The Netflix comedy special offerings have gone from featuring a handful of decent stand-up events to becoming a full-on comedy hub. If you were looking for a decent stand-up special, you were limited to older specials, most of which had already been thoroughly mined for YouTube clips already. Now there are so many new and great original options it’s hard to pick. That’s why we have curated a list of the best comedians on Netflix.
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Let’s take a look at our picks on this list. You can watch them now on Netflix by signing up at the link below, with a 30-day free trial.
The best comedians on Netflix:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best comedians on Netflix regularly as new comedy specials enter the platform.
Before indie darling Bo Burnham directed Eighth Grade, he was best known as a teenage YouTube comedian and a stand-up oddball. His mix of musical comedy with satire and often ruthless introspection is original and downright hilarious. It makes him one of the best Netflix comedians.
Burnham’s got two specials on Netflix, what. and Make Happy. They’re crass, frenetic, and riddled with Burnham’s particularly cutting observational style. Check them out if you’re in the market for musical comedy and don’t mind laughing at yourself a little.
John Mulaney has been on a real tear the last few years, with what feels like new hilarity every year. He’s without a doubt one of the best comedians on Netflix. If you’re looking for conventional stand-up comedy, check out Kid Gorgeous or The Comeback Kid. They’re both hilarious, featuring Mulaney’s mix of anecdotal stories, social awkwardness, and astute observations.
If you want something a little more involved, check out Oh Hello, a recording of the eponymous Broadway show Mulaney performs with comedian Nick Kroll (The League). The two play a pair of old New Yorkers sharing oddball stories about their past and interacting with various guests. It’s weird as hell in the best way. On top of all that, Mulaney also plays in John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch.
Patton Oswalt isn’t only one of the best comedians on Netflix, he’s also one of the busiest. This guy pops up in a wide variety of content on the service. He has great stand-up specials like Talking for Clapping, Annihilation, and his most recent special, I Love Everything.
Oswalt also plays Happy in the dark comedy of the same name. This is about an imaginary horse accompanying an unhinged ex-cop turned hitman, played by Christopher Meloni (Law and Order). He’s extremely prolific, and it’s not hard to see why. Patton Oswalt is relatable, adorably dorky, and very, very funny.
How many comedians can say they’ve done a stand-up special pregnant? Not only has Ali Wong done it — and well — she’s done it twice. In her two fantastic specials Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife, Ali Wong tackles marriage and motherhood, race and feminism in America, and being pregnant while being a Netflix comedian.
If you’re in for something scripted, Wong’s romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe is on Netflix. In it, she plays a celebrity chef looking for love, alongside Daniel Dae Kim (Lost) and Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat).
Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby only has one special on Netflix. However, Nanette is required viewing if you’re a stand-up comedy fan. It’s gut-wrenching, witty, and sometimes hilarious. Gadsby gets into her experiences with sexism and homophobia, in life and in comedy, and why she was planning to leave the scene altogether after the show.
Thankfully, she thought better about that last bit, but nonetheless this is a powerful and honest show everyone should watch. You should also watch her most recent special, Douglas. She is a great Netflix comedian.
Steve Martin & Martin Short
Sometimes, you want to go old-school with your comedians. Thankfully, Netflix has you covered here as well. Long time friends Steve Martin and Martin Short have been touring the US for some time in a show that recalls the vaudeville days. The show itself is called Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For the Rest of Your Life. However, it’s likely you will remember this special for some time to come. There are lots of funny quips between the duo, plus some singing and music, particularly from Steve Martin’s bluegrass banjo.
Wanda Sykes is a comedy veteran who’s been in comedies and stand-up specials for decades. The selection of her work on the platform is pretty limited, but she’s still one of the best comedians on Netflix. Sykes has a stand-up special on Netflix called Not Normal, where she gets political, tackling race in America, Donald Trump, and more.
Dave Chappelle has become one of the most popular stand-up comedians on Netflix, and for good reason. The comedian isn’t afraid to call it like it is, often bringing up controversial topics with a funny twist. Netflix currently has two of Dave Chappelle’s specials: Equanimity & The Bird Revelation and Sticks & Stones. Additionally, you can find a couple of Dave Chappelle live shows bundled in a “season.”
Earlier this summer, Netflix posted a new short Dave Chappelle special, titled “8:46”, exclusively on its Netflix is a Joke YouTube page. It’s not exactly a comedy routine. Instead, it offers Chappelle’s feelings after the death of George Floyd. It’s more of a way for both Chappelle and us to deal with this tragic event.
You may recognize Chelsea Peretti from her acting in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. If you thought she was a great actor, she is an even better comedian. Her Netflix special One of the Greats is crude and dark, but also as funny as they get.
Oh yes! Ellen DeGeneres is definitely one of the best comedians on Netflix. If her show is hilarious, you can only imagine how great a standup session from the renowned personality is. In the special named Relatable, you can see a side of her we never really see in camera. She opens up about topics like poverty, sexuality, and more, all while keeping the crowd animated. She also jokes about her current wealth and fame!
Gabriel Iglesias, also nicknamed “Fluffy,” is easily one of the best comedians on Netflix for those of you with Hispanic heritage. But even though many of his jokes revolve around culture and race, he makes his specials funny and relatable to everyone. His size is another source of funny stories, as are his life adventures.
What else can be said about Jerry Seinfeld? He’s not only one of the best comedians on Netflix, but one of the greatest and most influential comedians, period. While his classic sitcom is not on the service (It’s actually on Hulu), there are still tons of Jerry Seinfeld content to stream. That includes comedy specials like Jerry Before Seinfeld, I’m Telling You For The Last Time, and most recently 23 Hours to Kill.
There’s also the documentary feature, Jerry Seinfeld Comedian, on Netflix. Finally, there’s his show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, where Seinfeld picks up famous comedians (and even non-comedians like former President Barack Obama) and just chats with them while having coffee.
Kevin Hart is definitely one of the most successful stand up comedians of the last decade. His in-your-face style has mass appeal, and in the past several years Hart has filled football stadiums with his stand-up tours. Netflix has several of his specials to stream, from 2009’s I’m A Grown Up Little Man, to the more recent Zero F***s Given, which was actually filmed inside Hart’s home living room due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also watch the six-episode docuseries Don’t F*** This Up, which chronicles Hart’s life, with a focus on 2018 as his career gets sidetracked over the controversial selection for Hart to host the Oscars, which he later declined.
Best comedians on Netflix – Honorable mentions
Here are a few more comedians that just missed our “best of” list –
- Tig Notaro – This comedian has a really funny special, Happy To Be Here, and you can also catch her stealing every scene in the recent zombie action movie Army of the Dead.
- Jim Gaffigan – Gaffigan’s clean comedy is hilarious, and you can see that in his many specials on Netflix like Obsessed, and more recently Cinco.
- Bill Burr – Burr doesn’t hold anything back in his highly adult comedy specials on Netflix, including Walk Your Way Out, and Paper Tiger.
Those are just a handful of the comedians you can find on Netflix, with even more available to stream. If you’re in the mood for something else, there’s new content on the streaming service basically every week.