5 Comedy Specials to Watch Instead of Talking to Your Family Over the Break


Claire Killian

I know the holidays are about spending time with family, and creating memories which become cherished stories and family-lore. That being said, two weeks is a really long time to be around relatives non-stop. Of course everyone loves their family, but oh god it can be a lot. Especially when your family has high expectations you can’t meet, or holds some more conservative values. Here are a few Netflix specials to watch while you hide from your loved ones.


1.) Eliza Schlesinger Unveiled 

Iliza Schlesinger takes on wedding culture in her latest hilarious stand-up special. By challenging all of our society’s long-held beliefs in what weddings should be like, she also comments on what constitutes ‘traditional’ and how to meet your family’s expectations. She matches comedy with feminism and writes a piece which will have you doubling-over laughing. For anyone with family who is maybe a little less up to date on feminism, this special is a great remedy.

2.) Vir Das Losing It

Vir Das’ comedy tackles everything from religion to America. He has the foreigner’s view on our customs and traditions, and shows no hesitation in calling us out on it. If you struggle with religion or overly-religious family over the holiday’s, Das takes a new approach to the matter. His unapologetic takes on Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity makes enemies of all three religions while creating a comedy special that changes the viewer’s understanding of faith and leaves them smiling.

3.) John Mulaney Kid Gorgeous 

I’m assuming that everyone reading this has, at one point or another, watched John Mulaney. He has become the face of a generation and a pop culture icon. This anxious thirty-something has captured the hearts of America, and the laughs of Gen Z. Although I know everyone has seen it a million times, it still never fails to make me laugh, and there’s something wonderfully new or hilariously classic every time.

4.) Hasan Minhaj Homecoming King

Hasan Minhaj now hosts Patriot Act on Netflix, a new satirical show taking on all the days headlines and hot topics. Before that, however, was his comedy special Homecoming King, an epic take on his experiences as a muslim, first-generation, Indian-American teenager growing up in California. Minhaj takes on some very heavy topics, like racism and islamophobia, but does so with such humor that it never feels too depressing. Homecoming King is the perfect blend of realism and comedy that makes such a wonderfully hilarious, yet no less poignant, stand-up special.

5.) Trevor Noah Son of Patricia

Trevor Noah, the host of the daily show, returns to Netflix in his third stand-up special. Son of Patricia is about Noah’s life in apartheid-era South Africa, and his childhood, growing up mixed-race. Noah recounts childhood anecdotes and maintains a light mood, even while discussing some very heavy topics. Son of Patricia is a hilarious, wild ride from an incredibly talented comedian.


It’s difficult to convey how truly, uproariously, violently funny these specials are. They are the perfect escape from what can be a fun, but often overwhelming, time of year. Each of these amazing comics touches on family, friends, and our relationships with them, making them particularly relevant for the holiday season. Of course, comedy is subjective, but these stand-up specials tend to be broadly hilarious, if not at least a little bit likable.