Welcome to Comedy Now, a weekly column cataloging what comedy fans should know about what’s available in the streaming world. Whether it’s a brand new special, an old classic, or the oddball show that defies categorization, we’ll list as many as we can for your enjoyment right here. Who knows? We may even throw in a few non-streamable bits on occasion, like tour announcements from our favorite comics. You can check out last week’s column here.
The Standups (Netflix)
When it comes to producing and distributing original comedy specials, Netflix is dominating the playing field with big names and rising stars. So what could the streaming giant possibly do next to outdo its own burgeoning record? Go small with The Standups, a new mini-series premiering July 4th that features six 30-minute routines by well-known and up-and-coming performers like Nate Bargatze, Deon Cole, Fortune Feimster, Nikki Glaser, Dan Soder and Beth Stelling. And seeing as how Netflix is advertising this as a first batch, its potential popularity among subscribers could mean a second season.
Funny How? (Viceland)
When it comes to the study of stand-up, comedy nerds should look no further than former comic turned author Kliph Nesteroff, who published the highly readable tome The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy in 2015. Thanks to Vice’s Viceland network, audiences can follow along with the author beginning July 10th as he “travels across North America meeting huge comedy stars and newcomers alike who help reveal the humanity behind the craft of comedy.” Per the trailer above, featured guests include Dave Attell, Mike Birbiglia, Rhea Butcher, Cameron Esposito and Pete Holmes.
Chris D’Elia: Man on Fire (Netflix)
Although NBC’s Undateable is no more, Justin Bieber’s favorite comedian Chris D’Elia is still hard at work putting his material out there. Hence Man on Fire, the followup to his 2015 Netflix special Incorrigible, which hits the streaming service on Tuesday, June 27th. The new hour may seem like the first thing D’Elia has done since Undateable‘s cancellation, but the actor’s new The Lonely Island-produced pilot, Alone Together was ordered to series by Freeform in December. The comic has also co-starred and guested in a string of small films and television shows since 2016.
Rory Scovel Tries Stand-Up For The First Time (Netflix)
Rory Scovel is a mad genius. A cult favorite among comedy nerds and critics who appreciate his penchant for experimentation and character work, the South Carolina native followed up 2015’s The Charleston Special with Rory Scovel Tries Stand-Up For The First Time on Netflix this week, and Uproxx got to know him pretty well. Viewers expecting a standard, cut-and-dry routine in which the titular comic walks on stage, does crowd work, and rips through their prepared jokes will be disappointed, but hopefully intrigued by Scovel’s wonderfully awkward bit about anal sex or the special’s opening and closing sketches.
Untitled Judd Apatow Stand-Up Special (Netflix)
From producing acclaimed films like The Big Sick to expressing his opinion about the movie industry’s misgivings, Judd Apatow is no stranger to audiences. Behind-the-scenes accolades notwithstanding, he’s also an accomplished stand-up comedian — or at least that’s how the 49-year-old power player got his start in the business. Apatow, who performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon back in 2015, first popped up on the 1992 Young Comedians Special on HBO before the late Garry Shandling whisked him away to write for The Larry Sanders Show. Thanks to Netflix, he’ll be returning to the genre later this year.
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