Humor heroes: Netflix comedy specials you need to watch now

When it comes to making great comedy, finding inspiration always helps. So in no particular order of hilariousness, here are some of my personal favorite stand-up specials. They’re all available on Netflix, by the way. You’re welcome, lazy ass.

Hilarious by Louis CK

Don’t ask me why, but I want to marry Louis CK. I thought I was the only one, but I’ve known both gay and straight people who have nodded fervently when I said this out loud. (Is it the ginger hair? The beer belly? The divorce?) Louis CK is perhaps one of the greatest comics of all time — and I don’t say that lightly. Hilarious is just one of many that I’ve seen from Louis CK, and I haven’t even gotten started on his show Louie. Imagine getting access to the kind of dad/tito jokes you don’t hear because they’re too inappropriate. You get surprised because, wow, dads are funny?

Favorite joke in a nutshell: “[Gay marriage] doesn’t have any effect on your life. Why the f*ck do you care? People try to talk about it like it’s a social issue. ‘How am I supposed to explain to my child that two men are getting married?’ I dunno, it’s your sh*tty kid, you f*ckin’ tell ‘em… Two guys are in love but they can’t get married because you don’t want to talk to your ugly child for f*ckin’ five minutes?”

Baby Cobra by Ali Wong

I tend to show Baby Cobra off whenever an a-hole insists that women just “aren’t that funny,” because Ali Wong is a slayer of a-holes. Not only is she a woman and Asian, she also did this hourlong special while heavily pregnant. And while there are loads of the sex-positive jokes present in the work of comics like Amy Schumer and Sarah Silverman, Wong’s humor explores the grossness of being a woman — in the same way that men are sometimes. Seriously one of the best stand-up specials I’ve seen. Ever.

Favorite joke in a nutshell: “I think my husband and I have an huge unspoken understanding, because he’s half-Filipino and half-Japanese. I’m half-Chinese and half-Vietnamese. So we’re both half-fancy Asian and halfjungle Asian. The fancy Asians are the Chinese and Japanese. They get to do fancy things like host Olympics. Jungle Asians host diseases.”

Lower Classy by Christela Alonzo

There aren’t a lot of Latina comics, and Christela Alonzo is a gem among the few. First of all, she starts her stand-up special with a joke related to Selena. (Not Gomez. The OG Selena with actual talent.) The way she talks about her mother and the destinies of many Latina women in the US show that this is a rare bit of comedy with a lot of heart.

Favorite joke in a nutshell: “As a woman, I want to break that glass ceiling, but as a Mexican I wanted to clean that sh*t too.”

The Comeback Kid by John Mulaney

John Mulaney is BEAUTIFUL. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about how hilarious he is. I’m mostly suspicious of white men in comedy, because the jokes tend to skew the same way, but imagine the perfect white boyfriend meeting your mom for the first time and charming the socks off her — then making a rather saucy joke over the mashed potatoes. As a lapsed Catholic myself, I loved how he talked about how trendy the Church has gotten and the ultimate plot twist against his unwittingly hilarious dad.

Favorite joke in a nutshell: “We started chanting, ‘McDonald’s, McDonald’s, McDonald’s!’ And my dad pulled into the drive thru, and we started cheering. Then he ordered one black coffee for himself and kept driving.”

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