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The 12 Highest Rated Stand-Up Comedy Specials On Netflix Streaming

By 05.26.14

7. Jeff Dunham, Spark Of Insanity — 4 stars out of 1,835,693 ratings.

You might hate Jeff Dunham, but your aunt loves him and has helped make him one of the most popular comedians on Netflix. He’s one of only three comics on this list to appear on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson — the fact that he’s managed to remain popular for that long is a testament that the guy is skilled at what he does. Most people would probably agree his dead terrorist puppet is racist, but you could also probably find a politically incorrect joke that’s been told by every comedian on this list.

8. Katt Williams, The Pimp Chronicles: Pt. 1 — 4 stars out of 1,259,110 ratings.

I’m not really sure that Katt Williams is even aware he’s a comedian, I think he might have just been handed a microphone, told “go” and pushed on stage. The guy would be just as entertaining to watch if was an employee at Pizza Hut, “Pepperoni, ranch dressing and weed will f*ck you up, motherf*cker” *flips hair*.” He supposedly has a new stand-up special coming out later this year, that’s assuming he doesn’t go Katt Williams again.

9. Eddie Murphy, Raw — 4 stars out of 1,253,291 ratings.

Both Delirious and Raw, two of the greatest stand-up specials recorded in the 1980s are currently available for streaming. Raw captured Murphy at the peak of his fame, musing on the absurdities of life as a mega movie star. Filmed at Madison Square Garden, it serves as a time capsule for just how great a storyteller Eddie Murphy was before giving up stand-up comedy to focus on movies and music.

10. George Carlin, It’s Bad For Ya — 4 stars out of 720,692 ratings.

There are 14 George Carlin stand-up specials currently available for streaming. They’re all good, so take your pick. If you’re new to Carlin territory though, you might want to start with something a little sillier like Jammin’ In New York, before jumping into the darker humor that makes up It’s Bad For Ya.

11. Aziz Ansari, Buried Alive — 4 stars out of 611,523 ratings.

All three of Ansari’s stand-up specials are up on Netflix, and he put out his strongest effort, Buried Alive, just a year after Dangerously Delicious. The 50 Cent Grapefruit story from Delicious is great, but the fact that Ansari has culled a new observation on a subject as seemingly mined as “marriage” just solidifies what makes him so great.

12. Bo Burnham, what — 4 stars out of 462,183 ratings.

Burnham isn’t a traditional stand-up, after all, the guy became famous for singing goofy songs on his YouTube channel. It’s that non-traditional approach, incorporating songs, poems and dance routines that probably makes him so appealing to the younger Netflix viewers. Stand-up comedy doesn’t cater to short attention spans, and confetti explosions between hip-hop numbers is an effective way to counteract that.

So back to that comedian who is noticeably absent from our list of Netflix’s highest rated stand-ups. Richard Pryor’s Live On The Sunset Strip is available for streaming on Netflix, though with 3.9 stars out of 635,377 ratings, it only came in at the #19 spot, right after Daniel Tosh. That right there I think says it all.

Richard Pryor, largely considered the greatest stand-up comedian of all time was beaten out by a comic known for riffing on YouTube clips. You could argue that comedy has evolved past Pryor, or that the bulk of Netflix’s audience is made up of a younger generation that doesn’t know who Richard Pryor is or just can’t relate. I’m leaning toward the latter. Discuss…

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