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Top 10 Funniest Netflix Stand-Up Comedy Specials

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Quinn Hough
Written by Q.V. Hough Insightful and provocative, these Netflix Originals are instant stand-up classics. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Netflix Original Stand-Up Comedy Specials. For this list, we’re focusing on the most thought-provoking comedy specials that Netflix has produced.
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Insightful and provocative, these Netflix Originals are instant stand-up classics. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Netflix Original Stand-Up Comedy Specials.

For this list, we’re focusing on the most thought-provoking comedy specials that Netflix has produced.

#10: “Neal Brennan: 3 Mics” (2017)


Originally an off-Broadway show, this three-act special was tweaked for Netflix viewers. Neal Brennan comments on modern topics like social media and his time writing on “Chappelle’s Show,” drawing a connection to more practical times – or, according to this comic, happier times. When Brennan reflects on his insecurities and depression, the special becomes emotionally bittersweet. On stage, he works through various personal issues, mixing in some poignant one-liners for comedic healing. This is a special that will make you laugh and cry, maybe at the same time.


#9: “Jim Jefferies: BARE” (2014)


In your face and full of raw commentaries, this special is focused on cultural politics. As advertised, Jim Jefferies is not afraid to address sensitive issues, and he does so with an unapologetic demeanor. While some comics are calculated with shocking statements, Jeffries seems like he’s just talking to some friends and being naturally hilarious. He’s critical of society and observational about sex, while his snarky tone adds a little extra zing. He’s a poetic barroom philosopher, and if you like “BARE,” then you’ll sure likely his 2016 special “Freedumb.”


#8: “Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King” (2017)


This special is all about life before ”The Daily Show” fame. With personalized images of Indian culture in the background, Hasan Minhaj details his unique upbringing to his hometown, Davis, California audience, and how traditions don’t always translate to immigrants’ American-born children. At times, Minhaj takes a more direct approach, as he comments on racial equality and the cultural gaps that often lead to misunderstandings. It’s a brilliant mix of pop culture humor and societal examinations; a special that’s customized for modern viewers.



#7: “Ali Wong: Baby Cobra” (2016)


Filmed at Seattle’s Neptune Theatre, this special offers blunt takes on romance and Asian culture. Known for her writing work on “Fresh Off the Boat,” Ali Wong doesn’t shy away from her sexual experiences, using them to address feminism and white privilege. With her rapid-fire approach and seven-month baby bump, she fully owns the stage while poking fun about her wants and needs. Overall, Ali’s self-deprecating humor draws attention to how we view ourselves and interact with people who seem different. The result is a gut-busting blend of raunchy jokes and maternal musings.



#6: “Aziz Ansari: Live at Madison Square Garden” (2015)


Hey, we all get that it’s vaguely ironic that Aziz has built his standup career talking about the awkwardness of modern dating, and then that story comes out… But if you’re willing to overlook the fact that Mr. Ansari may not be the best date in the world, his standup is still sharp and insightful. On stage, Aziz picks apart the new normal of modern relationships, whether it’s our collective lack of commitment or human connections. His super-animated performance style allows for big punch lines, but Ansari also slows it down to comment on passionate love versus… companion love. The jokes are hip and relevant, and Aziz has a unique way of emphasizing the surreal.



#5: “Patton Oswalt: Annihilation” (2017)


While many stand-up comedy specials are inspired by past events, the emotional wounds are fresh in this one. At first, Patton Oswalt addresses the Donald Trump presidency, injecting some cultural context to contemplate the larger picture. But the most affecting moments come when Oswalt speaks about his late wife Michelle, and how he finds solace through comedy. Though he does speak about creative concepts – particularly a raunchy movie pitch – “Annihilation” is mostly a reaction to a major personal loss, and how family and humor intertwine during the darkest of times.



#4: “Louis C.K.: 2017” (2017)


Ok, first let’s address the elephant in the room: In 2017, Louis CK. confirmed multiple reports of sexual misconduct, tarnishing his reputation and tainting many of his previous works. However, taken on it’s own merits, there is still a lot of material that works in this Netflix special. He details his minimized “Circle of Concern” and even acknowledges his own sexual frustrations while viewing “Magic Mike.” He’s non-apologetic about his likes and dislikes, as he focuses less on his figurative “Achilles Heel” and more on enjoying life to the fullest. If you can get past the general ickiness, this special is worth a look.



#3: “Bo Burnham: Make Happy” (2016)


As one of YouTube first breakout stars, Bo Burnham is familiar with contemporary trends. He strays from traditional stand-up comedy in “Make Happy,” as he incorporates music and stage design to expose cultural clichés. At times, he relies on self-deprecating comedy, only to transition into theatrical performances laced with profanity. It’s an exceptionally produced commentary on modern pop culture, and Burnham’s wit shines through with each meta-joke. It’s not what you might expect from a “comedian” per se, but it’s a spot-on representation of millennial humor.



#2: “Bill Burr: Walk Your Way Out” (2017)


With this special, a Boston comic displays his knack for brutally honest observations. Bill Burr addresses the hot topic of the time – Donald Trump – but he quickly moves on to more important topics like “emotional” celebrities, with Kanye West being a particular target. As a self-described “Psycho,” Burr properly explains his worldview, even taking shots at the audience for being too sensitive about using sports analogies to describe Adolf Hitler. There’s a rhyme and reason for Burr’s long-winded rants, and his final gorilla commentary will have you looking for more of his specials.



Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

- “Mike Birbiglia: Thank God for Jokes” (2017)

- “Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust” (2017)


- “John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid” (2015)


#1: “The Age of Spin: Dave Chappelle Live at the Hollywood Palladium” (2017)



Much like Neal Brennan, Dave Chappelle has seen the best of times and the worst of times. With this special - a comedic complement to his other Netflix Original “Deep in the Heart of Texas” - he gives the people what they want, as he addresses his public persona, modern pop culture and banana-throwing audience members. Throughout the routine, Chappelle displays his mastery of comedic timing and observational humor. Most of all, Dave comes from a genuine place, as he stays true to his craft and calls it how he sees it.
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