What else am I bingeing on? Stand-up specials on Netflix

A joke where the Holocaust is the punchline rarely got any approbation a decade or so ago. But with an ever changing palate and people exposed to a heterogenous array of content, we have the risqué and the innocuous coexisting. The joke in question is from a Netflix special done by Anthony Jeselnik, the king of cringe comedy.

Who was it who said the first million is the hardest? Was it Hitler?

His 1 hour special on Netflix, unassumingly named ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ is replete with dead grandmother jokes, kids jokes with a twist, content which still many of us will not be hundred percent comfortable with.

This list is few of the Stand Up specials on Netflix which I have been bingeing on this week, some even for a second time.

Bill Burr : Walk Your Way Out

I am ready to debate anyone who doesn’t consider Bill Burr as the funniest comic of the last decade. I am not even referencing to his stand up material here. Have you seen his interviews on the Conan O’brien’s talk show? He has an opinion on everything and in most of the cases the logic is served with zany humour. You may not agree with his thoughts, but you will enjoy it for sure.

In ‘Walk your way out’, he ends with a segment about Gorillas taking over the world. It is detailed, outlandish and an absolute riot.

Anthony Jeselnik : Thoughts and Prayers

This special was released back in 2015. I have watched it thrice and I commend the man for his command over the audience and the audacity to even write the material he performs. Nearly half a dozen times during the special the audience goes ‘oooooh’. Which is a telltale sign that even a slight nudge and the audience may turn against him. However, Anthony basks on the extreme reactions. He has enough surprises to win back the adulation and keep the viewers engaged.

Another one of his gems, “ I was in a bar last night, saw this beautiful woman. Like a supermodel. I walked up, I was like, “Hey, where are you from? What do you do?” She goes, “Oh, me? I live here in San Fransico. I’m a brain surgeon.” And I don’t know if this makes me sexist, but I was like really impressed. You know? I mean, most women can’t pull off sarcasm.”

Hannah Gadsby : Nanette

This one has to be one of the most intelligently scripted stand- up special there is. It became the summer’s most discussed show with ‘have you watched Nanette?’ feeling the same way it felt when Game of Thrones came out. What resonated with the masses was the story of Hannah sprinkled with observations and jibes and quips. Every observation about the armour of comedy, about being different, about art in itself made me think and hit me like a bus. It was all true, but packaged as aneat stand-up special so that it doesn’t invoke pity! Oh! So beautiful.

Vir Das : Losing It

Let’s talk about one of our own, shall we? Vir Das has been a pioneer in the comedy circuit of India. he was there when the Comedy scene of India was still in it’s formative years. Yes, he tried to ‘diversify’ his CV by getting into acting, but let that chapter be for another day’s ‘ People who should kill their acting career….if it’s still alive’ list.

Vir Das has released two stand up specials on Netflix till now. The latest one ‘Losing it’ released this weekend. The one hour special covers a variety of topics, mostly about issues plaguing both America and India (show was filmed in San Francisco). So the usual topics like gun control, food differences, The present President and The Prime Minister made it to the special. What really stands out is his delivery. Das gets all the pauses right, the rhythm right and delivers each sequence with the command of someone who knows where and what the reaction would be. He is one of the few in the market from India who can walk toe to toe with the international comedy stars. And that is reason enough to include him in this list.

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