Trevor Noah

Noah's comedy mainly revolves around history and politics.

When scrolling through the Netflix home screen, it’s easy to get lost in the wide variety of shows, movies or specials. One may become indecisive with so many options, but a great category to choose from is “live” comedy specials. While there are numerous selections to pick from, here are a few solid choices if one’s looking for a laugh.

“Relatable” by Ellen Degeneres

Known as one of the most famous talk-show hosts, Degeneres recently performed her first comedy stage show in years. Those who are fans of her regular daytime TV show may especially enjoy it. Not only does she tell random jokes throughout the special, but she also gets deep, honest and personal with the audience. Degeneres digs into her coming out experience and the struggles she faced, since being gay wasn’t accepted in ’97 as much as it is today. “Relatable” is both funny and heartwarming at the same time, so it’s definitely worth watching.

“Never Don’t Give Up” by Kevin James

Not only is James the star of the TV sitcom “The King of Queens,” but he often does original stand-up routines like “Never Don’t Give Up.” His comedy primarily focuses on his family and personal life outside of acting. He discusses being a parent and everyday activities such as traveling, which makes his content relatable to the audience. His humor is sometimes like a rant, but it shows that he’s genuine. His routine is often cleaner, which sets him apart from other comedians, but it’s still amusing. Unlike some comedy specials, James doesn’t feel the need to delve into sexual humor or constant cursing to get his audience laughing.

“Irresponsible” by Kevin Hart

Hart’s special is almost the polar opposite of James’ but still makes for a hilarious show. He gets even raunchier with his jokes than his previous “live” comedy shows like “What Now?” and “Kevin Hart: Seriously Funny,” yet he still manages to get the audience laughing. “Irresponsible” takes place after he got married to his second wife and had his third baby, so he revolves his stories around the topic of family. Hart fans who’ve seen other comedy specials of his will probably enjoy this one as well.  

“Afraid of the Dark” by Trevor Noah

Noah’s style of comedy is calmer, and he delivers his content with a more relaxed attitude. This was Noah’s first show done in New York City, so right at the beginning, he discusses his experience in the city. Noah grew up in Africa, so he frequently compares the American culture to African cultures. Viewers who know him from his movies or other works may be entertained by his comedy, but people who prefer political comedy would appreciate him even more. His jokes discuss history as well as current politics or political figures, but he doesn’t get so political that his routine becomes controversial, which is an impressive skill for a comedian to have these days.

While Netflix is filled with hilarious stand-up specials, some aren’t as appealing due to how inappropriate they are or how overly political the comedian takes their material.

When it comes to comedy shows, Netflix is a great place to go when one needs a boost of humor after a difficult exam, at the end of a long school day or for a fun night in with friends. There are so many to choose from, but these are just a few of the latest specials that viewers might want to consider starting out with if one is looking for a good laugh.

Contact Gracie Brogowski at brogowsx@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.