Stand-up comedy specials on TV, Netflix
If you’ve ever wished your weekly dose of funny could come more often than just Saturday nights, you’re in luck. The past month has seen a ton of stand-up comedy specials hit the small screen, with everyone from SNL‘s resident young person Pete Davidson to the lovable Wanda Sykes joining in on the fun. Comedy releases aren’t slowing down as the holiday season approaches, as six new specials are slated to air before 2017.
We rounded up shows around the bend and the best ones already available, so grab some popcorn, secure your spot on the couch, and get ready to binge.
1. Colin Quinn, The New York Story (Netflix, Nov. 18)
An SNL vet (who recently starred in Trainwreck with another New Yorker, Amy Schumer), Quinn looked to his home city for inspiration, turn his second stand-up special into a sort of love letter to New York. Jerry Seinfeld directs as Quinn presents the history of the city and the colorful groups that shape its personality.
2. Michael Che, Michael Che Matters (Netflix, Nov. 25)
Che, currently SNL‘s Weekend Update co-anchor and a former Daily Show correspondent, doesn’t shy away from controversial issues in his first stand-up special, but tackles them with his signature laid-back, blunt stage presence.
3. Pete Holmes, Faces and Sounds (HBO, Dec. 3)
Holmes hosts a podcast, called You Made It Weird, where he’s hosted fellow comedians like Mike Birbiglia, Bo Burnham, and John Mulaney. Faces and Sounds will follow up 2013’s hourlong special Nice Try, The Devil, which also highlighted his fun, high-energy style.
4. Reggie Watts, Spatial (Netflix, Dec. 6)
Watts is a comedian by trade, but he’s also a musician, making his shows completely one-of-a-kind. Spatial, filmed in Los Angeles, is a completely improvised and inventive mix of sketches, short stories, and dream sequences.
5. Tom Papa, Human Mule (EPIX, Dec. 9)
Papa’s one of those comedians who has seemingly been everywhere. He’s shown up in movies with Matt Damon and Chris Rock, on TV with Amy Schumer and Jim Gaffigan, and has somehow made time for a third comedy special, his first since 2013. He currently hosts the hit podcast and SiriusXM show Come to Papa.
6. Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, I’m Sorry For What I Said When I Was Hungry (Netflix, Dec. 20)
1. Dana Carvey, Straight White Male, 60 (Netflix)
SNL alum Carvey filmed this, his first stand-up special in 20 years, in Boston, and it’s exactly the distinct brand of comedy you’d expect from the Master of Disguise, impressions included. And yes, there will be election jokes, even though he filmed it in May.
2. Kyle Kinane, Loose in Chicago (Comedy Central)
Chicago sure is having a moment, isn’t it? Kinane, a native son, filmed this follow-up to 2015’s I Liked His Old Stuff Better in his home city. The hour-long special showcases Kinane’s signature self-deprecating humor. Though there’s some political talk (but of course), Kinane’s digs at himself (“I’m 39 and I think I might still be a prodigy at something”) make it worth the watch.
3. Joe Rogan, Triggered (Netflix)
If Rogan has anything to prove, it’s that you’re never too old for pot jokes (“The people making edibles need to slow the f— down. A gummy bear shouldn’t be able to steal your soul”). He’s not just good for weed jokes, though — Rogan has something to say about everything from Kim Kardashian to religion to lying to kids, and when the master of Zen gets heated, as he tends to do, it always makes for a funny time.
4. Wanda Sykes, What Happened…Ms. Sykes? (EPIX)
Sykes has been a fixture in the comedy world for a long time, and became the first black woman and the first openly gay comic to perform at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2009. In this special, Sykes focuses on her life and family, as she wonders, ‘How the f— did I get here?’
5. Pete Davidson, SMD (Comedy Central)
At 22, Davidson’s boyish charm still hasn’t quite worn off, and the SNL cast member uses that to his advantage as he jokes about his mom bringing him condoms, the copious amounts of weed he smokes, and his last acid trip. But just when you think the crudeness is too much, he pulls you back in with his deeper side.
6. Janeane Garofalo, If I May (Seeso)
Seeso touted this special as “tanget filled,” and Garofalo’s way of engaging the audience less as a machine churning out jokes and more as a friend having a conversation suits the description well. If you love Garofalo, tune in for the self-deprecating humor and the meandering, witty takes on life in general.