Netflix Top Picks: Stand-up Comedy Edition

With so much content on Netflix Instant it is easy for some titles to just get lost in the shuffle, and with so many gamers now using their consoles to watch movies and TV shows on Netflix, someone needs to start sorting this all out. Welcome to Netflix Top Picks, where every week I will select items from the Netflix Instant service you just have to add to your queue.  This week I take a look at one type of content that populates the service, stand-up comedy.  Most comedians who managed to get a full hour special are at least somewhat entertaining, but these three comedians are really worth your time.

Make sure to check out the Stand-Up Comedy Edition 2 as well!


Title: John Pinette: I’m Starvin’
Type: Stand-up Comedy
Genre: Comedies, Stand-up Comedy
Rating: NR
Run Time: 72 Minutes
Released: 2006
Directed By: Larysa Fenyn
Starring: John Pinette

Synopsis: Fresh from his role in the Broadway musical hit “Hairspray,” self-effacing stand-up funnyman John Pinette delivers nonstop laughs at the Montreal Comedy Festival. An all-new routine covers topics from health food to family get-togethers, and backstage footage and hilarious outtakes add to the fun. Pinette’s successful acting career extends to TV and the big screen as well as the stage; his films include Duets, Dear God and Junior.

My Analysis: I wasn’t very familiar with John Pinette before watching this special, but I have to say I was quite surprised with just how funny he is.  Much of his material in the beginning deals with his experience performing in the Broadway musical, “Hairspray” but even having never seen the show (or movie) I found myself laughing quite a bit.  Overall John Pinette has a very upbeat, “loving life” kind of comedy style and isn’t your typical angry comic; a refreshing and often hilarious change of pace.


Title: David Cross: Bigger and Blackerer
Type: Stand-up Comedy
Genre: Comedies, Stand-up Comedy
Rating: NR
Run Time: 58 Minutes
Released: 2009
Directed By: Lance Bangs
Starring: David Cross
Synopsis: In this unforgettable performance, Emmy Award-winning writer, actor and comedian David Cross hits the stage at Boston’s historic Wilbur Theater and holds forth on everything from deaf people to his insights into the origins of the Bible. And — just in case you were wondering — the aging, balding and toothy co-star of TV’s “Arrested Development” also takes this opportunity to reveal once and for all how he makes his jeans look so sexy.

My Analysis:  David Cross has been around for a while but really grew to fame with his terrific performance in Arrested Development.  If you have never seen Mr. Cross’ stand-up performance, than it is finally time to do so.  He is not an apologetic comedian, and he does say things likely to offend at least one person reading this analysis, but the man is funny.  In many ways he is almost the exact opposite of John Pinette.


Title: Hal Sparks: Charmageddon
Type: Stand-up Comedy
Genre: Comedies, Stand-up Comedy
Rating: NR
Run Time: 63 Minutes
Released: 2010
Directed By: Manny Rodriguez
Starring:  Hal Sparks

Synopsis: Actor-comedian Hal Sparks peddles his trademark charm and snark to the masses in this live stand-up special that takes aim at topics big and small, outlandish and pedestrian, and tame and taboo.

My Analysis: Hal Sparks is more than just a guy with a name that sounds like something out of D.C. Comics, he’s also quite funny.  Sparks is kind of a middle of the road between John Pinette and David Cross, providing the occasional bit of sometimes blunt social commentary but mostly providing a largely upbeat style of humor.  A true sign that a comedian is worth watching is that you are a little disappointed when the show is finished and I certainly found myself wanting him to still tell a few more jokes.  Ignore the somewhat camp-esque DVD cover of this comedy special and give this genuinely funny comedian a chance.


Due to Netflix constantly updating and changing the content on their service we cannot guarantee that the content listed in this article will be available for any particular length of time, nor can we guarantee it is available in all regions.  We do make a genuine effort though to never include any item that Netflix has marked with a limited availability.


About Tristan Rendo

I've made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.