Five Things You Need on Netflix: Stand-up Specials

Five Things You Need on Netflix: Stand-up SpecialsI have to be honest, here. I’ve been watching stand-up since I was about three or four; I got my first taste when my grandfather would perch me on his knee and we’d check out Johnny Carson late at night when I couldn’t sleep. I was right there when one of the first female comedians I recall, Roseanne Barr, made her appearance on the late-night talk show and killed it, being invited to sit on the couch beside everyone’s most beloved host. Since that moment, I adored the idea of modern-day jesters making people laugh at either their own misery or perhaps their observations of the world.

Now, as an adult, I have a pretty clear take on comedy and I’ve left out a lot of that old school judgment because, after all, it’s just about being funny, you know? A lot of purists will bring up Lenny Bruce, Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, and George Carlin as the greats and say there is no room left for any comedy other than theirs, but I disagree! Who are we to say what another person will find funny? I enjoy pretty much 90 percent of the comedy out there unless it is purely meant to shock and has no actual reflection of the comic whatsoever. (Note: Comedians like Daniel Tosh, Jeff Ross, Lisa Lampaneilli, and Jim Norton just don’t amuse me.)

So, there are the ones I enjoy and I could go on for days with the George Carlin stand-up sets, Louis C.K., Lewis Black, Eddie Murphy, and Richard Pryor — but you guys know about those. Do you know of these fellas, though?

Five Things You Need on Netflix: Stand-up Specials1. Ralphie May: Austin-tatious — Admittedly, I knew nothing about this guy until accidentally clicking the image on Netflix and being sent to watch the show. Ralphie expresses a refreshing amount of soft, open-minded playfulness about being married, drug regulations, and gay rights and yet never comes off as preachy. He’s one of the last feel good comics to come out that you can tell could change the world if he wanted to. If you’re ever feeling kind of down, queue this up and there’s no way you can’t possibly agree with even a fraction of the good times that come out of this man’s mouth.

Five Things You Need on Netflix: Stand-up Specials2. Bill Burr: Why Do I Do This? — Fans of comedy already know about Burr, but you’d be surprised how often I hear of people who haven’t and that’s a damned shame. Sure, his fuse is about 15 miles too short and you can see his veins crackle when he gets intense; his trademark voice and frustrated laugh are absolutely amazing to witness. Talking about everything from the love he has for his dog to his inability to relate to his girlfriend, it’s standard fare, but done in a way that only Burr can muster. I point everyone to this one after a particularly rough day. After all, let the comedians say what you can’t, right? That’s the point of ’em. Relate!

Five Things You Need on Netflix: Stand-up Specials3. Arj Barker: LYAO — Most of you may recognize Arj Barker from Flight of the Conchords, the amazing New Zealand musical comedy duo that had their own HBO series. Arj is a complete 180 from his character and proves it with his innocent and endearing brand of observational comedy. Explaining a meeting among the planets and Pluto’s banishment to the outside of the galaxy strikes true and hilarious. While I know a lot of folks who can’t share stand-up with their kids, I easily sat my teenage siblings down for this one and had no worries.

Five Things You Need on Netflix: Stand-up Specials4. Patrice O’Neal: Elephant in the Room — It’s too bad that Patrice O’Neal didn’t find the following he deserved during his short lifetime. He sadly passed away last November due to a stroke, however, it pushed people to share their favorite specials, clips, and bits of Patrice’s performances and it opened up an entire audience to his genius. Fun, lovable, and extremely vocal with his audience, he engaged everyone he could. I won’t even tell you what Patrice gets on about; just watch it for yourself and share it with everyone.

Five Things You Need on Netflix: Stand-up Specials5. Kevin Hart: I’m A Grown Little Man — While he’s definitely new to the scene in comparison to the comedians we know and love already, he’s putting a voice out there that relates to the hip-hop culture and even those who can’t necessarily follow. He seemingly puts a face to the kind of comedy that reflects on stereotypes but then crushes them with his raceless exploits. You can’t help but cheer him on and want to pat him on the head. This, like Arj Barker, is another feel good special you can feel safe enough to share with the grown kids.

So what stand-up on Netflix do you enjoy? What do you think Netflix should add more of and what kind of comedy do you think needs to make an appearance on the popular instant-viewing site?

Five Things I Think You Should See on Netflix Today

I have to admit it: I don’t really ever watch things as they come on television. Save for things that I know I can’t go without when they come on like Dexter and Sons of Anarchy, I tend to let my shows run over into Hulu Plus and Netflix territory. Why? Because not only do I have a DVR and can record what I want to watch if it’s important to me, but Hulu and Netflix have given me an opportunity to either watch it the next day if I didn’t record it or explore it again via past seasons uploaded.

Be that as it may, since finding out what Netflix is, it has been bolstered up to a massive Instant Watch collection that generally showcases new things that I haven’t seen or old favorites. My favorite older cartoons are all there, ready to be perused again and introduced to my child, and some new favorites are ready if I want to kick back and relive the moments I loved.

Candice’s Current List of Netflix Offerings:

Five Things I Think You Should See on Netflix Today

1. Sons of Anarchy — Look, I can’t say enough about this show. I’ve touted its praises on podcasts, I’ve ranted about it on Twitter and Facebook — it’s just a damned good show. You’d never know it unless you’ve actually seen it, because the commercials and trailers make it easy for the uninitiated to come to the conclusion that it’s just about a bunch of hillbilly bikers, but let me tell you: it’s way more. These are reasonable, intelligent, and cunning people, and it’s got some of the best acting I’ve seen on television in a while. Some great performances by Ron Perlman, Katey Sagal, and Charlie Hunnam really can’t be missed. Watch the first three seasons on Netflix!

Five Things I Think You Should See on Netflix Today
As you can see from my images, I watch this stuff a lot.

2. Mythbusters — While not the whole collection of everything that Adam Savage and Jamie Hynneman have ever done, it’s a pretty good offering! These two take myths from television, movies, urban legends, and lore and actually put them to the test (they even say it in the show!) to prove or disprove. Awesome, right? Who doesn’t want to see a couple of nerds blow stuff up and high-five afterwards, right? I absolutely love this show to pieces and have even visited the actual M5 Industries studio where it’s filmed.

Five Things I Think You Should See on Netflix Today

3. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe — Look, I’m not saying that this is your absolute end-all, be-all to animation, because it’s not. In fact, it’s some of the laziest animation you’ll ever see, but it’s damned entertaining. With a crudely laced morality tale woven into colorful animation about a guy who rides a purple “Battlecat” in his fuzzy undies, how can you not be amused? Skeletor sounds like Paul Lynde’s slightly more heterosexual cousin and everyone is having a good ol’ time acting like they don’t know Prince Adam moonlights as a vigilante do-gooder.

Five Things I Think You Should See on Netflix Today

4. Battle Royale — There’s something about this movie that I can’t let go of. When The Hunger Games came out, the Internet went insane when it realized it was just a teen sensation-laced, stylized version of a story akin to something we’ve heard about before. In Battle Royale, a group of students are picked when their school district “wins” a lottery to take part in “Battle Royale,” a government act (The BR Act) that is meant to whittle down the population as well as be creepily entertaining to the masses. Since the filmmakers essentially did their take on Lord of the Flies, it’s interesting to see just where Battle Royale takes the idea. We learn about schoolborne cliques and romantic interests that sway decisions where it seems parts of the student body cannot handle the idea of hurting anyone — or being murdered themselves. Watching the gritty dynamic is absolutely thrilling from beginning to end — and it’s visually superb. There’s a reason that Quentin Tarantino wanted to do a remake so badly and it’s why this should be on everyone’s Instant Queue.

Five Things I Think You Should See on Netflix Today

5. Doctor Who — I don’t know how many sci-fi fans have viewed Red Dwarf, an entertaining comedy about being marooned in space that spanned over the years in the UK. While it’s one of my favorite shows and used to be on Netflix (All eight seasons!), it has since been removed as the new season is airing this October. With that said, my second choice for sci-fi has to go to Doctor Who, and you can catch so many of the newer — and older (the program premiered in 1963) — episodes on Instant Watch right now. Following the exploits of the Doctor, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who chooses companions in every iteration of himself (he changes bodies often) to go through time and space to solve the universe’s (and sometimes other universes’) major problems. Admittedly, I didn’t get into it until this current Doctor and his sexy bowties, but it’s a definite addiction that you can’t put down. Check them out and find a new source of nerd there on Netflix.

So, there you go! Maybe you’ve seen some of these and maybe you haven’t, but it seems like every week that I find new things to check out on Netflix and sometimes they throw things onto the “Recently Added” that makes me absolutely giddy. As someone who loves checking back on retro animation and television I grew up with, Netflix has become my source for all of those guilty pleasures of mine.

What are you watching on Netflix? Would you suggest it? What movies are you checking out that you only heard about when you saw them on Instant Watch? Share them with me as I love to try new things on Netflix and always want to pass around ideas!