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Are you someone who is in need of a good laugh at the moment? Do you have a subscription to Amazon Prime? Are you, by any chance, a fan of Jim Gaffigan? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you are in luck because Amazon Prime has more than enough stand-up comedy specials available to stream right now.
From lesser-known cult stage talents like Christopher Titus to hilarious household names including Marc Maron, Amazon Prime has almost too many great specials from the funniest people in stand-up to choose from. It is actually a little overwhelming the more you think about it, never knowing if you should stick with the classics you know but risk playing it too safe, or try someone new who may or may not match up with your personal brand of comedy. Well, fortunately, that is where I come in.
To save your hand from carpal tunnel due to an over-excess of scrolling, I have taken it upon myself to narrow down your choices to the following 12 best stand-up comedy specials from the best stand-up comedians in the business that I could find on Amazon Prime. Hopefully these stand-up comedy specials hit the spot for you.
The Original Kings Of Comedy (2000)
Acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee directs this spectacular showcase featuring not just one, but four of the most trusted superstars of stand-up providing their commentary on a variety of topics. D.L. Hughley imagines life with the ability to turn water into wine, Cedric The Entertainer riffs on Bill Clinton, the late, great Bernie Mac breaks down the universal purposes of a certain curse word, and Steve Harvey turns his set into a smooth R&B show complete with undergarments thrown onto the stage. Twenty years later, The Original Kings of Comedy remains a royally fun time. Stream it here.
Lewis Black: Black On Broadway (2004)
One of the most impressionable correspondents in the history of Comedy Central's satirical news program The Daily Show's is Lewis Black. The comedian is a master of channeling his incendiary frustration with the world into comedic gold, which is what earned him the role of "Anger" in Pixar's 2015 exploration of human emotion, Inside Out. Fans of Black often cite some of his best work as this special, which originally aired on HBO, that sees him bring yet another extended rant, on everything from greed for Martha Stewart, to Broadway. Stream it here.
Jeff Dunham: Arguing With Myself (2006)
Never has the art of ventriloquism ever been nearly as cool as when Jeff Dunham gave it a much-needed edge, turning himself into one of the most successful men to stick his hand inside a puppet. In his very first comedy special, the highly talented, internationally renowned performer entertains a Santa Ana, California, audience by engaging in many a conversational conflict with his pint-sized friends: the elderly curmudgeon Walter, Southern fried Bubba J, pimpin' Sweet Daddy Dee, overly energetic creature of unknown origin Peanut, and a jalapeño on a stick named José. Stream it here.
George Carlin... It’s Bad For Ya (2008)
A heartbreaking void was left in the world of comedy when one of its most influential voices, George Carlin, passed away due to a heart attack at 71 in 2008. Fortunately, the comedian was able to treat his fans with one last show for HBO that same year. The Emmy-nominated special sees the star of the first two Bill & Ted movies, in which he played the time-traveling Rufus, make more of his signature unapologetic observations on death, politics, and everything that he believes is causing the state of humanity to crumble at that given point in history. Stream it here.
Robin Williams: Weapons Of Self Destruction (2009)
Yet another comedic genius taken away too soon is Robin Williams, whom you may better associate with his role as the voice of the Genie in 1992's Aladdin, his Academy Award-winning dramatic turn in Good Will Hunting, or his performance as an eccentric extraterrestrial on the sitcom Mork & Mindy than his stand-up history. For his first comedy special since 2002's Live on Broadway, the beloved, late comedian puts his quick-witted, high-energy, improvisational spin on everything from sex, politics, and the state health care, for which he has a personal connection to given his heart surgery not long before filming this special. Steam it here.
Colin & Brad: Two Man Group (2011)
Speaking of improvisation, two of the greatest performers known to modern audiences for making stuff up onstage are Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood. After appearing on the hit live improv comedy series Whose Line Is It Anyway? for years, the pair decided to go on tour together as a "two-man group." In their first special together, Mochrie and Sherwood use prompts from the audience to participate in performance challenges that range from clever and lighthearted to dangerous and anxiety-inducing, particularly when they walk blindfolded across a stage littered with live mouse traps. Stream it here.
Marc Maron: Thinky Pain (2013)
After hitting it big with his chart-topping interview podcast, WTF, Marc Maron decided to return to his stand-up roots with this special. It is up to you, however, to decide if his anxious reluctance to do the show in the first place is warranted. In Thinky Pain, the then 50-year-old future star of Netflix's award-winning series GLOW and a few scenes in Todd Phillips' Joker reflects on his own self-loathing tendencies, his relentless neuroses, and presents collection of interesting auto-biographical anecdotes, such as a quest to rediscover the music of his youth. Stream it here.
Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend (2013)
In 2019, talented humorist Mike Birbiglia (whom you might recognize from Orange is the New Black) released The New One, a Netflix original special in which he details the most crucial moments leading up to and following the birth of his first child. This 2013 one-man show could appropriately be considered the an unofficial prequel to that special. My Girlfriend's Boyfriend is the award-winning filmmaker and comedian's emotional recount of the most hilariously awkward moments in his romantic life that changed him from a loveless skeptic to the loving husband he never expected to be. Stream it here.
Ron White: A Little Unprofessional (2013)
It can actually pay to be a little unprofessional when you tell jokes for a living, as Ron White goes to great lengths to prove in this 80-minute special. Once again accompanied onstage with his trusty scotch and cigars, the Blue Collar Comedy Tour veteran, who also goes by "Tater Salad," tells a Texas audience yet another collection of anecdotes that would not be the same without his impeccable comedic timing. On the other hand, his story about partying on his friend Dr. Phil McGraw's yacht is pretty wild on its own. Stream it here.
Christopher Titus: Amerigeddon (2019)
For one of his more recent one-man shows, Christopher Titus took himself out of the spotlight and used his unique brand of tragicomedy to dissect an arguably more damaged subject of interest: the United States. Wherever you may swing on the political spectrum, no need to worry because no one is safe either way from his blistering satirical commentary in an attempt to unite America through the healing power of laughter. Plus, if you enjoy watching this program on Amazon Prime, the comedian has been releasing some of his more popular specials of the past on YouTube for free. Stream it here.
Jim Gaffigan: Quality Time (2019)
Jim Gaffigan has made a name for himself, not only for his pale complexion, but as a comedian who can spurt out clever, relatable, societal commentary without relying on filth or foul language. He makes sure his seventh comedy special, an original for Amazon Prime, lives up to its name with more witty takes on new topics, such when it is appropriate to lie to your children, the concept of dog birthdays, and his own experience running in (but, admittedly, not finishing) the New York Marathon. Stream it here.
Kathy Griffin: A Hell Of A Story (2019)
There comes a time in almost every comedian's life when they must consider when they should apologize for a joke. However, when Kathy Griffin was faced with such a moment (and one that will certainly live on infamy), she took it as an opportunity to promote free speech. In this combination of documentary and stand-up footage financed by Griffin herself, the comedian recalls what truly is a hell of a story about how one controversial video left her career, her sanity, and her life threatened. Stream it here.
What do you think? Are these stand-up comedy specials just what your were looking for to stream on Amazon Prime, or do you think this list is a joke? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for more hilarious streaming recommendations here on CinemaBlend.
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Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
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