Category: Special


Wyatt Cenac


By Nick A. Zaino III

Cenac is never less than engaging for a little over an hour’s worth of material. He may make fun of the “small batch,” artisanal culture that’s spreading through Brooklyn, but he’s created a special that is very much in the spirit of what that purports to be: intimate and handmade.

mating season

Shane Mauss

Mating Season
New Wave Dynamics

By Elise Czajkowski

Mauss’s hour is intended as a themed hour on the animalistic nature of humans. It’s hard not to appreciate the attempt at cohesion and a greater story, but the material doesn’t quite live up to framework.

700 sundays

Billy Crystal

700 Sundays

By Josh Bell

Crystal’s account of his Long Island childhood is a flood of hokey nostalgia and emotional manipulation, diluting his undoubtedly genuine feelings (including his grief over the death of his father when he was 15) into so much shtick.

road work

Dave Attell

Road Work
Comedy Central

By Nick A. Zaino III

Road Work isn’t about telling revealing stories or setting up a string of one-liners as much as obliterating any boundaries of taste and tact. It’s raising the stakes, joke by joke, topping the deplorableness of the last riff.

this will make an excellent horcrux

Jackie Kashian

This Will Make an Excellent Horcrux
All Things Comedy

By Nick A. Zaino III

Kashian is smart, bracing without being bitter, and she knows how to keep the punchlines rolling without seeming manic or insincere. It’s the kind of set that might make those who look down on “club comedy” as the petri dish of the lowest common denominator in stand up reconsider.

i did it

Ted Alexandro

I Did It

By Elise Czajkowski

Alexandro is a staple of the New York comedy scene, and he co-founded the New York Comedians Coalition, which fought to raise wages for club performers. He is, in many ways, the epitome of the dependable NYC city comic, guaranteed to improve any show that he’s on.

morgan murphy

Morgan Murphy

Irish Goodbye
New Wave Dynamics

By Elise Czajkowski

She’s got a great comedic mind, and it’s clear why she’s done well for herself as a TV writer—her jokes are smart and her material covers, with equal weight, Planned Parenthood and How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt

Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time

By Daniel Berkowitz

Oswalt’s perspective seems to have shifted due to the raising of his young daughter, a “nugget of endorphins” that brightens his life and helps stave off depression. He still occasionally gets down, but his illness has gotten “creative” and learned to pick its spots.

we are miracles

Sarah Silverman

We Are Miracles

By Josh Bell

Silverman barrels right into seemingly shocking and offensive topics (“I need more rape jokes”), only to immediately backtrack and make her audience question why that topic is shocking and offensive.