9 HBO Stand-Up Specials That Will Help You Celebrate The News That Amy Schumer Is Getting Her Own
Life for comedy fans got just a little bit better this week, when it was announced that the amazingly hilarious Amy Schumer is getting her own HBO stand-up special. It's an honor most comedians only dream of receiving, but one she most definitely deserves. Schumer will be joining a long line of stand-ups who've left indelible marks on the comedy world, and I don't know about you, but I'm pumped. In preparation, I've been thinking of re-watching some of my favorite HBO comedy specials from years past, but there are so many of them and not enough time in the day, so that may be a fool's errand. Won't stop me from trying, though!
HBO has been producing amazing comedic content for years now, from scripted programs like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Sex and the City, to — obviously — stand-up. And some incredible comedians have helmed their own specials, shows that have stuck with fans for years after their original broadcast. In other words, Schumer's in good company, and is joining a long line of absolute legends. Whether you've seen some of the specials below already and want to re-live them or you just want to prep ahead of Schumer's show, you've gotta check out these 7 HBO stand-up specials. I promise, you'll thank me.
Eddie Izzard - Dress To Kill (1999)
The infamous transvestite comedian's San Francisco show was filmed for HBO and features jokes about Stonehenge, the Church of England, Neil Armstrong's moon landing, religion and about a million other topics. It's a perfect summary of who Izzard is as a comedian and will have you in stitches from start to finish.
Louis C.K. - Oh My God (2013)
If you're a fan of Louis but haven't watched any of Louis C.K.'s stand-up, what are you waiting for? While he's done a few, his most recent, Oh My God, showcases a new level of maturity and growth in his craft, while still delivering those killer observations that make his work so poignant.
Eddie Murphy - Delirious (1983)
Any comedy fan worth their salt needs to watch Murphy's stand-up, because while the movies he made later in his career are great, there's a raw, refreshing energy in Delirious that's unparalled in any of his other projects.
Janeane Garofalo - HBO Comedy Half Hour (1995)
Never, ever forget the greatness that is Janeane Garofalo. I mean, I know she's still alive and working and being amazing, but I feel like she's super under-appreciated and we need to be re-living her decades worth of genius at every opportunity, like with this 1995 special. Watch it! You'll be a better person.
Roseanne Barr - The Roseanne Barr Special (1987)
I grew up watching Roseanne, but it wasn't until a bit later in life that I was exposed to her stand-up, where it all began. I'm so glad I did eventually find it, because it's brutally funny and no doubt inspired so many female comedians that came after her.
Sarah Silverman - We Are Miracles (2013)
If you've watched any of the specials on this list, Silverman's is probably it. She's great because she says a lot of stuff that no one else would have the courage to, and she generally makes pretty good points with every single thing that comes out of her mouth. The bit about adopting versus buying pets always gets me, but that's literally only one tiny part of the amazing special.
Paula Poundstone - Cats, Cops, and Stuff (1990)
Hopefully you're not too young to remember Paula Poundstone, who was one of the most successful female comedians of the early '90s. Her specials used to come on TV when I was a kid, and I thought she was hilarious because she made jokes I could understand. They weren't gratuitously vulgar, they weren't forced, they were just... funny.
Robin Williams - An Evening With Robin Williams (1982)
I really miss Robin Williams, and while he's left us a ton of wonderful movies to revisit any time we're feeling that (Mrs. Doubtfire and Jumanji will always have my heart), I always end up coming back to An Evening With Robin Williams to feel closest to the frenetic spirit we all loved so much about him. If you considered yourself a fan of Williams, you'll know exactly what I mean.
George Carlin - Jammin In New York (1992)
Another comedic genius, Carlin wasn't for everyone, I'll admit. But for those who did "get" him, we understood and appreciated his unique approach to the craft of stand-up, and we still find plenty of laughs in his specials.