Best-Reviewed Comedy Specials 2018

With Netflix’s continued investment in stand-up comedy, it’s no surprise the streaming service has captured critics’ attention and dominates the list of the year’s best specials. Hannah Gadsby’s thoughtful rumination on the medium, Nanette, lands in the No. 1 spot.

The order of the rank below reflects the Adjusted Score as of December 31, 2018. Scores might change over time.

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 101815%
Critics Consensus: Hannah Gadsby: Nanette brilliantly moves modern comedy into nakedly honest new territory, pivoting from dry humor to raw, powerful storytelling.
Synopsis: Australian comic Hannah Gadsby reshapes standard stand-up by pairing punchlines with personal revelations on gender, sexuality and childhood turmoil.... [More]
Starring: Hannah Gadsby
Directed By: Madeleine Parry, Jon Olb

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 100349%
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]
Starring: Chris Rock
Directed By: Bo Burnham

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 100232%
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 the hit "Baby Cobra," Ali Wong is back with another baby bump -- and a torrent of... [More]
Starring: Ali Wong
Directed By: Jay Karas

#4
Adjusted Score: 100173%
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]
Starring: John Mulaney
Directed By: Alex Timbers