Something to tickle your funny bone
A Sri Lankan-Australian, two Indian Americans, a queer Australian woman, and a straight Australian man may have very few things in common. But it’s the diversity in the voices that makes this list of the best comedies to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime so interesting. Each of these comedians bring their unique perspectives to their respective shows making all of them stand out. And so, here we have, five of the best stand-up comedies to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Tom Gleeson: Joy (Amazon Prime)
Chances are you’ve seen Tom Gleeson on Facebook. The Australian comic hosts the incredibly comedic rapid-fire Q&A show Hard Talk in which he grills some of the most important people in Australia with tongue-in-cheek questions and a deadpan face. Gleeson’s stand-up on Amazon Prime is called Joy and is a random collection of stories from his life that he stitches together into an hour-long performance. At the end of the show, he actually takes a good ten minutes to tell you the bits in the show he’s made up and the ones that are real. The absolutely hilarious sketch in the show, however, is the one that appears after the credits at the very end. Watch out for it; you won’t regret waiting.
Dilruk Jayasinha: Bundle of Joy (Amazon Prime)
There’s nothing that can prepare you for the absolute genius that is Dilruk Jayasinha. AS perhaps the first Sri Lankan stand-up comic to break into the international scene, Jayasinha sets the bar pretty high. In his first show for Amazon Prime, Jayasinha a first-generation immigrant to Australia, goes on a freewheeling discourse on practically anything you can think of – from the colour of his skin to his parents’ religions – and doesn’t spare his host country either.
Homecoming King (Netflix)
Hasan Minhaj’s stupendous storytelling prowess are on full display in this stand-up special. The former Daily Show correspondent, talks about his parents’ move to America from India, the sudden emergence of a fully-grown baby sister he didn’t know he had and the immigrant experience. Minhaj’s Homecoming King is equal parts heart-warming and heart-breaking and one that made him a global star. It’s also this show that landed him a regular spot on Netflix where he hosts the weekly Patriot Act.
Warn your Relatives (Netflix)
Hari Kondabolu is perhaps best known for his controversial 2017 documentary, The Problem with Apu. The documentary finally began a much-delayed conversation of how minorities in the US are represented in pop culture. In his Netflix special, Kondabolu takes off on his frustrations with the stereotypes that surround the Indians in America but also does a hilarious sketch about mangoes and Indians. Konabolu, often called a ‘political comedian’ does address Trump in the show but, really Warn your relatives is so much more than that.
There is a good possibility that you may not watch any more stand-up comedy shows after you’ve watched Nanette. The ground-breaking show by the Australian stand-up comic Hannah Gadsby took the world by storm in the second half of 2018 when it dropped on Netflix. In the show, Gadsby shares her experiences of growing up as a queer woman in homophobic Tasmania, points out the sexist lens through which we see art and absolutely throws out any rules of stand-up comedy that may apply to a show such as this. Nannette that begins with lots of laughs gets pretty serious very quickly and in it lies Gadsby’s genius. Perhaps no other comedy show in recent history has received so much attention as Nanette. And for good reason: Nanette will make you laugh, yes, but it will also make you weep and pause and think. It isn’t an easy show to watch but it certainly should be on your list.