Skip to main content

These stand-up comedy specials on Netflix are worth watching

From Bill Burr to Kevin Hart, these comedians have the best shows around!

Kevin Hart performing
Memorial Student Center Texas A&M University / Flickr

The best stand-up comedians are able to grip their audiences with a commanding tone, a relatable set piece, and interactivity with the audience that makes people feel like they are part of the joke rather than just listening in on one. Stand-up comedy offers commentary on the current times we’re living in, or reflection on the past from a different angle than we’re used to experiencing. It’s a practice that started eons ago and is still going strong in the 2020s.

Netflix has dominated many different TV genres through the years, and Netflix comedy specials are no different. No other streamer has the variety and quantity of comedians for fans to watch any time they want a thoughtful laugh or a thoughtless giggle. These are the best stand-up comedy specials on Netflix worth watching.

Jim Gaffigan: Comedy Monster (2021)

Jim Gaffigan: Comedy Monster
Genre Comedy
Stars Jim Gaffigan
Directed by Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan is this generation’s Jerry Seinfeld in many ways. He always has a corny, yet chuckle-worthy joke free of slurs, curse words, or sexually explicit commentary at the ready. This comedy special maintains Gaffigan’s squeaky-clean makeup, but he adds an extra layer of contemporary commentary on the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world. Gaffigan fans can expect to enjoy this one just as much as his other specials, even with the extra edge.

Dave Chappelle: The Closer (2021)

Dave Chappelle: The Closer
Genre Comedy
Stars Dave Chappelle
Directed by Stan Lathan

Dave Chappelle has become even more popular in the streaming era than in the 2000s, arguably known as one of the most popular comedians on Netflix. Dave Chappelle: The Closer is sure to satisfy his fans’ cravings for more of the same unhinged, “un-woke” humor that has ruffled the feathers of LGBTQ+ and transgender viewers. Not for the faint of heart, Chappelle is willing to go places other comedians aren’t, for better and for worse. 

Kevin James: Never Don't Give Up (2018)

Kevin James: Never Don't Give Up
Genre Comedy
Stars Kevin James
Directed by Andy Fickman

Kevin James isn’t everyone’s cup of tea; the brash comedic actor has mostly been a TV and movie star for the past two decades in shows like The King of Queens. There’s a lot to enjoy about his return to the stage, though, with relatable jokes about American family experiences and what it’s like being the oddball of a group. James is usually pretty age-appropriate for most kids to enjoy with their parents. If you like his films Paul Blart: Mall Cop or Grownups, he uses the same comic style in this stand-up show.

Michelle Buteau: Welcome to Buteaupia (2020)

Michelle Buteau: Welcome to Buteaupia
Genre Comedy
Stars Michelle Buteau
Directed by Page Hurwitz

Not many Black women get the opportunity to make people laugh on a stage. Stand-up comedy usually only affords mainstream access to white men. Michelle Buteau is a breath of fresh air in the comedic world, gripping audiences with her unique perspective and brand of Black girl-power humor. If you want to see even more of Buteau, her recent Netflix sitcom Survival of the Thickest was one of the biggest hits on the service during July 2023. 

Sheng Wang: Sweet and Juicy (2022)

Sheng Wang: Sweet and Juicy
Genre Comedy
Stars Sheng Wang
Directed by Ali Wong

Sheng Wang uses a lot of storytelling devices related to being Asian-American, bringing new perspectives to Asian culture for a wider audience with an easy-going and fun vibe. Wang is on the cleaner side of comedy, avoiding some of the tired tropes surrounding politics and sex and focusing on more mundane personal events and insights from his daily life. Wang was involved in the sitcom Fresh off the Boat during the 2010s.

Kevin Hart: Irresponsible (2019)

Kevin Hart: Irresponsible
Genre Comedy
Stars Kevin Hart
Directed by Leslie Small

Kevin Hart is perhaps the most famous comedian working today. He likes to use potty-humor, childish jokes, and adult-oriented material to think back on what made him successful. This show definitely feels like one of Hart’s bigger ones because it was filmed at the O2 in London. In scale and performance, Kevin Hart: Irresponsible is a grand time.

Bill Burr: Paper Tiger (2019)

Bill Burr: Paper Tiger
Genre Comedy
Stars Bill Burr
Directed by Mike Binder

Bill Burr has that signature Massachusetts aura that carries over into his stand-up acts with ease. Bill Burr: Paper Tiger is one of his more unsettling shows because it addresses several controversial catch words and topics like “woke” and “cancel culture”. This is one of the most critically acclaimed specials on Netflix.

Deon Cole: Charleen's Boy (2022)

Deon Cole: Charleen's Boy
Genre Comedy
Stars Deon Cole
Directed by Ryan Polito

Deon Cole may just be the Old Spice body wash guy to many unknowledgeable fans, but this comedian has some serious talent on stage. Using the same comedy chops he possesses from his time writing for Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk shows, Deon Cole: Charleen’s Boy has a poignant touch because Cole infuses his jokes with a remembrance of his beloved mother.

George Lopez: Why You Crying? (2005)

George Lopez: Why You Crying?
Genre Comedy
Stars George Lopez
Directed by Paul Miller

George Lopez’s titular sitcom was a staple on Nick-at-Nite for over a decade, and any kid who grew up in the late 2000s can remember the comfort and laughs of that show at one in the morning. Lopez uses many of the same jokes and punchlines in this stand-up comedy special, such as parental relationships and the experience of being Latino in the slowly evolving United States of America. This show is almost 20 years old, so take some of the jokes with a grain of salt. 

Chris Rock: Selective Outrage (2023)

Chris Rock: Selective Outrage
Genre Comedy
Stars Chris Rock
Directed by Joel Gallen

Chris Rock used to be known as one of the most effective and hilarious contemporary comedians in the business. Any list of the legendary stand-up acts of the era will include Rock. The comedian is more known recently for taking a punch from Will Smith on stage at the Academy Awards, and Rock has milked that event for all it’s worth since the spring of 2022. This Netflix special addresses the fallout from Rock’s perspective with the added gimmick of it being filmed as a live-streaming event.

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Shawn Laib
Shawn Laib is a freelance writer with publications such as Den of Geek,, Edge Media Network, diaTribe, SUPERJUMP…
The Creator movie preview: This post-apocalyptic AI movie seems eerily on point right now
Humans vs AI... Hmm, that sounds familiar
The Creator movie still

With technology evolving rapidly, machines have taken prevalence in everyday human life more than ever before. Artificial intelligence (usually just referred to as AI) is expanding its reach to more sectors of society, from simple activities like copying faces and creating new art to more complex and alarming endeavors, such as replacing the need for humans to write our favorite TV shows and movies. This last part is one of the crutches of the current SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, and Gareth Edwards' (the director of Rogue One) newest science fiction film ironically details some of the dangers of AI (a fact that didn't go unnoticed by The Creator's director, producer, and co-writer).

One of the best new movies of the fall, The Creator is a 20th Century Studios film that certainly understands a thing or two about the current technological landscape. Take a look for yourself!

Read more
The 10 best time travel movies, ranked
Time travel movies are fun, just try not to forget what year it is
Avengers Endgame Best Movies


Many people try to live in the present in order to obtain happiness. Worrying about the past or the future is pointless since we can't travel back or forward in time. That doesn't mean movies haven't tried to grapple with time's continuum, though. Sci-fi films have used time travel to explore themes and storylines in post-apocalyptic wastelands and high-tech dystopian futures. Fantasy plots revolve around using magic to navigate the passage of time. And even comedies use time travel to put forth social experiments and hilarious hypotheticals. Whatever subject time travel movies focus on, they often make us think about the world in a brand new way. These are the 10 best time travel movies, ranked.

Read more
These are the best shows and movies on Apple TV Plus to binge tonight
Apple TV+ has an impressive library that includes great movies and shows
Enrique Arrizon as Máximo Gallardo in 'Acapulco' from Apple TV+.

When computer company Apple announced that it was getting into the streaming TV game, there were plenty of people who were skeptical about the company's ability to pull it off. Why would the tech giant, which is most known for the Macintosh and the iPhone, have any credibility in making television shows? It doesn't seem the two ideas would mesh in any meaningful way, but in the years since Apple TV Plus launched, the company has come up with some pretty impressive original shows, and it picked up a Best Picture Oscar on top of that.
What's even more impressive is that these Apple TV shows and movies run the gamut from comedy to drama, and are all set in wildly different and imaginative places. Apple may be best known for making great phones, but it turns out it knows how to tell pretty interesting stories, too. These Apple TV movies and shows are the cream of the crop and the best on this streaming service.
If you're looking for more great stuff to stream, you should also check out our lists of the best shows on Netflix, the best shows on Hulu, and the best shows on Disney Plus.

The Morning Show (2019)

Read more