Just in case you’ve been living under a rock: Netflix’s biggest shtick is comedy specials. They’re coming in thick, fast and funny, and to be perfectly honest, the sheer range alone can be daunting. Don’t know where to start? Here’s some nice Jewish comedians to get you hooked:
Jenny Slate: Stage Fright
I’ve been a huge Jenny Slate fan for years (side point: she gives the best ever late night interviews,) and was a bit nervous before starting Stage Fright — it’s her first ever standup show, and I was scared it was going to be Bad. It turns out that like Slate herself, it’s horrendously funny, while remaining heartfelt, sincere and unapologetically Jewish. She can get a tad risque (so don’t blame me if you watch this with your mum) but also manages to give us a brand new holiday song that I think should be entered into Jewish canon immediately: “They tried to kill us in the past/They’re gonna do it again/Rest just for a moment/There’s only one drop of oil for a million people.” I watched finished this special and then immediately watched it again, that’s how good it was.
Marc Maron: Too Real
Marc Maron has made an entire career out of being That One Grumpy Uncle Who Makes The Passover Seder Interesting, and it’s never been more evident than in Too Real. It’s not as insightful or entertaining as his podcast (WTF with Marc Maron), and his humour is definitely an acquired taste. But that being said, it’s definitely perfect for those of you with encyclopaedic knowledge of 60s/70s pop culture, and are sick of millennials and their jokes about sex and iPhones and the internet.
Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh
Who cares about BC and AD, the only two eras of time I recognise are FS and NFS: Funny Sandler and Not Funny Sandler. I was born in 6 FS, which means I’ve experienced Funny Sandler, but only as DVDs and Youtube clips; stumbled-upon relics of a forgotten time. Which is why 100% Fresh is so confusing. It’s the funniest I’ve ever gotten to experience Sandler outside of SNL reruns (and his recent turn hosting), and it manages to (1) make me laugh hysterically and (2) make me angry that his movies aren’t funnier. It’s also one of Netflix’s more interesting specials; it’s not just one filmed show, but recordings of the set at several different locations.
Nick Kroll & John Mulaney: Oh, Hello
While a lot of people have seen John Mulaney’s standup specials (oy, how it kills me he’s not Jewish,) for some reason not as many have seen Oh, Hello, his Broadway show with Nice Jewish Boy, Nick Kroll. Based on two of their recurring characters, Gil Faizon (his Bar Mitzvah portion was an Archie comic!) and George St. Geeland, it’s about two old New York curmudgeons, and thankfully, you definitely don’t need any prior knowledge of the duo to enjoy it. It’s some of both Kroll and Mulaney’s best work, which just makes me sad that for some reason, people tend to skip over it in favour of other things.
Other Nice Jews You Should Definitely Check Out
Iliza Shlesinger’s War Paint (and several other specials), Nikki Glaser’s Bangin’, Chelsea Peretti’s One of The Greats, Jerry Seinfeld’s Jerry Before Seinfeld & Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, & Tiffany Haddish’s Black Mitzvah.
About the author
Shoshana Gottlieb is a writer fresh out of uni and mooching off her brother’s Netflix account. An avid TV and movie fan, she dreams of writing romcoms and Hallmark Chanukah movies. Her favourite TV shows at the moment are The Good Place and Big Little Lies, and her favourite romcom is When Harry Met Sally. You can find her movie reviews at shoshanagottlieb.wordpress.com and her inane musings on twitter @TheTonightSho.
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