John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City (Netflix)

(Photo by Netflix)

The 58 Best Netflix Stand-Up Comedy Specials

Last updated: March 17, 2020

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 DavidsonRicky Gervais, Ray Romano, and Amy Schumer aren’t on it either.

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

#58
Adjusted Score: 13.936%
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]
Starring: Iliza Shlesinger
Directed By: Steve Paley

#57
Adjusted Score: 18.674%
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]
Starring: Fred Armisen
Directed By: Lance Bangs

#56
Adjusted Score: 21.359%
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]
Starring: David Cross
Directed By: Alex Coletti

#55
#55
Adjusted Score: 25.894%
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]
Starring: Marc Maron
Directed By: Lynn Shelton

#54
Adjusted Score: 32.283%
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]
Starring: Hasan Minhaj
Directed By: Christopher Storer

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 52.186%
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]
Starring: Amy Schumer
Directed By: Amy Schumer

#52
#52
Adjusted Score: 18.395%
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]
Starring: Marc Maron
Directed By: Lynn Shelton

#51
Adjusted Score: 18.582%
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]
Starring: Katt Williams
Directed By:

#50
Adjusted Score: 18.874%
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]
Directed By: Tom Stern

#49
Adjusted Score: 18.874%
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]
Starring: Anthony Jeselnik
Directed By: Marcus Raboy

#48
Adjusted Score: 41.901%
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]
Starring: W. Kamau Bell
Directed By: Shannon Hartman

#47
Adjusted Score: 22.901%
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]
Starring: Tracy Morgan
Directed By: Ryan Polito

#46
#46
Adjusted Score: 22.901%
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]
Starring: Jim Gaffigan
Directed By: Jeannie Noth Gaffigan

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 84.463%
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]
Starring: Aziz Ansari
Directed By: Spike Jonze

#44
Adjusted Score: 25.871%
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]
Starring: Patton Oswalt
Directed By:

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 27.684%
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]
Starring: Judd Apatow
Directed By: Marcus Raboy

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 28.405%
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]
Starring: Bill Burr
Directed By:

#41
Adjusted Score: 36.835%
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]
Directed By: Scott Moran

#40
#40
Adjusted Score: 83.617%
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]
Starring: Adam Sandler
Directed By:

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 92.355%
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]
Starring: Hannah Gadsby
Directed By:

#38
Adjusted Score: 55.559%
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]
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres
Directed By: Joel Gallen, Tig Notaro

Adjusted Score: 78.377%
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:

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 83.006%
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]
Starring: Jerry Seinfeld
Directed By: Michael Bonfiglio

#35

Louis C.K.: 2017 (2017)
95%

#35
Adjusted Score: 87.375%
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]
Starring: Louis C.K.
Directed By: Louis C.K.

#34
Adjusted Score: 21.217%
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]
Starring: Anthony Jeselnik
Directed By: Adam Dubin

#33
Adjusted Score: 22.072%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: If you've ever wondered how to survive a zombie apocalypse, let Bill Burr enlighten you.... [More]
Starring: Bill Burr
Directed By: Jay Karas

#32
Adjusted Score: 22.993%
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]
Starring: Trevor Noah
Directed By: David Paul Meyer

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 23.227%
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]
Starring: Tom Segura
Directed By: Jay Karas

#30
Adjusted Score: 26.016%
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]
Starring: Mike Birbiglia
Directed By: Seth Barrish

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 26.016%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Aziz Ansari focuses his unique viewpoint on pending adulthood, babies, marriage and love in the modern era.... [More]
Starring: Aziz Ansari

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 25.785%
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]
Starring: Bo Burnham

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 23.592%
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]
Starring: Mike Birbiglia
Directed By: Seth Barrish

#26
Adjusted Score: 27.592%
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]
Starring: Norm Macdonald
Directed By: Liz Plonka

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 37.747%
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]
Starring: Michelle Wolf
Directed By: Lance Bangs

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 28.311%
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]
Starring: Kevin Hart
Directed By: Leslie Small

#23
Adjusted Score: 29.703%
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]
Starring: Aziz Ansari
Directed By: Aziz Ansari

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 31.26%
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]
Starring: Leslie Jones
Directed By: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 32.191%
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]
Starring: Neal Brennan
Directed By: Neal Brennan

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 32.518%
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]
Starring: Todd Glass
Directed By: Scott Moran

#19
Adjusted Score: 32.518%
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]
Starring: Hari Kondabolu
Directed By: Bobcat Goldthwait

#18
Adjusted Score: 48.241%
Synopsis: Netflix is serving up another round of non-stop laughs with the second season of the hit Original comedy special series,... [More]

Adjusted Score: 48.241%
Synopsis: Comedians Natashan Leggero and Moshe Kasher discuss family and relationships in a series of stand-up performances.... [More]
Starring: Natasha Leggero

#16
Adjusted Score: 30.082%
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]
Directed By: Lance Bangs

#15
Adjusted Score: 30.901%
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]
Starring: Chelsea Peretti
Directed By: Lance Bangs

#14
Adjusted Score: 33.947%
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]
Directed By: Rhys Thomas

#13
Adjusted Score: 33.947%
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]
Starring: Jen Kirkman
Directed By: Lance Bangs

#12
Adjusted Score: 36.789%
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]
Starring: Mike Birbiglia

#11
Adjusted Score: 37.163%
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]
Starring: Tig Notaro
Directed By: Tig Notaro

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 38.677%
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]
Starring: Ali Wong
Directed By: Jay Karas

#9
Adjusted Score: 45.987%
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]
Starring: Sarah Silverman
Directed By: Liam Lynch

#8
Adjusted Score: 59.783%
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]
Starring: Patton Oswalt
Directed By: Bobcat Goldthwait

#7
Adjusted Score: 64.321%
Synopsis: A showcase for comedians on the rise.... [More]

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 64.381%
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]
Starring: Maria Bamford
Directed By: Jessica Yu

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 66.058%
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]
Starring: Jenny Slate
Directed By: Gillian Robespierre

#4
Adjusted Score: 92.908%
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

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 92.908%
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]
Starring: Ali Wong
Directed By: Jay Karas

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 100.068%
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

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 101.23%
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]
Starring: Hannah Gadsby
Directed By: Madeleine Parry, Jon Olb


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