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Although May is not the most exciting month for new stand-up comedy releases on Netflix, this is the case has nothing to do with the recent setbacks the business has had on the financial front. Instead, it seems as if the releases planned for this month are intended to prepare the way for the major premiere of the newest season of Stranger Things, which will occur at the end of this month. Even though there will not be any highly anticipated new stand-up specials added to the streaming service in May, there will still be a few new specials debuting and a vast library of legendary titles that viewers can check out whenever they need an insightful laugh. These are some of the most entertaining stand-up comedy specials added on Netflix this month.

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Gorgeous at Radio City

John Mulaney’s “Kid Gorgeous” performance at Radio City Music Hall is consistent with his two most recent specials. He does not deliver jokes in the traditional sense; rather, he spins lengthy, intricate tales out of the events that occur in his life, both now and when he was a youngster, concentrating on how ridiculous every day can be. That may make him seem like some type of observational comedy similar to Seinfeld, but he steers clear of the typical tropes of that genre. It’s not the observations that make Mulaney amusing, nor is it that we could recognize whatever he’s referring to. It’s the degree of specificity that he delves into, as when he discusses assembly activities in primary schools.

Chris Rock: Tamborine


The success of Tamborine demonstrates that Rock’s humor is still as witty and wise as it has always been. He does not waste any time getting straight into one of the most disheartening issues eroding our society and begins his speech right away by talking about police officers killing unarmed black children. He deftly sidesteps the flimsy “bad apples” explanation that is often rolled out by police agencies whenever anything like this takes place and asks for a “world with actual equality” – a future in which the same number of white kids and black kids are killed by police each month. He transitions onto the topic of gun control and then into a lengthy speech about how one of his primary aims as a father is to prepare his kids for the white man and ensure that they are bullied sufficiently.

Natalie Palamides: Nate: A One Man Show


Nate: A One Man Show is an audacious comedy about consent and masculinity that is often funny and thought-provoking. One of its many merits is that you should not anticipate anything similar to a conventional stand-up act. Natalie Palamides is far more outrageous and boundary-pushing than that Jurassic stand-up. The latter act as if racism, sexism, and homophobia are somehow still shocking after being the standard for most of human history. In addition, she raises serious questions about real issues along the way. Even while seeing it on Netflix is not quite the same as being there in person, it is still one of the things that will stick with you the most due to having experienced it. —Garrett Martin

Tig Notaro: Happy to Be Here


On her most recent stand-up special, Notaro, who is widely regarded as one of the real deadpan masters, appears to have reached a point where she is practically content with her life. When she speaks about her husband and their young boys, she can’t help but break out in a broad smile, even though she maintains a certain degree of self-deprecation and maintains a certain degree of distance from her fame and success. Notaro has more than earned the confidence and delight she displays in Happy to Be Hereafter, mining her past suffering for comedic material in the form of stand-up specials and a sitcom that helped launch her career. Additionally, followers of the Indigo Girls should tune in to this special. 

Maria Bamford: Old Baby


Much like her personality, Bamford’s content may swing from being very personal to be very big. An early joke that gets told to her spouse and their pugs pokes fun at how individuals often apologize for their terminology to describe their relationships. In character, she says, with an excruciatingly sincere tone, “Um, well, we just met, and we honestly loved each other, and, you know, there’s ups and downs, but we like each other, so we remain together.” Then, her face becomes icy and stone-like, and she returns her attention to herself, saying, “Oh, I’m sorry—if you’re bored with your miracle!” Her husband laughs as he pets the dog as he does so. He has been exposed to this joke before, but his chuckle is not one of pity. Their home is filled with meaningful details, from the portrait of their dog to the miniature figurines of a bride and groom sitting on top of the sofa, making it such an attractive atmosphere. For them, it is simply another ordinary day since all they do is hang around and mess around. 

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James Acaster: Repertoire


Acaster has the easy confidence and somewhat buzzed, motormouth tendencies of evident influencers Dylan Moran and Stewart Lee. This extends to a certain loose-fitting, corduroy-heavy attire, which is right out of a less aggressive age of British alternative comedy. It’s a beautiful, drunk, effervescent trip with no apparent moment-to-moment shape but a stunningly unified worldview by the time he finishes it up. Recognise is the first of four hours of Repertoire, and it flows along as many specials from that period did. Given that Acaster seems to be continuously bored by our expectations of where we believe the show could go, it is fairly astonishing how formally confident it finally exposes itself to be. 

Rory Scovel: Rory Scovel Tries Stand-Up for the First Time


This is the risk that Rory Scovel takes with his absurdist style of stand-up comedy: our official review wasn’t very kind to his Netflix special, even though our comedy editor (well, me) regarded it as one of the brightest and most refreshing specials in recent years. In an hour that makes fun of the whole premise of stand-up comedy while demonstrating how strong it can be, Scovel strikes a balance between cerebral metacommentary on stand-up comedy traditions and fully-formed political material as sharp as any other comedian working today. —Garrett Martin

Patton Oswalt: Annihilation


Despite the agony and sorrow that he is still experiencing, and as a technique of catharsis, he makes the subject of his wife’s death the focal point of this hour. He does this so that he may move on. It is reassuring and lovely to see him struggle bravely with the feelings evoked by that event and its fallout while maintaining his ability to find pockets of pleasure and bizarre comedy in unexpected places. However, this is by no means a simple task. We are glued to his every word as we follow him as he courageously sends his daughter back to school the following Monday. Then he pulls the ripcord, recalling how Alice’s classmates bombarded him with questions and how much he learned about their personal lives after answering those queries. The laughing that ensues is so satisfying and relaxing, much like the first drink of water you take after exercising for an hour on a treadmill. 

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Zach Galifianakis: Live at the Purple Onion


This tour documentary captures Zach Galifianakis at the pinnacle of his stand-up comedy career. Galifianakis is widely regarded as one of the most original comedians working today. The Purple Onion was the ideal location for filming this event. Because the space is cozy and close-knit, Zach can let his guard down and play freely with his material. The segments spliced in between the stand-up comedy set this movie apart from others like it. It’s just as entertaining to see Zach hang out with a redneck, go on vacation, or have his pal put on outfits as it is to see him perform on stage. This intriguing documentary reveals a comedian who was on the rise three short years before The Hangover movie made him a household celebrity. —Chris Donahue

Hannibal Buress: Comedy Camisado


Hannibal Buress represents the idealized version of your buddy, who gets incredibly high. In Comedy Camisado, he rides the fame bump of outing a famous rapist to treat you to the searing specificity of his anger, whether it be towards the woman who wouldn’t let him check into a 2 and a half star hotel without proper ID or how the age of 32 is pointless. In other words, he uses the notoriety he gained from exposing the famous rapist to treat you to his rage. He is not dropping the bombshells that may change the culture.


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