By Nia Anthony
Elm Staff Writer
This year has been particularly stressful because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a fast-approaching election, and online classes. To curb the COVID-19 blues, here are seven comedy specials across major streaming services to bring a much-needed laugh and ease your mind off the daily strain.
“Amerigeddon” (Amazon Prime)
Fitting for election season, Christopher Titus’s comedy special delivers a punchy dialogue about American politics. With his bit about the current president and senate attacking both liberals and conservatives, there’s no room for personal feelings in this special. Titus’s commentary is witty, insulting, and truthful, and can be used as comedic combat against your polarizing family members when discussing election results or other arguments within the federal government.
“Quarter Life Crisis” (Netflix)
If COVID-19 kicked you out of the dating game for 2020 and you want to live vicariously through someone else for a bit, this special is for you. Comedian Taylor Tomlinson connects her childhood to her dating life in her 20’s in a way that will make you re-examine your own love life choices after watching. Tomlinson’s storytelling about her as a child and her relaxed presence when talking about dating disasters makes this an easy and enjoyable watch for a night in.
It’s recommended that you don’t watch this special with any family or children around. This Nikki Glaser special talks about all things taboo. Her in-your-face commentary is both hilarious and truthful, but ultimately rounds the point of kicking your insecurities to the curb to live your life to the fullest, all while taking charge of any and every challenge that comes your way.
“A Hell of a Story” (Amazon Prime)
In this special full of personal anecdotes and the championing of free speech, Kathy Griffin sets out to tell viewers to stop apologizing for the things they say. Following the coverage of a controversial statement made by Griffin where she held up the faux bloody head of President Trump, this special is mostly commentary followed by real footage of the events. Griffin is witty and coy while making the ultimate statement of cherishing her haters and supporters alike, as she uses their reinforcement — or lack thereof — to further fuel her satire.
“Elder Millennial” and “Unveiled” (Netflix)
Now these two are for the girls. These Iliza Shlesinger specials are best experienced back-to-back. For “Elder Millennial,” Shlesinger reflects on the fact that she’s 35 and no longer in her “youthful 20s,” hence the title of the special.
Throughout “Elder Millienial,” Shlesinger exposes how supposedly “girly girls” really act around men, the sacrifices made to look attainable, the unnecessary rituals of looking attractive, and of course, our hidden monster voices criticizing our every move. Her next special “Unveiled” was released after Shlesinger’s recent marriage, reflecting on newlywed life including how she finally “caught” her man.
Both specials are entertaining and surprisingly analytical about the party girls of the next generation — and what their lives can ultimately be like in the years to come.
“Latin History for Morons” (Netflix)
Although this recorded one-man show isn’t considered stand-up, John Leguizamo’s “Latin History for Morons” functions like an everyday comedy special. After his son is bullied in school, Leguizamo uses humor and props to explain Latinx History. Leguizamo touches on war, oppression, and displacement all while keeping the mood humorous and the audience laughing. It’s educational but fun.
“You Laugh but It’s True” (Hulu)
Hulu’s selection of recent stand-up comedy specials is a bit sparse. However, Trevor Noah’s oldie-but-goodie special reflects the social commentary of today, including racism and self-identity. Noah takes audiences back to his childhood growing up in apartheid-era South Africa. While the stand-up itself is ridiculously funny, it can also be appreciated by both the cynics and the optimists of the world alike.
Featured Photo caption: If you’re looking to take your mind off the world for a while, try watching these comedy specials to get a chuckle or two. Photo Courtesy of Bogomil Mihaylov.