Being in the same room as your favourite comedians, sharing the space as performers and audience create the experience together cannot be replicated. However, in this golden age of streaming, it has never been easier to beam jokes from your favourite comedians into your own home. From legendary sketch shows to full-length specials, here are some of the best comedy stars you can stream right now.
His Wartime Broadcast in response to the pandemic blew up on Twitter this week. Calling on a need for common sense and laughing at the absurdity that we’re all living right now, his post is the tonic we all need. If his ten-minute video has whetted your whistle for more of Ricky Gervais, you can stream four of his full length shows via Channel 4: Politics, Animals, Science and Fame.
Dara Ó Briain
Doing his bit for our country’s most vulnerable by performing at Stand Up For Shelter this year, household name and Mock The Week host Dara Ó Briain’s distinctive wit is also available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Filmed at the Eventim Apollo, this special recording of his huge Voice Of Reason tour is an hour of the comedian mulling over such issues like having too much technology at home… something we’re perhaps all grateful for these days.
With five hour-long specials on Netflix, you could spend almost the length of an entire workday in the joyful company of the Texan funny woman. From picking apart millennial party culture to doing impressions of her dog Blanche, any of these recorded live shows are sure to entertain. Pick from War Paint, Freezing Hot, Confirmed Kills, Elder Millennial or, her latest show, Unveiled when you next log on.
A comedian as loud and brash as her outfits, the Bristolian packs her comedy full of character and pulls no punches when it comes to celebrity. While fans might miss her usual brightly coloured shirts on Amazon Original Serious Black Jumper, her muted style choice fits perfectly with how her show pokes fun at the likes of TED Talks and tech CEO keynote speeches.
At the age of 19, Daniel Sloss became the youngest ever comedian to perform a solo season in the West End and since then, he has been going from strength to strength. In Dark, the comedian takes us on a journey to find the funny side of life’s saddest aspects whereas his show Jigsaw explores all the intricacies of love. Both can be found on Netflix.
A familiar face on panel shows such as 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Would I Lie To You?, Canadian native Ryan has made the UK her home. Check out her cynical-yet-glam comedy stylings in hour-long specials In Trouble and Glitter Room on Netflix.
Flo & Joan
With Flo on piano and Joan on egg shaker, the Dempsey sisters deliver minimal deadpan sets whilst introducing the world to their own brand of musical comedy. Amazon Original Alive On Stage is full of the award-winner’s usual sharp songs that address questions like “are they really sisters?” and “what happened to that lady in the woods?”.
Both of Ali Wong’s Netflix specials are notable for being delivered (pun intended) while she was heavily pregnant. Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife see the mother-of-two cement her outrageously filthy jokes about relationships and parenthood.
Foil Arms and Hog
Before Foil Arms and Hog became legends of the Edinburgh Fringe, the Irish comedy group made their start posting their sketches on YouTube. Every week, they give the world a brand-new video that they write, shoot and perform in, tackling heavy hitting topics such as break-ups, family drama and taking Irish people literally. Their channel is full of dozens of short sketches to keep fans entertained for many hours.
Russell Howard’s hour-long Netflix special Recalibrate sees the Bristol comedian on a mission to find the joy in life by bringing fans back to their centre. He takes on politics, social media and the inescapable fact that he looks like Ellen DeGeneres with his trademark positive outlook and infectious smile.
Awarded at both the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe – among many others – Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette has gone on to celebrate considerable acclaim following its release on Netflix. Blurring the boundary between comedy and brutal honesty, the show sees Gadsby openly discuss sexual assault and homophobia with a powerful candour few – if any – have matched in her field. A must-see, Nanette is simultaneously gut-wrenching and empowering, and a true example of the power of comedy.