We all know that comedy is subjective, but there are certain fundamental skills that all good comedians have developed by necessity. Even so, as with sports, performances can be hit and miss for the best of them.
As a major fan of stand-up comedy, I’ve spent many hours watching (and re-watching, thanks to Netflix) a wide variety of styles from across the world, and I’ve narrowed my favourite comedians down to 4. Here’s a quick run-down of my most admired professionals in this field and my favourites from their material.
He’s talented, he’s clever, and he’s oh-so-suave in a suit. His self-deprecating tone, perfect comedic timing, and ability to turn tiny interactions into stories that can endear any crowd to him are just a few reasons why I’ll never get sick of his work.
Check him out in his multiple Netflix specials, including The Comeback Kid and Kid Gorgeous.
Everyone should watch this British talent’s 4-part special Repertoire. Each episode serves as both a skilfully-woven piece of a larger narrative, and an entertaining, zinger-filled show in its own right. His confidence and commitment in the often-absurd tangents and ideas he peddles is mesmerising in all its ridiculousness. I’ve watched the show multiple times and it still has me in stitches.
Even the most critical stand-up viewer can’t help but appreciate Nate’s delivery. It’s charismatic and confident in an unusually under-sold way for such a talented act, hitting the perfect balance between the skilled storyteller and the casual every-man who’s never too impressed by his own humour.
I always recommend watching his episode of The Standups first, as his standalone special The Tennessee Kid has some fun follow-up content.
I’ll be honest, even though she’s got a whole host of other projects going on and an impressive stand-up career to boot, by far my favourite work by Mel is her highly-popular “Mum videos” on Facebook and other social media. These spot-on impressions are complete with a heavy Aussie accent and highly-effective jump cuts that have me wanting to hit the Share to FB Messenger button every time.
So with that said, thanks to the dream team above for making many of my days brighter – and thanks to you all for reading! I’m always looking for recommendations for more stand-up to consume, so feel free to recommend your faves and I’ll check them out (if I haven’t already!)