Published Jan 04, 2017Our Best of 2016 albums lists by genre have been posted; here come our picks for the five best comedy specials/albums of 2016.
5. Steph Tolev
Hot N' Hungry
On Hot N' Hungry, the debut from Steph Tolev, the Toronto comedian introduces herself to the world by pointing out every imaginable flaw about herself within the first ten minutes. Making hilarious (and mostly exaggerated) observations about her body hair, gravelly voice and weight, Tolev comes off completely empowered, beating most male comedians at their own self-deprecation game. But what makes Hot N' Hungry one of the year's best is how clever her jokes are (about crapping her pants and weighing herself in tuna on a first date), once the listener is acquainted with the pathetic picture Tolev paints of herself. When it comes to Tolev, nothing is off limits, making Hot N' Hungry a breath of dirty air. Daniel Sylvester
4. Tom Segura
This special was arguably the point that Segura went from being a good comic to a great comic. His first special, Completely Normal, was a fun debut, but Mostly Stories is on another level with the amount of unforgettable tales it packs in. From his bit about his dad telling everyone that Tommy Lee Jones is gay without any evidence, to his closer about meeting Mike Tyson and having Tyson become weirdly clingy, Mostly Stories is like the best night of campfire stories with some weird but hard-hitting sexual bits sprinkled in. An unpredictable delight that keeps you begging to know "And then what happened?" at every turn. Julianna Romanyk
3. Ali Wong
This is arguably the strongest debut special of the decade. Everyone focuses on the fact that she did it while seven-and-a-half months pregnant, but that should just be an impressive side note when looking at this special. Her hour is carefully woven with an overarching theme that slowly builds and pays off in her closer; her writing sharply pulls off insane feats like going against modern notions of feminism while still making everybody laugh; and her delivery is basically flawless. I'm positive we'll see Ali Wong killing equally hard in future specials, pregnant or not. Julianna Romanyk