Stand-Up Specials on Netflix You Need in Your Life


Whether it’s the ever-changing status of school, the decreasing hours of daylight this time of year, or, oh, I don’t know, the fact that the SUCCESS OF THE HOLIDAYS RESTS SQUARELY ON OUR SHOULDERS, parents need some laughter in our lives. My recommendation? Stream some stand-up ASAP. 

While I love a good sitcom to binge, sometimes I just want a quick hit. Something I don’t have to commit to for longer than an hour or so. I can sit and watch or have it on in the background while I get a few things done around the house.

If you, too, could use a bit of laughter to kick November up a notch, allow me to introduce a few of my favorite stand-up specials to get you started.

Note #1:

These stand-up recommendations happen to be Netflix-based. This is the streaming service that my household pays an absurd amount of money for on a monthly basis. (Besides Disney+but that goes without saying in a pandemic.) My point? If you don’t have Netflix, you can easily find material from these stand-up comedians using free services such as YouTube or your favorite music streaming platform (great for solo car rides!).

Note #2:

DO NOT watch or listen to these comedians with your children around. The language and content is most definitely for grown-ups only. Earmuffs! 

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Ali Wong

Stand-Up Suggestion: “Baby CobraandHard Knock Wife

Wong covers a lot of territory during these two specials, but what I love is that she talks about marriage and motherhood in a brutal and relatable way— you can tell she loves it but she doesn’t shy away from the ugly either. She also performs both of these stand-up specials while pregnant, which is badass in my book. 

Nate Bargatze

Stand-Up Suggestion: “The Tennessee Kid

If you like deadpan delivery, you will LOVE Nate Bargatze. He takes his time telling stories, but there are heavy-hitting jokes embedded throughout. From experiences with airport security to encountering a dead horse, this is pure entertainment without any gimmicks.

Kevin Hart

Stand-Up Suggestion: “Irresponsible

I enjoyed this stand-up performance because it’s not just funny, it’s also a way for Hart to own up to some big mistakes he’s made in his personal life. I respect that. My favorite part of this stand-up special is when Hart cracks himself up during his repetitive “gun compartment” bit. But I am a sucker for anyone breaking character (think: Jimmy Fallon in every SNL skit ever). This stand-up special also got me into “Don’t F This Up” – a short documentary series about Hart’s life on tour and his rise to fame. 

Sebastian Maniscalco

Stand-Up Suggestion: “Stay Hungry

I know he’s from Chicago, but something about Sebastian Maniscalco’s irate delivery speaks to the Jersey Girl in me. Where I come from, angry is baseline. I also love how physical his comedy is; so, while he’s hilarious to listen to, you really have to watch him to get the full effect. 

Now What? 

Have I gotten you hooked on stand-up? If you want to explore more comedians but aren’t exactly sure where to start, I suggest watching Seinfeld’s series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” Each episode features a conversation between Seinfeld and a different comic or comedic actor. It’s like a buffet where you can sample a little of everything —and trust me, once you find someone you like, you’ll find yourself down a rabbit hole. Good-bye productivity! You’re welcome!