Over the years, Netflix has brought many quality shows to our screens. While the original programming may be fantastic, Netflix’s stand-up comedy specials are lesser-talked about, while equally deserving of our attention. Here are some gems you might have missed out on.
You may know John Mulaney from his work as a writer on “Saturday Night Live” and “Big Mouth.” In regard to these accomplishments, he is my absolute favorite comedian. Mulaney has three comedy specials on Netflix, each better than the last. The true genius of Mulaney lies in his art of storytelling. He is a theatrical performer yet tells stories with such precision, you feel like you were there. His stories center around his life from childhood to current-day troubles. He talks about memories of growing up in Chicago and the weirdness of attending school assemblies and also shares stories about his favorite guests on “SNL.” If you want to laugh so hard you cry, watch any of his comedy specials.
If you’re one of those people who think that women aren’t funny, watch Chelsea Peretti’s special “One of the Greats.” Peretti used to write for “Parks and Recreation,” and she can currently be seen on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” By trade, however, she is a stand-up comedian. Peretti speaks about life with such honesty and wit that makes it easy to relate to her, and she details the dread of going out to parties when you’d rather be at home binge-watching television and includes tips about how to get out of those parties. Peretti is one of my favorite female comedians, and she deserves your attention.
While Bo Burnham’s style of comedy isn’t for me personally, I do have to say his performances are works of art. Burnham mixes comedy with music, and it all comes together to make an incredible performance. Burnham’s acts comment on popular culture and society, all while poking fun at himself. His jokes are quick, witty and make you feel like you’re not alone in the world. The best part of his act is when he does a bit about the analytical “left brain” portion yourself versus the creative “right brain,” which incorporates a very catchy, fun song. If you’re into cynical observations about society and appreciate musical acts, give his special “What.” a watch.
Jen Kirkman is unapologetically, aggressively herself, which is reflected in her comedy. She is sharp, honest, confident and keeps me laughing. She speaks about being divorced and travelling alone in Italy, while also being a bit philosophical. She has two Netflix specials, but my favorite is “Just Keep Livin’?.” Kirkman’s comedy is deeply relatable, featuring lines like, “I’m just a soul trapped in a body. I didn’t ask to be born and I’m afraid to die.” My favorite thing about Kirkman is that she tackles controversial subjects that other comedians may be afraid to discuss, yet she speaks about them with such confidence. If you want to support female comedians, watch Kirkman’s specials.
photo courtesy InstantWatcher