Entertainment

Comedy Now: Netflix Hires ‘The Standups’ While Big Questions Get Asked With ‘Funny How?’


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.

What’s New

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.

What’s Not

What’s going on with Seeso?

Ever since the service debuted in January 2016, NBC’s digital streamer Seeso has provided subscribers with a healthy dose of new comedy from names known by fans but not necessarily by the mainstream. Wonderful performers like former Saturday Night Live cast member Sasheer Zamata, Cameron Esposito and Fahim Anwar have all featured their latest hours on the platform. Great original programming, like Hidden America and Take My Wife, has found a home at Seeso too, but the service is in danger of abandoning original content altogether after a recent shakeup. We think it stands a chance… if it sticks to stand-up.

What’s Heard

Hold On with Eugene Mirman (Podcast/Audible)

When he’s not too busy voicing Gene Belcher on Bob’s Burgers (or doing the same for the hit show’s live script readings) comedian Eugene Mirman hosts an Audible series titled Hold On. For each episode, he “sits down with special comedian guests and pauses their true, entertaining, and personal stories to get the funny details they might have left out.” After a first year on the audio streaming service, however, Splitsider reports Mirman’s show will become a podcast next week. Beginning Monday, June 26th, the first three episodes of the new podcast will be available to download, and new episode will follow once a week after.

What’s Live

The Endless Honeymoon Tour with Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher (Tour)

Whenever she’s not blasting through history on Another Period and he’s not making things Problematic for Comedy Central, comedians and real-life married couple Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher are brandishing their latest stand-up act. The pair toured together in 2016 with The Honeymoon Tour, which was such a success that they’ve decided to follow it up with The Endless Honeymoon Tour beginning this summer. Upcoming dates in July and August include stops in New Orleans, Miami, Boston, Brooklyn and Philadelphia. Tickets can be purchased at Leggero and Kasher’s respective websites.

Chris Hardwick’s ID10T Music Festival & Comic Conival (Festival)

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Chris Hardwick can’t stop doing all the things. From maintaining the Nerdist empire he built alongside friends and fellow comics Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, to hosting multiple iterations of AMC’s Talking talk show and occasionally publishing new comedy specials, the man is practically the singularity made flesh. And then there’s the ID10T Music Festival & Comic Conival, a brand new extravaganza dedicated to stand-up, music, technology and the many connections therein that typify Hardwick’s preferred material. Taking place this weekend, June 24th and 25th, at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Silicon Valley, tickets are still on sale.

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