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  • Writer's pictureJessica Taylor Yates

Top 8 Stand Up Comedy Specials If You Need A Laff

With bonus food and drink pairings.

Let's face it, iso can be bleak. Instead of doing something productive, like learning yoga, baking salsa (idk I don't bake) or cleaning your washing machine, be normal - cosy up on the tv and do nothing but laugh. Like MySpace before us, here's my Top 8 Comedy Specials that are guaranteed to pull you out of your iso misery:

1. Sebastian Maniscalco, Netflix

Source: Sebastian Maniscalco, Youtube.

  • Sebastian Live (2009)

  • What's Wrong with People? (2012)

  • Aren't You Embarrassed? (2014)

  • Why Would You Do That? (2016)

  • Stay Hungry (2019)

Guys. If you are not familiar with my now-favourite-comedian's work, AREN'T YOU EMBARRASSED? This Italian-American Gen Xer doesn't tell jokes, he just talks about the everyday nuances of life but makes them hilarious. His focus is life growing up as a first-generation American with an overbearing Italian family, everyday observations, annoyances and grievances in his signature over-the-top, 'Ey, I'm walkin' 'ere!' style. Guys, I don't often laugh with TV specials (more of a 'ha' on the inside as I scroll my phone and type 'I'M DYING HAHAHA!' with a straight face) but with Sebastian, I literally get tears of laughter down my face. He's besties with Jerry Seinfeld, so that pretty much says it all. I'm fomo of not getting to watch for the first time again. Enjoy with: a bowl of pasta.

2. Amy Schumer, Netflix

Source: Netflix

  • The Leather Special (2016)

  • Growing (2019)

Fans of Amy and her style of unapologetic feminism, sexuality, general cbf-ness and raunchy, clever comedy have come to the right place to follow Amy on her life's journey, from life as a single woman on the road to having her first baby. It's funny, relatable, and refreshing to see a woman be so candid. Enjoy with: cheap wine (note: I mean this is as a compliment. Love a cheeky $7 moscato).

3. Jimmy Carr, Netflix

Source: Netflix

  • Funny Business (2016)

  • The Best of Ultimate Gold Greatest Hits (2019)

He may not be for everyone, but Jimmy Carr has got to be one of the crudest, quick witted, well-dressed, spite-tongued and fucking FUNNY comedians I've ever seen. Just full of clever one liners with a deadpan delivery, I've seen him live twice and can safely say it was one of the rare times I literally laughed at every single joke. The most fun is when he takes on the audience - you can play, but be prepared to get whipped in front of millions! A lot of fun, not recommended to watch with prudes. Enjoy with: a cigar.

4. Ronny Chieng, Netflix

Source: Netflix

  • Asian Comedian Destroys America (2019)

Our favourite Asian-Australian expat has made it big, leaving our shores to work as a correspondent on The Daily Show in the big US of A (he's not a citizen but we will claim him anyway). In this special, Chieng uses his signature style of going from 1 to 100 on the fury scale in a matter of seconds, making fun of every day situations like teaching your parents to internet, wearing shoes inside, racism, and moving to America. Best followed up with his funny yet realistic portrayal on iView, 'Ronny Chieng: International Student' filmed at Victoria's own Melbourne University. Enjoy with: Malaysian food with a side of white guilt.

5. Ali Wong, Netflix

Source: Netflix

  • Baby Cobra: The Pregnant Female Comedian (2019)

At a casual 7.5 months pregnant, Wong talks sex, hoarding, pregnancy, tiger mums and being Asian-American and is a refreshing face in the world of stand-up. For something fun and a bit different, watch and follow up with Always Be My Maybe, her rom-com for Netflix. Cheesy, but with some funny af cameos, it's worth the ride. Enjoy with: your favourite weird preggo-style indulgence, like a pineapple toastie. Yumm. (Note: I am not pregnant).

6. Jerry Seinfeld, Netflix

Source: Netflix

  • 23 Hours To Kill (2020)

Full disclosure: I haven't seen this yet. No-one has, it's out May 5 on Netflix. But like - it's Seinfeld, it's stand-up, let's be real, he's the GOAT, so we know it was gonna make the list anyway. Can't. Fucking. Wait. Enjoy with: A big salad.

7. Joel Creasey, Netflix

Source: Just For Laughs

  • Netflix Presents Comedians of The World - Joel Creasey (2019)

My fav, my bff except he doesn't know it, Joel Creasey! The young Aussie is fun and fabulous, bitchy and full of banter, and basically, I don't get why we're not having Zoom quarantinis weekly yet. He's opened for Joan Rivers, smeared food on Kylie's gown at Mardi Gras and spills the goss on all his famous friends and his quest to get famous. We froth Joel, k? Enjoy with: your favourite quarantini of choice.

8. Ellen DeGenres, Netflix

Source: Netflix

  • Relatable (2019)

Guys, who doesn't love Ellen? I was sceptical that after too many years hosting on the couch she may have lost her touch, but she comes in deadpan, making fun of her own celebrity status, speaks with heart about coming out, and how 'relatable' she is as an A-list millionaire. It's comfortable, cosy, and homely - just what we need in These Troubled Times. Enjoy with: a cuppa and a choccy bikkie.

Honourable mentions: Tom Gleeson, Becky Lucas, Katherine Ryan, Dave Chapelle, Celia Pacquola

Who else is funny AF?


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