My Love Affair with Stand-Up Comedy

My Love Affair with Stand-Up Comedy

Disclosure: I’m a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam which means that they pay for the streaming service in exchange for me posting once a month about the service. All opinions are my own. 

Years ago, as a teenager at a time when my parents briefly had cable, I found myself bored and clicking through the channels looking for something to watch after everyone else had gone to bed. I stumbled on a program with a woman telling jokes to an audience. As I watched, I became captivated and amused. Soon, I was laughing out loud, and I had a woman crush on the hysterically funny Elayne Boosler. 


The first time I watched Elayne Boosler in her special was also the first time I saw a stand-up comedian perform in a full act (beyond The Tonight Show). I wanted to see more, to laugh more. It was then that I discovered the stand-up of Robin Williams (yes, he was a stand-up before Mrs. Doubtfire), Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Lewis, Richard Belzer, Rita Rudner, George Carlin, Andrea Martin, Paul Reiser, and Steven Wright. 

I couldn’t wait to go see some of these and others live. The first show I went to was pure luck. At KU, George Carlin performed on campus before classes began as part of Traditions Week. My roommate and I  plus a few other friends attended with thousands of other students. I loved the experience. I couldn’t wait to go to more shows. Of course, I soon learned that most shows were in comedy clubs where you had to be 21. 

Once I hit that magical age of drinking and partying, I went to comedy shows. Often times with friends, but sometimes by myself. I loved comedy and wanted to laugh. In St. Louis, where I grew up, I went to the Funny Bone Comedy Club. There, on two occasions, I got to see Kathleen Madigan. I laughed harder than I had in a while. She was funnier than anyone I had seen at the Funny Bone before. Part of what I enjoyed was that she was from St. Louis and gave us some St. Louis humor, only things her audience would understand. I’ve been a fan of hers ever since (and I’m thrilled that she’s coming to my town in a few months!!). 

Over the years, I’ve gotten to see some funny people do their stand-up in person (like the incredible Whoopi Goldberg and Jeff Dunham) and on television. I “discovered” and watched incredibly funny people like Wendy Liebman, Lisa Lampanelli, Caroline Rhea, Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Burr, Chris Rock, Jay Leno, and Margaret Cho. 

Recently, I discovered that I can still get my stand-up comedy “fix” by watching Netflix. Did you know that they have lots of stand-up comedy specials available to stream? I was thrilled when I found out! There are some new people I’ve never seen (like Ali Wong) to those I already love (Gabriel Iglesias). 

Amazing Comedy Specials You Can Find on Netflix Right Now.

Kathleen Madigan: Madigan Again A must watch, like, duh!

Jeff Dunham: Spark of Insanity Jeff Dunham is a favorite of my husband and me. We got to see him live a few months ago! We laughed a ton (as we did when we watched this special).

Jeff Foxworthy & Larry the Cable Guy: We’ve Been Thinking I haven’t seen this yet because it just premiered on Netflix. You can bet it is on my “to watch” list!

Problem Child: Leslie Jones One funny ghostbusting woman!

Jim Gaffigan: King Baby

Gabriel Iglesias: Hot and Fluffy

Anjelah Johnson: The Homecoming Show

Ali Wong: Baby Cobra

Kathleen McDonald: I Don’t Mean to Brag

Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain

Trevor Noah: African American

Kevin Mulaney: The Comeback Kid

Jim Carr: Funny Business

Iliza Shlesinger: Freezing Hot

Jen Kirkman: I’m Going to Die Alone (And I Feel Fine)

Eddie Murphy: Raw

Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping

Bob Saget: That’s What I’m Talking About Be warned, he’s not doing comedy for Full House in this! 

Recommendations for Kids

Now, I know that stand-up comedy is not appropriate for kids, most of the time. At least not until they are teens, and my kids are far from being teens. So, I thought I’d give you a quick list of some of the shows my kids started watching (and loving) this month on Netflix.

Beat Bugs, Home, Care Bears & Cousins, The Hive, Lego Friends, H20: Mermaid Adventures, Ask the StoryBots, Word Party, Popples

Who is your favorite stand-up comic?



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