The 13 best standup specials on Netflix

Looking to escape your family this holiday season? Pull up a chair with Rob Delaney and Chelsea Peretti

Published December 24, 2014 9:30AM (EST)


This article originally appeared on The Daily Dot.

The Daily Dot For about the first half hour of festivities, Christmas is a wonderful time. The outside world seems at peace as your family gathers together to appreciate the company of one another and enjoy a lovingly home-cooked meal. But after having to tolerate another one of your aunt’s guilt trips or pretend your rabid, screaming cousins are cute, nerves start to wear thin, and suddenly you’re thankful that this madness happens only once a year.

As you slowly regain consciousness from a self-administered and near lethal dose of tryptophan, you have to find a way to maintain your sanity. Instead of suffering through another thankless football game surrounded by all your creepy uncles and in-laws, find yourself a quiet room and strap in for some jokes from comedians whose families who are even more messed up than yours.

Here are 13 standup specials currently streaming on Netflix that are guaranteed to make your Christmas a lot more tolerable.

1) Chelsea Peretti’s One of the Greats

While you might be familiar with the comedian's work from her roles on The Kroll Show or Brooklyn Nine-Nine, what you might not know is that Peretti is a “direct vessel of god.” In her Netflix special, Peretti takes her absurdity to the next level with legendary jokes that deal with ego and hot girls who use the hashtag #nomakeup on Instagram.

2) John Mulaney’s New In Town

Though his Fox sitcom Mulaney has received a less than stellar reception, it’s not because of this comedian's lack of material. The former SNL writer and co-creator of the character Stefon might look like your squeaky-clean Irish Catholic white guy in a suit, but there’s a bent to his perspective that makes his comedy so addicting.

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3) Morgan Murphy’s Irish Goodbye

“A lot of people assume I’m a lesbian; I’m not. I’m just sad, and it reads the same,” Murphy bluntly states as she begins her hilarious dive into a self-deprecating set. From there, things only get more twisted as she plumbs the depths of self loathing and explores the subtle racism of credit card companies.

4) Nick Thune's Folk Hero 

Between the bushy beard and the acoustic guitar, Folk Heroseems like an appropriate title for Thune’s first special, but don’t let appearances fool you. With bizarre puns, inventive one-liners, and long setups about saving a fireman from a burning building, this comedian's sense of humor is anything but pedestrian.

5) Rob Delaney’s Live at the Bowery Ballroom

You might think an hour would be a lot of time to fill for Delaney, given that his rise to prominence has mainly been because of his 140-character jokes on Twitter. But never fear, this is a man who is as prolific as he is hairy. It’s all the gorgeously grotesque body talk you’ve come to expect and then some.

6) Zach Galifianakis’ Live at the Purple Onion

Long before he was Alan in The Hangover franchise, Zach Galifianakis was storming the stage in San Francisco, baring his belly and spouting out bizarre punchlines about The Amazing Race while playing the piano. If all that doesn’t entice you, then an appearance from Zach’s brother Seth is sure to seal the deal.

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7) Women Who Kill

Women Who Kill isn't just a lethal dose of comedy; it's a good value. With performances by Amy Schumer, Rachel Feinstein, Nikki Glaser, and Marina Franklin, the only thing not to like is that it's only an hour long.

8) Reggie Watts’ Why $#!+ So Crazy?

God bless, Reggie Watts. He’s an artist whose talent is as big as his Afro and his special is all the better because of it. Rather telling jokes, Watts takes his audience on a journey through space, time, comedy, and music accompanied only by a keyboard, a microphone, and a few drum machines.

9) Moshe Kasher’s Live in Oakland

After being born to two deaf parents, Moshe Kasher started doing drugs at 12 and had completed a stint in rehab by 16. If that kind of backstory doesn’t make for compelling comedy, then allow Kasher to convince you with his charming tales of being called a “fag” by his dad.

10) Aziz Ansari's Buried Alive

Though he’s only been performing for 10 years, Ansari already has built up quite a back catalog of specials and performances.Buried Alive, a Netflix original, finds Ansari returning to his signature delivery but this time with a new perspective on the conceits of marriage and relationships that can only come with age.

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11) Marc Maron's Thinky Pain

Maron has been performing since the ’80s, but it wasn’t until he left the stage to interview other comedians in his garage on his podcast WTF With Marc Maron that this comic found his voice. Thanks to some podcast-induced introspection, Maron seems to have found the core of his anger and knows just how to meditate on it till the audience is in stitches.

12) Maria Bamford’s The Special Special Special

Most comics perform in front of audiences to seek the approval and laughter they were denied at some formative age, but not Maria Bamford. With her very special Special, Bamford has taken her jokes right back to where it all started: her parents' living room. Her trademark voices and eccentricities are still there, but this time they’re only on display for her parents.

13) Eddie Pepitone's In Ruins

Eddie Pepitone is the best comic you’ve probably never heard of. Though you may recognize the comedian from cameos onThe Sarah Silverman Project or 2 Broke Girls, you probably don’t know the unhinged sense of humor of the madman whom comics adore for his rantings about societal ruin and panic attacks.

By Greg Seals

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Chelsea Peretti John Mulaney Morgan Murphy Rob Delaney The Daily Dot Video