- 15. Hannah Gadsby: Nanette
- 14. Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable
- 13. Mike Birbiglia: Thank God for Jokes
- 12. John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City
- 11. Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King
- 10. Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark
- 9. Wanda Sykes: Not Normal
- 8. Taylor Tomlinson: Quarter-Life Crisis
- 7. Sebastian Maniscalco: Stay Hungry
- 6. Amy Schumer: The Leather Special
- 5. Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah
- 4. Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby
- 3. Leslie Jones: Time Machine
- 2. Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Before Seinfeld
- 1. Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh
During these trying times, we could all use a little extra cheering up. One of the best ways to unwind when inside, apart from laughing out loud to your favorite rom-coms, is to watch stand-up comedians perform their material. Fortunately, Netflix has a ton of excellent comedy specials available for you to watch.
When you browse through the streaming service, you’ll discover a ton of hour-long specials from the year 2020 and earlier, covering everything from dark and anecdotal comedy to observational, physical, and satiric humor. We’ve compiled a list of 15 of the absolute best ones to start with in order to assist you in sorting through them all and selecting one for your next couch appointment.
15. Hannah Gadsby: Nanette
When Nanette debuted in the world in 2018, critics all over the world gushed about it — and for a significant reason. The Australian comedian challenges the comedy industry as we know it, and her self-deprecating humor combined with her incredibly personal account of growing up gay in Tasmania will keep you reflecting long after she finishes.
14. Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable
This stand-up set by Ellen, which highlights her early life and climb to prominence, features her endearing sarcasm. She is brilliant because she can turn even the most routine activities, like eating out, into amusing stories. Inevitably, if you enjoy the remarks she uses on her talk show, you’ll find this to be just as fascinating. P/S: This is her first recorded stand-up performance in 15 years.
13. Mike Birbiglia: Thank God for Jokes
You will be fascinated if Mike is allowed to rant on stage in Brooklyn, New York about late people, the point of humor, and driving without a license. In this stand-up routine, Mike, who is well-known for his (mostly) clean comedy and humorous anecdotes, has a unique way of making himself the brunt of his own jokes, which makes him all the more endearing.
12. John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City
The 2018 Radio City recording of the SNL rising star covers topics like school assemblies, aging, and manners with the same unpretentious charm and wit that first won him fans. This Netflix comedy special is at the top of countless lists, with some even claiming that it may be “Mulaney at his best.”
11. Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King
In this 2017 special centered on his own experience growing up in a Muslim Indian American household while residing in Davis, California, the Patriot Act host gets a lot of laughs. He begins reminiscing his terrible prom experience, which becomes the focal point of his bittersweet yet moving special. This one is worth viewing due to his openness and candor.
10. Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark
In this Netflix special, Trevor brings his charisma from The Daily Show desk to discuss his opinions on topics like naming countries, traffic lights in New York City, and why you shouldn’t drink in Scotland. All of his ideas culminate in a scene where Nelson Mandela is instructing former President Barack Obama on vocal technique.
9. Wanda Sykes: Not Normal
You’ll be reminded of why she’s a legend while watching Not Normal. Wanda tackles the present political and cultural situation in her own special style with her razor-sharp humor and unapologetically expressed beliefs. The 30-year comedy veteran does not hold back her emotions in this scene, as you’ll see when you watch it, which makes it all the funnier and more entertaining.
8. Taylor Tomlinson: Quarter-Life Crisis
You millennial ladies in your 20s will identify with Taylor’s struggle with adulting in Quarter-Life Crisis. In her first-ever Netflix special, Taylor reflects on her life decisions and makes fun of everything from greeting cards to social media breakups. You should absolutely watch this one online because we think this is just the beginning for the comedienne.
7. Sebastian Maniscalco: Stay Hungry
It’s difficult to stop giggling when this comic talks about pregnancy photoshoots, wedding dances, and spin classes in addition to his over-the-top facial expressions and dramatic gestures. Nobody does observational humor better than Sebastian. His “everyone-is-my-problem” attitude and boiling energy in this special, will keep you glued from beginning to end.
6. Amy Schumer: The Leather Special
The self-deprecation queen gets major props for her audacious remarks in her routine. If you’re not familiar with Amy’s humor, you should know that she frequently includes sex jokes in her specials, and this evening is no exception. You might want to watch it with the kids in bed if you know it’s on the raunchier side. However, it’s unquestionably a wonderful choice for a girls’ night/sleepovers.
5. Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah
Recorded on her 40th birthday, Tiffany pauses to consider her Jewish ancestry and passage into adulthood, including her upbringing, rise to stardom, and all in between. The special has a wealth of information on the actress and movie star’s life, all while she performs her renowned, boisterous brand of comedy that her fans adore.
4. Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby
Seth takes a break from his late-night desk for this special to talk candidly about his life as a father and a family man—and, coincidentally, why you should never take your girlfriend to Paris for her birthday. Critics claim that Seth’s quick-witted and astute comic performance here reveals a side of the former SNL cast member that fans might not even be aware of. In other words, even if you don’t watch Late Night often, you might be surprised by this.
3. Leslie Jones: Time Machine
Leslie’s departure from Saturday Night Live in 2019 was heartbreaking, but it’s wonderful to see her back on stage in her environment and discussing her path from sleep apnea to, at one point, attempting to seduce the late and great Prince. By the time Leslie reaches her 40s, she has traveled through her 20s, 30s, and 40s. She concludes by saying, “I wish I had a time machine… to go back and tell [my] 20-year-old self, ‘Hey, it’s gonna be okay.'”
2. Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Before Seinfeld
The renowned comic performs his observational routine flawlessly at the Comic Strip, the venue where he first made his name. But unlike past specials, this one includes supplemental material, like heartwarming home videos and a display of Jerry’s legal pads full of jokes from 1975 and later. Regarding the stand-up itself, Jerry’s eccentric delivery is unbeatable as he bemoans a variety of human actions and recalls his early days in comedy.
1. Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh
If you were unable to watch “Happy Gilmore” and “Big Daddy,” 100% Fresh will quickly transport you back to the comedian’s heyday. Longtime fans of Adam’s comedy will like this special, which combines various performances to provide the best punchlines and quips, from his legendary jokey songs to his stories about Rob Schneider. He is shown performing in a subway station at one point, while at another he is seen moving the crowd to tears with a song about his beloved late friend Chris Farley. Adam performs bits and ballads throughout 73 minutes.