Queue: Standout Stand-Up

Over the past few years, Netflix has been pushing out original content faster and faster. Beyond the original series it has produced like the Marvel quartet, “Orange is the New Black” and “Stranger Things,” the streaming service has also been consistently recording and pushing out stand-up comedy shows. Netflix has brought high profile performers like Louis C.K. and lesser known comedians like Ali Wong from the stage to the sofa with these three specials.

“Louis C.K. 2017” 4.5/5

Louis C.K. has always been great at providing perspective. In his sets, he twists and turns conventional topics until the audience sees them from a new angle. In his 2017 Netflix special, Louis C.K. describes love, loss and a parent’s endless responsibility for their child. In this performance, however, he takes a much more cynical tone than in the past. The laid back tone almost makes the content behind it appear lighthearted, but it’s heavy and can even detract from his comedy. Nevertheless, it’s still hilarious and his delivery is as casual and conversationalist as ever. Louis C.K. delivers a stellar performance and leaves the audience in stitches.

“Ali Wong: Baby Cobra” 4/5

In this special, Ali Wong is as hilarious as she is vulgar. She is also the least well-known of the comedians in this queue. The first element of this special that stands out from any other on Netflix is the obvious: Wong is really pregnant. While her pregnancy is part of her routine, it’s not the focus. She doesn’t need it to be. Her aggressive tone matched with the sensitive topics she covers leads to her successful show. The topics Wong covers include her Harvard Business School husband, double standards in pregnancy, office bathrooms and her ultimate goal of being a housewife. Wong aggressively defends her position on feminism and anal, more-so the latter. Her show culminates into a cringe-worthy and side-splitting hour of streaming greatness.

“Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark” 3/5

The South African comedian, best known for his role as the host of “The Daily Show,” starts this stand-up set strong. As the show progresses, however, Noah’s punchlines get weaker and his reliance on his many impressions grows. His 2017 Netflix special “Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark” is funny, but a little disappointing. Noah discusses his experiences performing across the United States, his time in Scotland and, as the title suggests, how he deals with his fear of the dark. Throughout the performance he whips out Scottish, American, Indian and Russian accents, all of which are spot on. His physical impression of a broken penis is disturbingly accurate, as well. While Noah’s stories and scenarios have the insight of a master comic, his weakness is in his finish, opting for a good punchline, instead of a fantastic one. This culminates into a good show that will leave you wanting a little more.

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