In the last few years, Netflix’s offering has gone from featuring a handful of decent standup options to becoming a full-on comedy hub. If you were looking for a decent standup special, you were limited to older specials, most of which had already been thoroughly mined for youtube clips already. Now there are so many new and great original options it’s hard to pick.
Don’t worry, we’re here to cut down on some of that paralysis. Here are some of the best comedians on Netflix.
Before indie darling Bo Burnham directed Eighth Grade, he was best known as a teenage youtube comedian, and a standup oddball. His mix of musical comedy with satire and often ruthless introspection is original and downright hilarious.
Burnham’s got two specials on Netflix, what. and Make Happy. They’re crass, frenetic, and riddled with Burnham’s particularly cutting observational style. Check them out if you’re in the market for musical comedy and don’t mind laughing at yourself a little.
Eighth Grade’s on Netflix too, if you’re in the mood for something a little more narrative driven.
John Mulaney’s been on a real tear the last few years, with what feels like new hilarity every year. He’s without a doubt one of the best comedians on Netflix, let alone currently working. If you’re looking for conventional standup comedy, check out Kid Gorgeous, The Comeback Kid, or New in Town. They’re all hilarious, featuring Mulaney’s mix of anecdotal stories, social awkwardness, and astute observations.
If you want something a little more involved, check out Oh Hello, a recording of the eponymous Broadway show Mulaney performs with comedian Nick Kroll (The League). The two play a pair of old New Yorkers sharing oddball stories about their past and interacting with various guests. It’s weird as hell in the best way.
On top of all that, Mulaney also plays Andy Glouberman in Netflix’s animated coming-of-age comedy, Big Mouth.
Patton Oswalt isn’t only one of the best comedians on Netflix, he’s also one of the busiest. This guy pops up in a wide variety of content on the service. He’s got great stand-up specials like Talking for Clapping and Annihilation, as well as a bunch of other shows.
Oswalt currently co-hosts the Netflix-produced Mystery Science Theater 3000, a comedy commentary series which shows old (and bad) science fiction movies. He also plays Happy in the dark comedy of the same name, about an imaginary horse accompanying an unhinged ex-cop turned hitman, played by Christopher Meloni (Law and Order). On top of that, he’s in more serious fare like The Confirmation, and kids shows like Minecraft Story Mode.
He’s extremely prolific, and it’s not hard to see why. Patton Oswalt is relatable, adorably dorky, and very, very funny.
How many comedians can say they’ve done a standup special pregnant? Not only has Ali Wong done it — and well — she’s done it twice. In her two fantastic specials Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife, Ali Wong tackles marriage and motherhood, race and feminism in America, and being pregnant while doing comedy.
If you’re in for something scripted, Wong’s new romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe just released on Netflix. In it, she plays a celebrity chef looking for love, alongside Daniel Dae Kim (Lost) and Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat).
Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby only has one special on Netflix. She’s only got one special, period. However, Nanette is required viewing if you’re a standup comedy fan. It’s gut wrenching, witty, and sometimes hilarious. Gadsby gets into her experiences with sexism and homophobia, in life and in comedy, and why she was planning to leave the scene altogether after the show.
Thankfully, she thought better about that last bit, but none the less this is a powerful and honest show everyone should watch.
Wanda Sykes is a comedy veteran who’s been in comedies and standup specials for decades. The selection of her work is pretty limited, but she’s still one of best comedians on Netflix. Right now the only movies she’s in on the service are Monster in Law and Evan Almighty, which aren’t exactly classics, but definitely have their moments.
On top of that Sykes has a new standup special on Netflix called Not Normal, where she gets political, tackling race in America, Donald Trump, and more.
Those are just a handful of the comedians you can find on Netflix, with even more available to stream. If you’re in the mood for something else, there’s new content on the service basically every week.
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