September 5, 2013 by The Sweetest Plum
This morning I went on the Breakfasters on Triple R and banged on about my favourite Comedy Specials that lurking around the internet. These are by no means my favourite ever performances or albums, but they’re just a good example of the range of independent stuff that comedians are putting out online at the moment…
*”Online Comedy Specials!” may actually be the worst title for a blog post ever, and I suspect the exclamation mark actually makes it look a lot worse
Louis CK – Live at The Beacon
You can still grab this off Louis CK’s website for $5. As much as I hate using the term “game changer” (it’s mostly used by people trying to make something sound way more important than it should be), it was a bit of a “game changer” for comedy specials because suddenly comedians could film their own shows, put them on their own websites and not have to wait until a TV station/production company offered them a deal. Obviously you need some sort of following to make it work, but it’s worked a treat for people like Aziz Ansari and Daniel Kitson
Here’s a clip from the Beacon gig…
Tig Notaro – Live
The other great one is Tig Notaro – Live, which is an audio recording of a gig she did only a few days after finding out she had breast cancer. It really is an extraordinary gig, mainly because she really didn’t know what she was going to say before she got on stage, and no one knew she had cancer beforehand, and you can sort of hear the audience wondering what the hell is going on when she introduces herself by saying, “Hello, I have cancer, I have cancer”. It’s a bold way to start a comedy show, and she spends the next 30 minutes walking this extraordinary emotional tightrope between laughter and extreme pain. This should be mandatory listening for anyone who ever wants to write and perform a personal show.
It’s sort of hard to grab any particular clip out of this show, because you really need to hear the whole show in context, so I’ve grabbed out one of my other favourite Tig Notaro bits, called No Moleste…
And if you like that, then here’s a wonderful story about meeting Taylor Dayne…
Now, I’m actually writing this the night before going on Triple R, so i may not get enough time to mention this on the show (in fact I’m almost certain I won’t, but it’s absolutely worth a look). This is Maria Bamford’s Special Special Special, which she recorded in her lounge room, and the only audience was her parents. It’s a fascinating/inspiring/excruciating experiment, as you keep looking at her parents faces when Maria’s doing material about them, and about her own struggles with mental illness.
Obligatory Gratuitous Self Promotion
And no article written by a comedian would be complete without a totally gratuitous plug. So make sure when you’ve downloaded all of these things I’ve mentioned, feel free to subscribe to The Sweetest Plum Podcast.