Each week Yahoo Tech’s Alyssa Bereznak will help you pick the best movies and shows to stream online.
It’s been a long, hot week. We could probably all use a good laugh and a peaceful hour or two in front of the air conditioner. What better excuse to crank up your AC than a two-hour comedy special?
I tapped Netflix’s rich stand-up library to bring you some of my favorites. Sit back, relax, and try not to choke on your beer laughing.
You might know Aziz Ansari for his pompous and wealth-obsessed turn as Tom Haverford on Parks and Recreation. His stand-up persona is no less bombastic. The South Carolina native’s obsessions include Kanye West, courting a love interest via text message, Grindr, and his cousin Harris. Best of all, there’s an appearance from his sequin-blazer-clad alter-ego “Randy.”
The Comedians of Comedy: Live at the El Rey
This special splices the acts of five clever comedians who toured together as an “alternative” comedy group: Patton Oswalt , Zach Galifianakis , Brian Posehn, and Maria Bamford ( Galifianakis left midway through and was replaced by Eugene Mirman ). Though each act is weird and hilarious in its own way, the uniting theme of the bunch is not slapstick, nor shock factor, but subtle darkness about the everyday, mundane details of life. Needless to say, things get pretty weird.
You may have been following John Mulaney’s work for years without actually realizing it. The former Saturday Night Live writer was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series from 2009 to 2014 and is also known for co-creating the popular character Stefon with cast member Bill Hader in 2013.
His nice-young-man persona and story-based jokes also make him a pretty wonderful stand-up comic, which you’ll see more of when he stars in his own semi-autobiographical Fox show, Mulaney, this upcoming fall. In the meantime, familiarize yourself.
These days, everything Louis C.K. touches turns to gold. Poignant, dark, deadpan gold. And this special, filmed at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston in 2008, is no different. Highlights of his many topics include his shameless consumption of Cinnabons, his “horrible body,” and his comical forays into parenting.
Reggie Watts launched to fame in 2010 when he released F*ck Sh*t Stack, which parodies the audacious obscenity of rap music through its own insane exaggeration. Since then he’s been as witty and disruptive as ever, often improvising musical sets by using his voice on a looping machine. This special features Watts’ performances at New York hot spots like Galapagos, The Bell House, and Le Poisson Rouge.
Maria Bamford, as I mentioned earlier, is a strange, surrealist comic, empowered by awkward silences. She’s at her best when impersonating one of the voices in her own head. The title of her 2009 album Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome pretty much sums up her stage material. And even more telling, this particular 2012 recording was made with only her parents as an audience.