Best Comedy Stand Up Specials on Amazon Prime Right Now
Many of the best stand-up comedy specials of all time are currently airing on Amazon Premier. Although Netflix and HBO are best known for their original stand-up content, Amazon Prime is home to a slew of comedy specials both new and old, with even more available at extra cost.
While stand-up comedy has been around for a while, the rise of streaming platforms has led to a significant increase in attention to the format. While the Amazon Prime Video Library isn’t as well-known for original stand-up comedy, the streamer has released over 30 exclusive specials since 2017. However, among their inventory of stand-up comedy offerings, there are specials that originally premiered on Netflix. and HBO, as well as on Showtime, Channel Four in the UK and other outlets.
Amazon Prime’s comedy specials date back decades and include award-winning specials and early and final performances from some of the most iconic comedians of all time. With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the best stand-up comedy performances available as part of an Amazon Prime membership.
Kevin Smith: Silent, But Deadly (2018)
Silent but deadly is the sixth solo stand-up special from See Askew’s universe creator Kevin Smith. While most of Smith’s other specials, including those done in tandem with Clerks costar Jason Mewes, are in a more informal Q&A format, Silent but deadly is Smith’s most true-to-form special, with prepared stories and anecdotes about his family and the state of his career. The special is named in reference to the non-fatal heart attack Smith suffered moments after the taping ended, causing a significant change in the filmmaker’s lifestyle and making it his most significant special to date.
Iliza Shlesinger: War Paint (2013)
war paint is the first feature-length stand-up comedy special from Spenser Confidential star and doll face guest star Iliza Shlesinger. She appeared in the reality competition series Last Standing Comic in 2008, eventually beating out other notable stand-up comedians such as Michelle Buteau and Christina Pazsitzky (aka Christina P.) for the season’s top spot. Shlesinger’s bold delivery, commitment to characters, and thoughtful, well-crafted routines define her comedic style, which she has continued to cultivate in her four Netflix stand-up comedy specials.
Tom Segura: Quite Normal (2014)
Tom Segura has been deeply rooted in the comedy world for the better part of the past two decades, rubbing shoulders with some of today’s most popular comedians and even marrying fellow brash comedian Christina Pazsitzky (of midnight gospel). Complitly normal is the first feature-length stand-up comedy special from the Your mother’s house podcaster, and he exemplifies the early stages of the comedic style that would propel Segura to mainstream success. His deadpan delivery and trademark nonchalance are on display in the special, which will catch the eye of legendary former boxer Mike Tyson.
Sebastian Maniscalco: Aren’t you embarrassed? (2014)
Aren’t you embarrassed? is the third full-length stand-up special from Italian-American comedian Sebastian Maniscalco. He dominated the comedy scene for over a decade, releasing five full-length stand-up specials and his memoir, stay hungryall over the past 13 years, while also appearing in massive movies like green paper and Martin Scorsese The Irishman. His pragmatic storytelling style and accented manner make him an endearing performer, as evidenced by his Aren’t you embarrassed? special.
George Carlin: Life Worth Losing (2005)
Life is worth losing is the 13th special George Carlin has filmed for HBO since his first comeback in 1977. Carlin’s storied career began in the late 1950s with a stint as a radio DJ, setting him on a path that would eventually see him host the pilot episode of Saturday Night Live in 1975. Carlin, 68, is at the top of his game in Life is worth losingmaking use of his impressive vocabulary and characteristic eloquence in one of the best performances of his career.
Todd Barry: The Mob Work Tour (2014)
The Crowd Work Tour is the second feature special from comedian Todd Barry. Although well-respected within the comedy community, Barry enjoyed rather moderate mainstream success, voicing a recurring character on the animated series. Bob’s Burgers and appearing briefly on HBO Flight of the Conchords as well as the 2008 film The wrestler. The Crowd Work Tour is a showcase of Barry’s comedic wit and talents, relying solely on his audience to provide the basis for his material.
Maria Bamford: Weakness is the Mark (2020)
Weakness is the mark is the fourth full special of Lady Dynamite designer Maria Bamford. Bamford’s unique vocal inflection and distinctive character work has led her to a rather successful career in voice acting, appearing in hugely popular animated series as various characters in Big mouth and adventure time. Weakness is the mark is a mix of Bamford’s signature voice work and sarcastic anecdotes interspersed with more vulnerable reflections on his mental health, making it perhaps his most personal comedy to date.
Eddie Izzard: Dress to Kill (1999)
Dress to kill is the fifth feature special from the eminent British comedian and Hannibal co-starring Eddie Izzard. The show is named after Izzard’s tendency to present as a woman on stage, championing trans rights since the early 90s, and switching exclusively to her/his pronouns in 2020. The refined comedic style and eloquent of Izzard, as seen in Dress to kill led to a rather successful career in film and television, and its message of logic and love sets it apart in the often angry and sometimes cruel world of stand-up comedy.
Bill Hicks: Revelations (1993)
Revelations is the fourth and final stand-up special from prolific comedian Bill Hicks, set to be the subject of an upcoming biopic by Richard Linklater. Hicks quickly rose to prominence after the release of his first recorded special, Dangerousin 1990, lifting him from relative obscurity and making him one of America’s most sought-after comedians until his death in 1994. one of the most influential comedians of his day, which can be clearly seen in this which would be his last recorded performance.
George Carlin… It’s bad for you! (2008)
George Carlin… It’s bad for you! is the 14th and final feature special the late performer has recorded for HBO. The 71-year-old comedian recorded the special in March 2008 before dying of heart failure three months later. Carlin delivers some of the most well-crafted and eloquent riffs of his career, making It’s bad for you! not only the best stand-up special streaming on Amazon Premier right now, but one of the best ever. His iconic style and unparalleled tenacity have posthumously inspired new generations of comics, putting him comfortably at the top of most lists of the greatest comedians in history.
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