlesinger: Confirmed Kills

Laying down some all-too-relatable truths about womanhood, reality TV, and the “party goblin” who resides within all of us, Shlesinger (Girlboss) is so comfortable on stage her set feels like a night in with an old pal.

Fred Armisen: Standup for Drummers

Even if you’ve never hit a skin in your life, you’ll likely still enjoy the comedy beats Armisen (Portlandia)  rolls out in Standup for Drummers. The Portlandia star combines sketches, music, and standup along with spot-on impressions in a rapid-fire set.

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Amy Roberts is a freelance writer who occasionally moonlights as a hapless punk musician. She’s written about pop culture for websites like Bustle, i-D, and The Mary Sue, and is the co-creator of Clarissa Explains F*ck All. She likes watching horror movies with her cat and eating too much sugar.

amy@filmdaily.co