Netflix has become a destination for stand up comedy recently. Not only does Netflix spend millions on new stand up productions (they are rumored to have paid Chris Rock 40 million dollars for 2 comedy specials,) they have older, harder to find titles that are waiting to be rediscovered. Here are 5 of the best specials you can stream right now on the service:
Richard Pryor is arguably the best comedian to ever have lived, yet people who are getting in to stand-up often have never seen a special all the way through. Netflix has uploaded Live in Concert, which is one of his best shows, and gives you a sense of Pryors unique delivery and just how awkward he was able to make white people who attended his shows back in the 1970s. Few people with the star power Richard had would have ever talked about crack or pimps onstage, let alone call someone a motherfucker.
If you’ve never seen Richard, it’s time to get your education
Colin Quinn really found his style in his post SNL career. His one-topic historical raconteur style worked extremely well in Long Story Short, about the history of the world, and later Unconstitutional, where he took on the historical significance of the most debated document of all time.
In New York Story, Colin tells the story of how New York City’s diversity came to be and how it had many bumps in the road. New York story is the third Colin Quinn special to be directed by Jerry Seinfeld, who turns in some really nice work here.
3. Hannibal Takes Edinburgh
Hannibal Buress might be best known as Lincoln in Broad City, but he has an impressive set of credits to his name and is incredibly sought after on the stand-up scene. Hannibal Takes Edinburgh shows Hannibal at a unique moment in his career- he’s big enough for name recognition, but small enough to hang out near his posters and add a few extra stars to them without being noticed. It’s a comedy special/stand-up special that captures Hannibal for who he is.
Chelsea Peretti has a stage persona of grandeur that she has parlayed into one of the best characters on Brooklyn Nine Nine. She takes this concept to the extreme in the opening of her show and it sets you up for what is possibly the most fun a person has ever had on stage on someone else’s dime. Bonus: there are lots of dog scenes.
Maria Bamford might be one of this generation’s greatest living comedians. Her creativity which would later be pushed to the edge in Lady Dynamite is on full display here as she performs an entire special in her parents’ house. No one takes on more grotesque subjects in a funnier way than Maria Bamford, and this special will challenge everything you previously believed about comedy specials while making you tear up from laughing