Writer: Jarrett Crepeau
Photos courtesy of Netflix and IMDB
I’ve been a long time fan of stand-up comedy, I practically grew up on it, especially the east coast comics (Jim Norton, Bill Burr, etc.) as I grew up in New Jersey. The selection of stand up was one of the reasons I hoped on the Netflix train all those years ago, they have everything from the classics like Richard Pryor to new and upcoming comics like John Mulaney. In 2017 Netflix made it a mission to deliver a new special every Tuesday for the rest of the year, and they have delivered with great comics, and the year isn’t even over yet! However I know Thanksgiving is coming up, and if you get bored of watching football and talking politics with your weird uncle, have a laugh instead.
Number 8: Make Happy – Bo Burnham
This special technically aired in 2016 but it flew past my radar until earlier this year somehow, either way it’s a great special. If you’re not familiar with Bo’s comedy, he cracks jokes, but more often than not in the form of music and sketches involving previous recordings. Many of the songs in this special are absolutely golden, and have kept me coming back to watch over and over again. I won’t spoil anything but I will say the song making fun of country music singers is absolutely one my favorites and makes me laugh every time I watch it.
Number 7: Man on Fire -Chris D’elia
You may know Chris from his time on Undateable but I know him from his comedy, and his new special is an hour of gold, I remember watching it for the first, and then starting it over to watch it again right after. He talks about his divorce, relationships, and goes on various of other hilarious rants that’ll make anyone laugh. It’s good see that he can balance acting and stand up well, because not many can, and I’m looking forward to see what Chris does next because his style is truly unique to him.
Number 6: 3 Mic’s – Neal Brennan
In this special Neal Brennan gives us a deep, introspective look at his own life, and battle with depression while still making the audience laugh, and laugh hard. Neal was a very big writer on Chappelle Show and one of his friends ever since, so when I saw he had a new special I was very excited, and he didn’t disappoint. It felt like he wasn’t on stage performing but rather we were just sitting at a bar having a conversation. After watching multiple times I’ll recommend it to anyone, because of raw the issues he talks about, it’s hard to not find something to relate to and I think it’s pretty remarkable.
Number 5: The Standups – Nate Bargatze, Fortune Feimster, Deon Cole, Nikki Glaser, Beth Stelling, and Dan Soder
This was an awesome short series, six comics, a half hour each, and every single one of the absolutely killed it. I was familiar with only Dan and Nikki, and they were great, but the ones I didn’t know made me laugh harder than I have in a long time. Stelling’s stories and Cole’s delivery made me laugh more times than I can count. This is such a great lineup and an absolute romp, something I love about collaborated acts like this is that there is something for everyone, so go watch it, you’re statistically guaranteed a laugh.
Number 4: Walk Your Way Out – Bill Burr
Bill Burr is an absolute legend, I’ve watched all his specials multiple times and they still make me laugh. Known for his loud, profanity filled boston accent, he rants about tough subjects like population control, and cute gorilla videos on Youtube in this new special. His personality on stage shows how passionate he is for his work and it’s why he is one of my all time favorites. His weekly podcast is just as enjoyable, even if he’s calmer, he still draws me in. This special will hit buttons for long time fans, and get laughs for newcomers as well.
Number 3: Mouthful of Shame – Jim Norton
It’s kind of strange to say I grew up on Jim Norton consider how much of dirty comic he is, but I would listen to him and still do almost every morning on Sirius XM all the time as he’s a radio host by day. This special has a stellar opening featuring Ricky Gervais and Robert Deniro, something I wasn’t expecting but now makes me laugh every time I watch it. Now this is definitely one you might not want to watch with the family, as Jim jokes about some pretty nasty things, but he is consistently funny, and his moments of self deprecation are so low that it’ll make just about anyone feel better about themselves. I love Jim, and I think this is one of his best specials, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Number 2: Joe Mande’s Award Winning Comedy Special – Joe Mande
At first, I had never heard of Joe, and then I recognized him from a few episodes of Parks and Rec and it turns out he was a writer on the show. That piqued my interest as P&R was one of my favorite shows and Mande did not disappoint. His special not only had a great opening featuring Bo Burnham and George Wallace but he also delivers nonstop laughs. This special would have been number one if one of my all time favorite comics didn’t make a comeback this year.
Number 1: The Age of Spin / Deep in the Heart of Texas – Dave Chappelle
One of the modern greats, and one of my top 10 comedians, Dave Chappelle not only resurfaced and graced us with his comedic genius but he did twice, releasing two specials in one day. I was ecstatic when I saw this, and immediately watched them both and was amazed to see that after all this time, after Chappelle Show, he still had it, and it was even better than it was before. They way he tackled O.J. and Cosby, and being a dad was absolutely great and are some bits I will never forget.
All in all, this is just my thoughts on 2017’s specials so far. This year has been perfect for comedy fans as we are consistently being given quality specials, but also for new comedy fans who have access to new and old acts alike. So if you ever run out of binge material, consider having a laugh with some of my favorite comedians, because the sure do deliver.