Recently, Netflix has been releasing stand-up comedy special after stand-up comedy special, many of which feature white males. But here is a list (in no particular order) of comedians of color who are also killing the game.
1. Hasan Minhaj “Homecoming King”
In this heartwarming and hilarious one-hour special, Hasan Minhaj documents his childhood and how hard it was fitting in as an Indian American living in Davis, California. He talks about his personal life, from his strict parents to his first love, and he ties it in with hard-hitting issues like immigration reform and racism. With his charisma and strong stage presence, Minhaj ropes in the audience and takes them on a wild ride through his life, while bringing attention to the hardships that immigrants and people of color go through every day.
2. Ali Wong “Hard Knock Wife”
Ali Wong is a fierce pregnant woman and she knows it. She treats the stage like it was made for her, and makes the crowd burst into laughter with her blunt and unpopular views on marriage and motherhood. From the beginning, Wong sets the tone of the show as candid and as the show goes on, the stories and jokes only get more direct. She isn't afraid to speak her mind, especially when she talks about sex. It's raw, genuine, and it makes the audience laugh from how straightforward she is.
3. Chris Rock "Tamborine"
Chris Rock jumps right into the comedy special with jokes about the police shootings of African Americans, which is a touchy subject, yet he handles it skillfully with the use of irony. He acknowledges the other side while using sarcasm and straightforwardness, and balances shock with humor as he continues to address other controversial topics in American politics, including gun control and race.
4. Aparna Nancherla "The Standups" Season 2 Episode 6
Aparna Nancherla has a tool that many skilled stand-up comedians today lack: a Powerpoint. It works in a way; it's something that many stand-up comedians don't typically pull out, so it's definitely a change when Nancherla introduces her powerpoint with "This is just called, 'You Had Me At YOLO'... This is just going to be 'a tenuous exploration of how digital language exists in an ever-evolving landscape,' which of course is a title I got from a random TED Talk title generator."
She focuses on topics of anxiety at first, telling stories about how it follows her through tips to the therapist and through her tours. Then, she shifts her focus to communication, where she questions the presence of a few emojis, shares her dating site conversations, calls out trolls, and emphasizes how the digital age has affected the way we connect with each other.
5. Gina Yashere "The Standups" Season 2 Episode 2
Nigerian British comic Gina Yashere presents an outsider's take on America, but not in a deprecating way. Her special feels like the story of her life, starting with her envy for the US growing up in the UK, to her moving to New York and going on tour. Through personal experiences like her first trip to Alabama and her overprotective mother's scrapbook of nightmares, Yashere seamlessly transitions from how America has it so much better to criticizing the way Americans treat each other today. Her subtle jabs at the way Americans view race work because of her ability to connect it to her absurdly high expectations of American life when she was a child in the UK.