Stand-up comedy has long been a form of entertainment in nightclubs, school functions, coffee houses, and on television. However, it has only been in the past couple of decades that pre-recorded stand-up specials have become a popular thing. With Netflix, this concept really took off, and now there are dozens of comedy specials on Netflix that make audiences laugh out loud.
Not only that, but women have taken the comedy genre by storm. Some got their start in performing in tiny coffee houses, others were hilarious actors and writers before their stand-up went big. Regardless of how they may have got their start, these 10 hilarious female stand-up comedians have specials that fans of side-splitting laughs need to check out on Netflix right now.
Updated on March 24th, 2022 by Alex Gentile: Netflix continues to bring fresh stand-up specials to audiences with each passing year. New faces have been added to its catalog like Nicole Byer, Ms. Pat, and London Hughes. Some of the funniest new stand-up comes from these up-and-coming performers, as well as the latest material from Netflix veterans like Ali Wong.
Irreverent and hilarious, Iliza Shlesinger grew up in Dallas, TX, and was the winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2008. Since then she has released five Netflix comedy specials, four of which are available for streaming right now. They include Freezing Hot, Confirmed Kills, Unveiled, and Elder Millennial.
Also available for streaming is The Iliza Schlesinger Sketch Show, a hilarious take on pop culture and social commentary through wacky characters and crazy skits. And if you can’t get enough of Shlesinger, she is also featured in the Netflix original film, Spenser Confidential.
Katherine Ryan is a Canadian comedian living in the U.K. with her daughter and partner. Ryan’s roots and her family are a frequent part of her stand-up.
She makes jokes about her hometown of Sarnia, Ontario, and the fact that her daughter’s British accent makes her sound like a “tiny inefficient butler.” Ryan has blown up on Netflix over the past couple of years with her stand-up specials In Trouble and The Glitter Room. She also stars in the Netflix original series The Duchess and season 1 is currently available for streaming.
Audiences might recognize Nicole Byer from her role as host of Netflix’s Nailed It. However, comedy fans know Byer better from her appearances in the world of comedy. The comedian is a fan favorite as a guest on podcasts like Comedy Bang! Bang! and Doughboys when she isn’t hosting her own show Why Won’t You Date Me?.
Her stand-up special Nicole Byer: BBW (Big Beautiful Weirdo) came to viewers in 2021. It showcases original comedy from the entertainer, covering a breadth of subjects from her personal life to the idiosyncrasies of early lockdown of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Ali Wong’s stand-up Netflix specials Hard Knock Wife and Baby Cobra have received critical acclaim. Wong has become a huge name in comedy for her stand-up, acting, and writing. She has served as a writer on Fresh Off The Boat and is a main cast member of the television series, American Housewives.
Wong has also recently starred in the 2019 film Always Be My Maybe and has voice acted in the animated series Tuca and Bertie and Big Mouth, all of which are available on Netflix. Her most recent stand-up special, Ali Wong: Don Wong was released in February 2022, and takes her comedy skills to the next level.
Ms. Pat gives Netflix one of its most recent stand-up specials from women comedians. An up-and-coming star, she has appeared in several podcasts, Netflix’s The Degenerates, and her own series The Ms. Pat Show.
Now, Ms. Pat can be seen in her Netflix special Ms. Pat: Y’all Wanna Hear Something Crazy? It was released in February 2022 and showcases the entertainer for an hour-long routine. In it, Ms. Pat relays her fascinating life stories with hilarious detail and memorable bits.
Jenny Slate has been seen on comedy series such as Parks and Recreation and House of Lies. She has voice acted in Zootopia and The Secret Life Of Pets and even taken on a more serious role in the movie Gifted. Slate has also proven that she is a master of stand-up with her Netflix special, Stage Fright.
Slate’s comedy special takes a unique approach that is equal parts biography and stand up. Cutting in and out of her live performance is video footage of conversations with her family and home videos from her childhood. The editing makes this special unique and personal, yet no less funny and entertaining.
Many viewers know the comedy of Leslie Jones. The comedian was on SNL for several years in the mid-2010s. Furthermore, she has appeared in comedy series like Workaholics and blockbusters like Ghostbusters and Sing.
Leslie Jones now has her very own stand-up special on Netflix. Released in early 2020, Time Machine puts Jones in the spotlight as she speaks on the hilarity which comes with age and retrospection.
Tiffany Haddish has been in the comedy game for quite some time. In her early days, she made appearances in shows such as That’s So Raven, New Girl, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. More recently she has co-starred in films such as Keanu and Girls Trip.
Haddish was the first Black female stand-up comedian to host an episode of Saturday Night Live and her book, The Last Black Unicorn, made The New York Times best-seller list. Haddish has two comedy specials, She Ready and Black Mitzvah, available on Netflix. She also has a series available for streaming called They Ready, where she handpicks comedians to show off their comedy chops in a series of specials.
London Hughes is a British comedian. Devotees perhaps know her from her work on BBC’s Laughter Shock, which came to audiences in the early 2010s. She has appeared in other British comedy shows like Newsjack, as well as hit series like Fleabag.
Since late 2020, the award-winning comedian can be seen in her own special on Netflix. London Hughes: To Catch A D*ck puts the entertainer on center stage as she unpacks the ups and downs of dating, sex, and relationships. The award-winning performer puts on a memorable show.
Wanda Sykes got her first recognition in comedy as a writer on The Chris Rock Show. She has acted in roles as recently as on ABC’s Black-ish and has appeared on the big screen, as well as proven herself a talented voice actress. Sykes was even named one of the 25 funniest people in America by Entertainment Weekly.
Despite this, Sykes’s stand-up special Not Normal is a bit of a hidden gem on Netflix. She tackles topics such as older age, politics, and relationships in a feel-good and relatable hour-long special.
Sarah Silverman has become known for addressing controversial topics such as racism, sexism, and politics in her comedy and inducing shock and awe from her jokes. Her Netflix special A Speck of Dust is no exception.
However, it has a bit more of a relaxed feel than Sarah Silverman’s Jesus is Magic, what some consider one of the best stand-up shows of all time. It’s a new side of Silverman that perhaps has come from maturity as a comic, while still holding true to her unique style.
Hannah Gadsby is an Australian comedian whose stand-up is changing the game of comedy. Hannah Gadsby’s highly-rated stand-up special, Nanette, brought laughs while addressing her struggles as a queer woman and the deep social injustices against the LGBTQ+ community.
Her recent follow-up special, Douglas, continues the dialogue about her experiences with misogyny and pokes some good-spirited fun at American culture. Nanette and Douglas are both available on Netflix.
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