There’s a host of stand-up comedy available to you on Netflix’s instant watch that you can watch real instant-like. There are specials available from Mike Birbiglia, Jim Gaffigan, Lewis CK, and even people who aren’t white, but I’m going to really push my favorite one here, The Comedians of Comedy: The Movie.
It’s a documentary of an alternative comedy tour featuring Patton Oswalt, the mentally unstable Maria Bamford, metal nerd Brian Posehn, and Zach Galifianakis, which means that it features, in my opinion, a near-comprehensive list of the funniest stand-up comedians around. Especially Maria Bamford. If she isn’t your favorite person in the world, she really should be.
Alternative comedy is formulated around the idea that comedy is something to be taken seriously, as funny as that sounds. Instead of performing in expensive, dirty, loveless comedy clubs, this new wave (about a decade old, now) of comedy is about booking these smaller venues where people normally go to see that stuff the kids call “indie rock” and telling poop jokes.
However, these four comedians are about so much more than poop jokes. Taking their name from Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, The Comedians of Comedy (alternative names, The Martin Luther Kings of Comedy or The Rodney Kings of Comedy) are as hilarious off-stage as they are on-stage. In fact, even as Maria Bamford talks about her clinical depression and Zach Galifianakis bears his soul to the camera, they never lose the air of a performer. At one point, Galifianakis comes close to the camera and says, “Reality is becoming a joke, it really is. I don’t know how to put it in words. Hm, oh well.” and then he just leaves. In the end you’re not sure which parts are jokes and which parts are disturbing confessions, and the only thing you’re sure of is that you wish the movie Funny People was more like this documentary.