5 best Netflix comedy specials to stream right now

John Mulaney in Baby J comedy special
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix is king in many genres, but its dominance over comedy is undisputed. The days of an HBO or Showtime special propelling a comedian to stardom are few and far between. For comedians today, the place to be is Netflix. Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Amy Schumer, and Ali Wong have all released popular comedy specials on Netflix within the past five years.

Netflix continues to champion all forms of comedy, not just stand-up. Sketch, musical, and scripted comedies have all wound up on the most popular streaming service. From unique comedians like Bo Burnham to rising stars like Michelle Wolf, these five Netflix comedy specials should be next in your queue. 

Bo Burnham: Inside

Comedy is not just standing onstage with a mic, telling jokes to a crowd for an hour. With Inside, Bo Burnham proved that comedy specials have no limitations. Filmed during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021, Burnham shot Inside all over his house with no audience or crew. 

Burnham captures the anxious feelings of dread and isolation many people felt inside their homes through his original songs and sketches. Burnham’s songs tackle climate change, mental health, Jeff Bezos, and even a “white woman’s Instagram.” It’s a work of genius from a master and will be one of the most culturally relevant pieces of pop culture from the pandemic. 

Watch on Netflix

Tom Segura: Sledgehammer

Tom Segura is like your fun uncle at Thanksgiving. He’s a charming narrator who knows how to tell a great story. He can be a little offensive, but it’s never hurtful. Segura channels his storytelling gift for his fifth special, Sledgehammer. Filmed at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Segura’s material predominantly revolves around his family and famous friends. 

One of Segura’s bits revolves around visiting his father when he was dying. Segura can find humor in a dark moment, which many can relate to. Come for Seguras’s stories about his parenting skills while raising two kids, but stay for his special encounter with Brad Pitt. 

Watch on Netflix

Michelle Wolf: It’s Great To Be Here

Most stand-up specials are an hour of rehearsed material from a big show on a comedian’s latest tour. Michelle Wolf’s latest special, It’s Great To Be Here, is not that. It's split into three episodes ranging from 20-35 minutes and plays like a set you would watch if you walked into a small comedy club on Tuesday night. The stakes are low, and the vibes are casual. 

That’s not a bad thing, as Wolf’s self-financed special comes off as more authentic than a show inside a huge arena. Over the three episodes, Wolf discusses the Me Too movement, female beauty standards, living in a new country, and the vulgar rumors about Nancy Reagan. It’s Great To Be Here could be the future of stand-up comedy specials for the YouTube generation. 

Watch on Netflix

Shane Gillis: Beautiful Dogs

For some time, Shane Gillis became known as the comedian fired from Saturday Night Live in 2019 just days after joining the cast. Four years later, Gillis has become one of the funniest acts in stand-up thanks to his sharp, rowdy humor. In his first special for Netflix titled Shane Gillis: Beautiful Dogs, the 35-year-old comedian pokes fun at a tour of George Washington’s house, his weird sex life, and the perils of dating someone who has a Navy Seal ex-boyfriend. 

Gillis is unafraid to get political. His gift is the ability to discuss liberal and conservative talking points while mocking their supporters seconds later with hilarious bits. Gillis also has the best Donald Trump impression in comedy. Don’t be fooled by his regular guy looks. Gillis is highly intelligent, and his comedy packs a punch. 

Watch on Netflix

John Mulaney: Baby J

Unfortunately, many comics grapple with inner demons. From alcoholism to drug abuse, these vices can consume comedians’ lives, and yet, the audience may never know because they don’t see what happens behind closed doors. John Mulaney isn’t hiding in Baby J, his first stand-up special in five years.

Filmed at the Boston Symphony Hall in February 2023, Mulaney goes into detail about his star-studded intervention (Nick Kroll and Fred Armisen were among those in the room) that ended with a trip to rehab for drug addiction. The self-deprecating comedian does not shy away from his problems and uses this special to work out his feelings. It’s also an excuse for Mulaney to nail an Al Pacino impression or complain about how fellow patients didn’t recognize him at rehab. It’s a new side of Mulaney that will win over many fans. 

Watch on Netflix

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Dan Girolamo

Dan is a talented content creator who specializes in pop culture, entertainment, and sports. His entertainment interviews have been featured on Digital Trends, where he has spoken with various actors and entertainers, including Brendan Fraser, Alison Brie, and James Cameron. Additionally, Dan is a sportswriter with The Sports Daily, breaking down the top news in the NFL and NBA while providing picks and predictions for each league. Other bylines include ComingSoon.net, Unafraid Show, Fansided, and WatchMojo. When he’s not working, Dan enjoys rooting for his favorite New York sports teams and watching the latest movie from Christopher Nolan or Martin Scorsese.