Best HBO Max Stand Up Comedy

best-hbo-max-stand-up-comedy

HBO had taken over for decades. If you are, and managed to land an special on HBO that was an hour long  then that would be one of the major indications that you were a success. That diminished a little over the recent decade, as Netflix took away the largest comics with unbelievably big, multimillion dollar deals, but HBO bounced back with a sharp eye for raw talent, handing specials to some of the best selective rising talents in the comedy business. As a result, the stand-up lineup on HBO Max is a intriguing collection of the most well-known names in the history of this business and some of the most creative voices of the last few years.

When you look for stand-up on HBO Max, you will immediately end up noticing two things. First of all, its ridiculously complicated just trying to find stand up comedy in the first place; if you search “standup” or “stand-up” in the HBO Max app it’ll give you dozens of comedy movies and shows with hardly any actual stand-up on the page. You’ll have to use the dropdown menu, go to Comedy, and then go to Specials to find it. And even so it won’t have any of HBO’s casual stand-up series, like the One Night Stand series of half an hour specials that ran along the ‘90s.

You will also find that the selection is unexpectedly small given the long history of HBO stand-up, and lacks some of the biggest offers for the first time on the channel. Apparently HBO was not thinking about live streaming when it signed comedians to deals from the ’70s to ’00s, so they probably don’t have those rights. George Carlin has released 14 specials to HBO, and none of them are on the HBO Max. Chris Rock’s special, and best of all, is not in the HBO Max. Robert Klein appeared on HBO’s first special stand-up in 1975, and made eight other channels over the next 35 years; only a few now broadcast on Max. Compared to the HBO stand-alone legend, the HBO Max shelves are empty. Despite all of that, HBO Max is still filled with amazing stand-up content. It may not have the extreme variety that is available to you on Netflix right now but its still a better over all collection of comedy if you’re someone who prefers quality over quantity. Here’s a list of some of the best stand-up comedies available on Netflix right now..

1. Dave Chappelle: Killin’ Them Softly

best-hbo-max-stand-up-comedy

WATCH ON HBO MAX

Chappelle actually reiterates his future success with Killin’ Them Softly, where he’s touched up his storytelling to a masterpiece. The first half of his all famous special is the  absolute best sketch of comedy Chappelle has ever done. Whether he’s telling stories about dealing with the the cops when he’s high, or babies smuggling weed on the corner, Chappelle mostly rounds up every joke with equally great buttons, the smallest additions that push the jokes into pure brilliance. Each time Chappelle says “let’s sprinkle some crack on him,” he’s building up his joke to a climax, improving the line extravagantly every single time he drops it. As with his discussions of his future fame, it’s almost as if Chappelle can predict the future with his comedy.

2. Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted

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WATCH ON HBO MAX

About two-thirds of the way past HBO’s first comedy special Tig Notaro, the 44-year-old gets up and takes off her Boston audience to see the scars of her mastectomy and chest completely flat, and then makes her entire set without commenting on it. Sounds here as one of the best stage work in the comedy segment. It is similar to his insistence that he enjoy the latter, commenting on the nature of this type of standing game. No matter how good they are, stop games can be a trend because the audience is already trained to know what to expect. The most important jokes are the ones that tarnish the formula. Notaro has the guts to talk about this big thing and has the courage to put it up for me to laugh.

That has been the magic of Notaro’s rise from all his career, though. And why his current success sounds justified and important. He’s been in the trenches for so long, it’s time for the world to realize his flat, established delivery and the unique view of the world around him. It’s the kind of voice that can take what can be an obvious anecdote like he and his friend trying to chase someone who pretends to be Santa and make you a ROTFL moment. And it is the voice that raises the already beautiful story about the massive Las Vegas bombings with an ice cream mustache on his face to the level of breath-taking fascination. Wearing a shirt or taking off a shirt, Notaro will always be one of the best comedians.

3. Julio Torres: My Favorite Shapes

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WATCH ON HBO MAX

My Favorite Shapes begins with Torres discussing his favorite shapes. He sits on a conveyor belt that operates on a foot pedal, presenting a variety of objects and resources and explaining them in ever-increasing ways. One is a sadly gazing circle wishing it were a circle; another random collection of geometric objects that Torres claims is a model of the exact scale of Tilda Swinton’s flat. Sometimes we hear excerpts from the cactus diary, and anyone with a problem with mental health or doubt will be related to it. Many of these descriptions share a common tone from Torres ‘SNL work, such as “Boys’ Sources” and “Diego Calls His Mother” – a goofy, sad, and surreal, but adequate version of real life that makes sense quickly.

Torres finally gets up and walks off the stage, but never has the strength or movement of a normal stand-up set. When he makes an appearance, it is not human but material and intellectual, such as the Britta filter, or the curtain that separates the first stage from the trainer. He has a knack for digging humorous objects out of imaginary objects, almost as if he were turning a dream into a joke by a man like Jerry Seinfeld into a kind of magical reality. There’s a bit where he introduces the conditions of the animals he’d like to see at the zoo, and one of them might be the most complete joke to understand his point of view: a locust released by earrings so as not to injure. her lover, and now she no longer sees them. Torres loves to infuse animals with inanimate things through human misery and insecurity, in a clear but universal way, and never corny.