Best Stand-up Comedy Specials on Netflix (2020)

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Credit: Patton Oswalt: Annihilation – Elizabeth Morris – Netflix
Credit: Patton Oswalt: Annihilation – Elizabeth Morris – Netflix /

33. Patton Oswalt: Annihilation

Patton Oswalt’s second stand-up special for Netflix has a high bar to clear after his first one won an Emmy, but I thought this was even better. Oswalt opens up his set talking about Donald Trump winning the election and how it was retribution for electing Obama who served two terms. He also referred to the Inauguration Day as a moment when people turned in their AA chips. He also thinks Trump initially ran out of spite but now he’s out of spite and he realizes how much this job is gonna suck.

From there, Oswalt mentions he took a DNA test to see where all of his ancestors came from. Oddly enough he sees a spot on the map that stuck out, and it turns out, he’s got a little bit of Genghis Khan DNA running through his veins. A little bit of crowd work followed after which was pretty pleasant and turned in one of the most unintentionally funny lines of the special. I won’t spoil that for you, but I couldn’t stop laughing.

At the heart of this special though was Oswalt talking about the death of his wife a little more than a year ago. It was actually right at the same time as his previous special, Talking for Clapping was released on Netflix. The comedy special took a sharp left turn, but Oswalt managed to talk through is grief and the healing journey that he and his daughter are on. I don’t know how he managed to do it, but he managed to make us laugh as he talked about the worst moments of his life. It was done with grace and respect and added a human touch to this special that will make you laugh and cry in the same moment. It was a helluva thing.

When Oswalt talks about the moment he had to deliver the Earth-shattering news to his daughter, I lost it, but he kept us on the tracks with his story about traveling on Mother’s Day and the Polish lady that haunts him at every holiday. It was a perfect, and all-too-real moment that could be understood by anyone that’s lost a parent or spouse. Kudos to Oswalt for managing to share this healing journey with us.

Next: Louis C.K.: Hilarious