Best Netflix Stand-Up Comedy Specials to Watch Now

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(Photo by Bo Burnham/Netflix)

Last updated: June 7, 2021

Whether you’re in the mood to laugh, cry, or let your mind go entirely blank while you ignore the responsibilities of life and binge three seasons of a series in one weekend, Netflix has a show for that. In the past few years, the company has focused in particular on the “laugh” aspect, curating a massive collection of stand-up comedy specials from the world’s biggest comedians. Rotten Tomatoes has created our own list of the very best of those specials, coming from A-list superstars, lesser-known funny people, and many in between.

Some of the specials entered the mainstream consciousness, and four of them are even Certified Fresh at 100% on the Tomatometer (a fifth, Aziz Ansari’s latest stand-up special, Right Now, is also Certified Fresh). What you won’t find: Comedy specials that can actually be classified as variety specials, like the very funny Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life, or John Mulaney and Nick Kroll’s in-character Oh Hello On Broadway, or John Leguizamo’s Tony-nominated play Latin History for Morons.

To be considered for inclusion on the list, each special must have received at least five reviews to earn a Tomatometer score. As a result some recent specials from stars like Russell Brand, Kevin James, and Trevor Noah aren’t included, nor is Tiffany Haddish’s new series spotlighting lesser-known comedians, They Ready. Cristela Alonzo and Katherine Ryan also didn’t quite make the list. And due to their current Rotten scores, some specials from A-listers like Dave Chappelle, Pete Davidson, Ricky Gervais, Ray Romano, and Amy Schumer aren’t on it either.

What is on the list: Bo Burnham’s critically acclaimed — we’re talking 100% Fresh on the Tomatometer — special Inside, which the comedian wrote, directed, and filmed from his home during 2020.

We’ll update this list as new titles launch on Netflix and get scores.

Recently Added: Bo Burnham’s Inside

#64

Adjusted Score: 13.82%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Newly engaged comic Iliza Shlesinger dives into undeniable truths about life at age 35, the insanity of the road traveled… [More]

#63

Adjusted Score: 18.519%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Comedian, actor, writer, musician and SNL alum Fred Armisen brings his comedic observations, musician impressions, and drum skills to his… [More]

#62

Adjusted Score: 21.243%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Emmy-nominated comedian, actor and writer David Cross is taking the mic for his first stand-up comedy special for Netflix, David… [More]

#61

Adjusted Score: 23.231%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Marc Maron wades through a swamp of vitamin hustlers, evangelicals and grown male nerd children, culminating in a gleefully filthy… [More]

#60

Adjusted Score: 60.392%

Critics Consensus: 23 Hours to Kill misses the mark but still finds some funny in a special that’s entertaining, if not always great.

Synopsis: Jerry Seinfeld’s new hour-long special, Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill, reinforces his reputation as the precision-craftsman of standup comedy…. [More]

#59

Adjusted Score: 32.013%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: The Daily Show’s Hasan Minhaj performs to a packed house at the Mondavi Center in Minhaj’s hometown of Davis, CA…. [More]

#58

Adjusted Score: 50.925%

Critics Consensus: Amy Schumer’s standup matures in an hour filled with concise insights into aging and matrimony, marked with only slight Growing pains as the comedian refreshes her comedic voice.

Synopsis: Amy Schumer gives a refreshingly honest and hilarious take on marriage, pregnancy and personal growth in her new Netflix comedy… [More]

#57

Adjusted Score: 18.241%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Comedian, podcaster, and “GLOW” star Marc Maron unleashes a storm of ideas on meditation, mortality, documentary films, and our weird… [More]

#56

Adjusted Score: 18.418%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Kevin Hart highlights the fascinating contributions of black history’s unsung heroes in this entertaining–and educational–comedy special…. [More]

#55

Adjusted Score: 18.418%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Forging his own comedic boundaries, Anthony Jeselnik revels in getting away with saying things others can’t in this stand-up special… [More]

#54

Adjusted Score: 18.427%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Veteran comedian, actor, rapper and social activist Katt Williams takes on a hit list of topics in his debut Netflix… [More]

Directed By:

#53

Adjusted Score: 18.697%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Urzila Carlson keeps the laughs coming with thoughts on “The Biggest Loser,” sex tapes and boxed wine in a stand-up… [More]

#52

Adjusted Score: 41.553%

Critics Consensus: W. Kamau Bell’s affable charisma makes Private School Negro a mirthful dissection of modern America, although although seasoned fans may find the material a bit familiar.

Synopsis: Emmy Award-winning, socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell brings his sharp observations and quick wit to his debut Netflix special, W…. [More]

#51

Adjusted Score: 22.71%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Tracy Morgan’s “Staying Alive” finds the comedy icon exploring his fresh take on life, career and mortality in the wake… [More]

#50

Adjusted Score: 22.71%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Though he’s mostly concerned about what he’ll eat after the show, Jim Gaffigan finds time to joke about kids, phones,… [More]

#49

Adjusted Score: 23.278%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Following her Netflix debut on The Comedy Lineup Part 1, Emmy Award-nominated Saturday Night Live writer Sam Jay is back… [More]

#48

Adjusted Score: 84.427%

Critics Consensus: Aziz Ansari balances sharp social commentary with just enough earnest introspection to craft a special that, while not without its baggage, shows how far the comedian has come – and how far he may still have to go.

Synopsis: In a comedy special directed by Spike Jonze, Aziz Ansari shares deep personal insights and hilarious takes on wokeness, family… [More]

#47

Adjusted Score: 25.731%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: On stage in San Francisco, the comedian covers topics like old people getting drugs, his worst stand-up set, gay proms… [More]

Directed By:

#46

Adjusted Score: 27.452%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Judd Apatow returns to stand-up comedy after 25 years, riffing on living with three women, amusing moments from his career… [More]

#45

Adjusted Score: 27.719%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Stand-up comedian, actor, and podcaster, Bill Burr, delivers a scathing review on the state of the world in his new… [More]

Directed By:

#44

Adjusted Score: 32.907%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Starring:

Directed By:

#43

Adjusted Score: 36.527%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Comedian and actor Rory Scovel performs for a packed house at the Relapse Theater in Atlanta, GA, for his debut… [More]

#42

Adjusted Score: 82.921%

Critics Consensus: An energetic Sandler jumps back into the spotlight with fresh songs, stories, and spoofs in Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh, a wonderful return to form for a beloved comedian.

Synopsis: Adam Sandler takes his comical musical musings back out on the road, from comedy clubs to concert halls to one… [More]

Directed By:

Adjusted Score: 78.227%

Critics Consensus: Chappelle is back and better than ever in the honest, provocative, and insightful Dave Chappelle: Collection 1 which offers moments for both laughter and contemplation.

Synopsis: The specials are from Chappelle’s personal vault: Dave Chappelle: The Age of Spin, was filmed at The Palladium in Los… [More]

Starring:

#40

Adjusted Score: 55.096%

Critics Consensus: Seasoned pro Ellen DeGeneres finally returns to the comedy stage in her most on-brand form – genuinely goofy and undeniably good.

Synopsis: Ellen DeGeneres is “Relatable” in her debut Netflix original comedy special premiering December 18. Filmed at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, Relatable… [More]

#39

Adjusted Score: 92.215%

Critics Consensus: Humorously human and poignantly hilarious, Douglas is an expertly constructed hour of comedy that further affirms Hannah Gadsby’s mastery of her craft.

Synopsis: Emmy and Peabody award winning comedian Hannah Gadsby stopped the comedy world in its tracks with her genre bending show,… [More]

Directed By:

#38

Adjusted Score: 82.311%

Critics Consensus: Jerry Before Seinfeld finds its star revisiting his earliest material on his hometown stage, offering appropriately familiar – yet still abundant – laughs along the way.

Synopsis: Jerry Before Seinfeld: Jerry Seinfeld returns to The Comic Strip for an intimate ​stand-up ​ set at the club that… [More]

#37

Adjusted Score: 86.644%

Critics Consensus: Though he switches up his attire for a more polished look, Louis C.K. remains controversial, addressing hot topics head on in this edgy and daring special.

Synopsis: Comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, editor and six-time Emmy Award-winner, Louis C.K. brings his brash, entertaining and outlandish stand-up filmed… [More]

#36

Adjusted Score: 21.109%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Filmed at the historic Fillmore Theatre in San Francisco, Anthony Jeselnik’s latest special delivers an all-new hour of hilarious, laugh-out-loud… [More]

#35

Adjusted Score: 21.371%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: “SNL” Weekend Update co-anchor and former “Daily Show” correspondent, Michael Che brings down the house with his laid-back style as… [More]

#34

Adjusted Score: 21.983%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: If you’ve ever wondered how to survive a zombie apocalypse, let Bill Burr enlighten you…. [More]

#33

Adjusted Score: 22.801%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: The “Daily Show” host ponders the perils of naming countries, how traffic lights turn New Yorkers invincible and why you… [More]

#32

Adjusted Score: 23.022%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Comedian and storyteller Mike Birbiglia brings his award-winning Broadway show, Mike Birbiglia: The New One, to a global audience for… [More]

#31

Adjusted Score: 23.034%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Comic Tom Segura takes no prisoners in his return with his second Netflix Original Stand-up comedy special, “Tom Segura: Disgraceful.”… [More]

Adjusted Score: 48.209%

Synopsis: Comedians Natashan Leggero and Moshe Kasher discuss family and relationships in a series of stand-up performances…. [More]

Adjusted Score: 48.209%

Synopsis: Netflix is serving up another round of non-stop laughs with the second season of the hit Original comedy special series,… [More]

#28

Adjusted Score: 25.646%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Combining his trademark wit and self-deprecating humor with original music, Bo Burnham offers up his unique twist on life in… [More]

#27

Adjusted Score: 25.908%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: On this painfully honest but hilarious journey, Birbiglia struggles to find reason in an area where it may be impossible… [More]

#26

Adjusted Score: 25.908%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Aziz Ansari focuses his unique viewpoint on pending adulthood, babies, marriage and love in the modern era…. [More]

#25

Adjusted Score: 27.361%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: In this new stand-up special, Norm Macdonald delivers sly, deadpan observations from an older — and perhaps even wiser –… [More]

#24

Adjusted Score: 27.626%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Kevin Hart brings his sold-out comedy tour, Kevin Hart: Irresponsible, to a global audience for his first original Netflix stand-up… [More]

#23

Adjusted Score: 28.046%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: From trying to seduce Prince to battling sleep apnea, Leslie Jones traces her evolution as an adult in a joyfully… [More]

#22

Adjusted Score: 29.553%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: In his latest Netflix original standup special, Live At Madison Square Garden, Ansari headlines the iconic Madison Square Garden and… [More]

#21

Adjusted Score: 29.92%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: In a special packed with stealthy humor, Hannibal Buress tackles zipper etiquette, the legacy of steroids and the fallout from… [More]

#20

Adjusted Score: 31.921%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Wicked one-liners and soul-baring converge in this uniquely intimate stand-up special from “Chappelle’s Show” co-creator Neal Brennan…. [More]

#19

Adjusted Score: 32.247%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Crackling with energy and fueled by honesty, Todd Glass holds forth on “House Hunters,” his heart attack and how he… [More]

#18

Adjusted Score: 32.247%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Comedian and actor Hari Kondabolu cleverly blends personal and political humor in his debut Netflix Original stand-up comedy special, Hari… [More]

#17

Adjusted Score: 33.774%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: In his new stand-up special John Mulaney regales a sold out audience at the Chicago Theater with stories about his… [More]

#16

Adjusted Score: 33.774%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Jen Kirkman delivers some sharp, hilarious truths about divorce, kids, sex and turning 40 in this Netflix original comedy special…. [More]

#15

Adjusted Score: 35.173%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star Chelsea Peretti showcases her diverse talents in this dark yet silly reimagining of the comedy special…. [More]

#14

Adjusted Score: 36.482%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Comedian Mike Birbiglia takes the stage in Brooklyn and hits on hard truths about puppets, late people and the very… [More]

#13

Adjusted Score: 36.835%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Comedian Michelle Wolf, wants to fight for women’s equality…but not in like that annoying way. In her upcoming Netflix comedy… [More]

#12

Adjusted Score: 36.854%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Comedian Tig Notaro brings her signature deadpan silliness in Tig Notaro Happy To Be Here, available only on Netflix starting… [More]

Adjusted Score: 64.279%

Synopsis: A showcase for comedians on the rise…. [More]

#10

Adjusted Score: 38.468%

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Ali Wong’s stand up special delves into her sexual adventures, hoarding, the rocky road to pregnancy, and why feminism is… [More]

#9

Adjusted Score: 45.602%

Critics Consensus: Led by a natural, effortless and extremely funny performance, Sarah Silverman delivers a special full of excellent jokes.

Synopsis: Comedian Sarah Silverman takes the stage to discuss laser hair removal, getting a new dog and her sisters…. [More]

#8

Adjusted Score: 59.282%

Critics Consensus: A disarmingly perceptive exploration of loss, Patton Oswalt: Annihilation finds the comic deftly balancing his off-beat humor with an profoundly cathartic edge.

Synopsis: Comedian Patton Oswalt returns to Netflix with “Patton Oswalt: Annihilation.” The deeply personal and powerful stand-up special dives into the… [More]

#7

Adjusted Score: 63.843%

Critics Consensus: Maria Bamford delights with her distinct style and impressive onstage confidence, solidifying her status as a contemporary master of comedy.

Synopsis: In her first special since her hit show Lady Dynamite, Maria Bamford is back and ready to make things awkward… [More]

#6

Adjusted Score: 69.066%

Critics Consensus: Jenny Slate leans into her Stage Fright in a special that’s raw, honest, and as overwhelmingly delightful as the comedian herself.

Synopsis: Comedian and actress Jenny Slate’s first Netflix original comedy special Stage Fright gives the audience an inside look at the… [More]

#5

Adjusted Score: 92.134%

Critics Consensus: John Mulaney incisively describes his own befuddlement with the modern world in this uproariously funny deconstruction of manners, relationships, and religion.

Synopsis: John Mulaney relays stories from his childhood and “SNL,” eviscerates the value of college and laments getting older in this… [More]

#4

Adjusted Score: 90.683%

Critics Consensus: A claustrophobic masterclass in comedy and introspection, Inside is a beautifully bleak, hilariously hopeful special from Bo Burnham.

Synopsis: A new comedy special shot and performed by Bo Burnham, alone, over the course of the past year…. [More]

#3

Adjusted Score: 96.741%

Critics Consensus: Ali Wong emerges a mother still perturbed in Hard Knock Wife, a hilariously honest hour of comedy that highlights the joys and oh boys of motherhood with fearless energy and just the right amount of squirmy detail.

Synopsis: Two years after giving birth to her daughter, a very pregnant Ali Wong returns to Netflix in her second original… [More]

#2

Adjusted Score: 100.06%

Critics Consensus: Chris Rock reasserts his credentials as one of comedy’s preeminent figures in Tamborine, an introspective standup act delivered with fresh sensitivity and trademark exuberance.

Synopsis: Emmy and Grammy award-winning comedian Chris Rock, who redefined stand-up comedy with his hilarious and brilliant takes on relationships, race… [More]

#1

Adjusted Score: 101.257%

Critics Consensus: Hannah Gadsby: Nanette brilliantly moves modern comedy into nakedly honest new territory, pivoting from dry humor to raw, powerful storytelling.

Synopsis: In her hilarious debut Netflix Original stand-up special, Hannah Gadsby: Nanette, comedian Hannah Gadsby gets up close and personal about… [More]

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