FILM

The Best Netflix Comedy Specials of the 2010s

It was so bad, it was funny.

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Everything in life is funny.

Remember that the next time you feel creeping alarm about climate change, impeachment proceedings, or Brexit. As George Carlin once said, "There's a humorous side to every situation. The challenge is to find it." But in the age of Twitter and op-eds about bad dates with comedians, it's hard to keep track of what's funny and what's cringey. In the last decade, we've been treated to all variations. From critics lamenting that Hannah Gadsby's emotional comedy isn't "real" stand-up to Dave Chappelle returning to say exactly what's on his mind regardless of the political climate, our cultural understanding of what constitutes comedy is currently in flux.

Is Mike Birbiglia's vulnerability funny? Is Bo Burnham's peppy musical satire funny? We're saying yes. Why? On the enduring power of comedy, American humorist Mark Twain once said, "Humor must not professedly teach, and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever"–which is lovely, but Richard Pryor frankly put it better when he said, "Two things people throughout history have had in common are hatred and humor. I am proud that I have been able to use humor to lesson people's hatred."

That is to say: Some comedic talents have shone undeniable light upon our existential dread, and for that we're thankful.

Hannah Gadsby, "Nanette"