One of the reasons why stand-up shows are mushrooming everywhere nowadays is because of the budget involved that is meagre, to say the least. Without any doubt, if you look at some of our commercially successful movies, they have a budget that covers the varied set of departments, the pay for all the cast and crew and the locations, along with the costs of distribution which are soaring by the day. Comparatively, stand-up specials or stand-up shows are easy to produce and distribute, given the popularity of streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu or Prime these days that have taken the internet by storm and have made thousands of movies and television shows available to us at the click of a button. Neither does one have to worry about the location or the screenplay or look for excellent cinematography or direction – everything is taken care of by the comics or performers themselves. And if I may, even stand-up comedy has genres like topical comedy, observational comedy, sketch, self-deprecating comedy, black comedy, alternative comedy, dark humour etc. We have tried to cover most of these types as a part of our list today.
I personally am a big fan of stand-up comedy shows. Not only have I witnessed a countless number of shows live, but I also tend to binge a lot of them, for laughter is the best medicine. As far as my favourite stand-up comic is concerned, I admire George Carlin a lot, for his stand-up shows and for his *strong* opinions on American culture, politics, people, eating and drinking habits, education, and various social and historical clichés. I believe Carlin was largely responsible for what we know today as stand-up comedy. Other than Carlin, Russell Peters, Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer and Gabriel Iglesias are some of my all-time favourites. Whether you agree with me or not, standup comedy is all about opinions and voicing them in one’s own way, be it on any subject. The idea is to make others laugh. Period. Having that said, Netflix has a colossal collection of standup shows, specials, series and live performances which you can watch. You might be able to watch a few of these comedy specials on Amazon Prime or Hulu. We can’t promise nor is it feasible to make this an exhaustive list, but we’ve cherry-picked the 21 really good stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.
21. Chris Tucker Live (2015)
For the fans of Chris Tucker, this might as well be a blessing in disguise. As he takes the stage yet another time, he begins with dating and relationships, then traversing through celebrities with his impersonations of various celebrities all the while. The most hilarious part of the entire 90-minute-act is, however, when Tucker takes on his own family and his childhood. Though the conclusion is a little weary, ‘Chris Tucker Live’ makes for quite a good overall act with the sporadic laughs and giggles.
20. Chris Rock: Tamborine (2018)