Any list we make is subjective and as there was last year it seems this year was just an embarrassment of riches when it came to available comedy specials. We saw first time specials come from the next wave of voices like Kumail Nanjiani, Chris D’Elia, Bo Burnham, Moshe Kasker, and Rory Scovel. Established acts like Anthony Jeselnik, Aziz Anseari, Tammy Pescatelli, Jimmy Pardo, Kevin Nealon, Bob Saget, Tom Papa, Sarah Silverman, Kathleen Madigan, Jim Norton, and Todd Glass continued to show us just how funny they really are. We got a second posthumus release by a new legend in Patrice O’Neal who left us just as the masses were starting to realize just how funny he was. Comedic innovators like Louis C.K., Marc Maron, and Lewis Black continued to show the world just how good comedy is and how differently it can be done. And finally, we saw a certified comedy legend Bill Cosby return with his first special in nearly 30 years that was not only incredibly hilarious but every bit as resonant today as it was when he first started performing comedy. This year was an incredible year for comedy and any of the above names could top this list.
The following list were the ones that had us buzzing about this year. First, some parameters as to how we picked them – the special had to be available in a widely available medium. Meaning just self-released albums weren’t heavily considered. They needed to be available via a digital streaming service (like Netflix), aired on a TV channel of note (like HBO, Comedy Central, etc.) or have a proper DVD, CD, or digital release that could be easily found on a major retailer (like Amazon, Best Buy, iTunes etc.). Some of these specials hit all marks of this criteria, some aired on TV or Netflix but will not be released on CD/DVD until 2014.
With these basic parameters in mind here are our favorite comedy specials of 2013. Let us know what specials made your list in the comments.