Masters of Comedy: 20 stand-up movies

People who can witty jokes from the stage are wildly popular and earn a lot of money. However, the path to success is often very thorny, and behind the ability to turn disparate observations into discontinuous monologues and entire solo concerts, incredible life dramas are hidden. The best stand-up movies will honestly show both sides of this popular comedy phenomenon.

Smooth on Paper (2021)

The ambitious heroine of the sparkling novelty of the cinema dreams of achieving success in stand-up. Giving herself completely to her stage career, the girl openly scores on her personal life. When the time comes to still find a couple, a very handsome and charming man suddenly appears on the horizon. The Cavalier seems to be devoid of flaws, which leads to some suspicions.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:  
Good on Paper

Genre:
Melodrama, comedy

Actors:  
Eliza Schlesinger, Margaret Cho, Matt McGorry …

Country:  
USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 5.6, IMDb – 5.6

Age restrictions:  
16+


I’m not kidding (TV series 2021)

The main role in the new stand-up comedy series was played by a Russian female comedy star and a participant in popular comedy shows. A strong and independent divorced actress from Kuzminki needs to always be in shape, pay off loans and raise her high school son and little daughter. The 49-year-old stand-up artist copes with the passage of a life quest every other time, but she constantly has many reasons for great jokes.

Genre:  
Comedy, drama

Actors:  
Elena Novikova, Taisiya Bityukova, Artem Koshman …

Country:  
Russia

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:  
18+


Tricks (TV series 2021)

The jokes of the popular comedian, the legend of the American stand-up come to the audience worse and worse. The aging star is offered to collaborate with a talented but not yet very successful young screenwriter to freshen up the material. An attempt to work together at first turns into a conflict of generations, but then each manages to extract something useful from the creative union and change for the better.

Original title:  
Hacks

Genre:  
Drama, comedy

Actors:  
Jean Smart, Hannah Einbinder, Carl Clemons-Hopkins…

Country:  
USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 8.3

Age limit:  
18+


Undercover stand-up (2021)

The main character of a funny Russian film about stand-up comedians has no sense of humor and works in the police . Purposeful operative needs to uncover a drug trafficking scheme . To bring drug dealers to clean water, a law enforcement officer has to go on tour with a group of stand-up comedians. To go for your own, you will need to learn self-irony and the ability to joke.

Genre:
Comedy

Actors:  
Valentina Mazunina, Kirill Nagiev, Zoya Berber …

Country:  
Russia

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 5.6

Age restrictions:  
16+


Ready for Anything (TV series 2021)

The sensual and funny sitcom, which received good reviews from the audience, is based on the novel by writer Daria Soifer. 32-year-old Katya Skvortsova works as a programmer in a Moscow firm, and in the evenings amuses the audience with caustic monologues. The doctor says that the girl is in danger of infertility and the child needs to be started as soon as possible. Not accustomed to thinking about the future, the heroine urgently sets off in search of a worthy life partner.

Genre:
Comedy

Actors:
Agniya Kuznetsova, Mikhail Kremer, Valeria Astapova …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0

Age restrictions:
16+


How good … (TV series, 2020 – 2021)

The aspiring gay comedian ran away from conservative parents as a teenager and moved from Canada to Britain. Success is not achieved immediately, but it is possible to find love. However, there are many challenges on the path to personal happiness. The heroine herself needs to overcome drug addiction , and her lover needs to decide on a coming out.

Original title:
Feel Good

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, comedy

Actors:
May Martin, Charlotte Ritchie, Phil Burgers…

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.5


Friendship Standup (2019)

Australian film about stand-up comedy in the genre of romantic comedy. A talented but insecure girl tries to joke in public. A shy boy with cerebral palsy tries to support an aspiring comedian. Co-creation helps to overcome shyness, work through psychological problems, and even find true love, inspiring and striving to new horizons.

Original title:
Standing Up for Sunny

Genre:
Drama, Romance, Comedy

Actors:
RJ Mitty, Philippa Northist, Italia Hunt …

Country:
Australia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.8

Age Limits :
18+


Stand-up for life (2019)

A failed comedian, unable to achieve wealth and fame in Los Angeles, is forced to return to his hometown. A failed attempt to hit on an ex-girlfriend leads the hero of the film to a bar. There, a failed comedian meets an elderly alcoholic doctor . Both men feel that they are at the very bottom of life. Mutual understanding, secured by drinking, turns into a desire to change something in their destiny.

Original title:
Standing Up, Falling Down

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Billy Crystal, Ben Schwartz, Grace Gummer…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

The funny American stand-up movie is based on the biography of cult comedian Rudy Ray Moore. An unsuccessful black comedian works in a music store, but does not leave attempts to conquer the scene. Inspired by the way tramps communicate, the resourceful hero of the film creates a new daring image and conquers the audience with explosive performances, opening the way to money and fame.

Original title:
Dolemite Is My Name

Genre:
Biography, comedy

Actors:
Eddie Murphy, Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Epps …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.3


All About Nina (2018)

The career of an ambitious comedian in stand-up is developing very successfully, but on the personal front, the woman has continuous failures. To recover from another difficult breakup, the comedian decides to fully focus on preparing for a very important audition. Literally on the eve of the casting, the master of killer jokes meets a charming man who is able to push the stage into the background.

Original title:
All About Nina

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, comedy

Actors:
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Common, Beau Bridges…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.8, IMDb – 6.2


Comedian (2018)

The Soviet comedian performs with monologues on the stage and is very popular. The artist has everything that a person could dream of at that time: a strong family, excellent living conditions, the favor of the authorities. However, the feeling of inner lack of freedom becomes a serious problem for a creative person. Trying to go beyond the usual framework, the hero of the film incurs danger.

Genre:  
Drama

Actors:  
Alexey Agranovich, Yuri Kolokolnikov, Alisa Khazanova …

Country:  
Russia, Latvia, Czech Republic

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:  
16+


The Amazing Mrs Maisel (TV series 2017 – 2021)

A black streak begins in the life of a young housewife from a wealthy family: her husband left for his mistress, and the parents consider their daughter a loser. A frustrated woman arrives at a club to pick up an item she left behind and accidentally ends up on stage in front of a microphone. An impromptu monologue about one’s own misadventures delights the public, like a brilliant new star of humor in the United States in the fifties.

Original Title
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Genre:  
Drama, comedy

Actors:  
Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Michael Zegen …

Country:  
USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 8.4, IMDb – 8.7


I’m dying of laughter (TV series, 2017 – 2018)

Every evening comedians with their jokes perform on the stage of the club with imperious and grasping Goldie. At the microphone, comedians shine with irony and witticisms, but outside the stage everyone has to deal with many problems. Dependence on addictions, toxic relationships, conflicts with relatives, failed career ambitions… Rising stars of humor overcome difficult trials and find inspiration for new reprises in life.

Original title:
I’m Dying Up Here

Genre:
Drama, Comedy

Actors:
Melissa Leo, Ari Graynor, Michael Angarano…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 7.5

Age Limits :
16+


According to friends (TV series, 2017 – 2019)

In this movie about the wrong side of the fashionable comedy industry, real stand-up artists and the most popular clubs lit up. A man thrown out of his usual life is having a hard time with his wife’s betrayal and decides to start all over again. Trying to become a successful comedian in the metropolis, the artist finds new women, finds creative friends and even meets real New York stars.

Original title:
Crashing

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Pete Holmes, George Basil, Jamie Lee …

USA :
Country

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Comedian (2016)

The protagonist of the tragicomedy film, marked by a Hollywood film award, once became famous thanks to the popular television series. Subsequently, the aging actor took up solo performances, specializing in highly defiant and offensive humor. A series of meetings and incidents makes the elderly brawler seriously reconsider his behavior.

Original title:
The Comedian

Genre:
Drama, romance, comedy

Actors:
Robert De Niro, Leslie Mann, Harvey Keitel …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 5.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Don’t Think Twice (2016)

In the American comedy film, six talented improvisers create a troupe and amuse the audience with funny numbers. After the closing of the club, the company loses its place for performances. One of the team members manages to light up on television and become truly popular. Rapid success brings discord into the ranks of the team, putting the choice before friends – to stay together or each to go his own way.

Original title:
Don’t Think Twice

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia, Kate Micucci…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 6.7


Maron (TV series 2013 – 2016)

A comedy about stand- up based on real events , where the lead actor – the creator of the super popular podcast – plays himself. The creative path of an absurd artist with a bad character and unfulfilled ambitions did not develop in the best way. The producers did not pay attention, relatives pestered with unnecessary advice. Everything changes when the hero realizes his weaknesses and decides to create a podcast.

Original title:
Maron

Genre:
Comedy

Actors:
Marc Maron, Dave Anthony, Andy Kindler …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
18+


Normal (TV series, 2013 – 2014)

In the witty, semi-biographical sitcom, the popular Australian comedian plays himself. Trying to break into show business or get a role in a box office movie, the main character turns into a complete gouging. It’s time to pull yourself together and start living normally. Of course, it will not be easy to rebuild, but the comedian is confident in his own abilities and begins by helping his brother, who suffers from muscular dystrophy.

Original title:
Legit

Genre:
Comedy

Actors:
Jim Jefferies, Dan Bakkedal, DJ Qualls…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 8.2


Louis (TV series 2010 – 2015)

The master of the colloquial genre divorces his wife. Raising two daughters together with an ex-wife and trying to find a new life partner is not an easy task. However, from any awkward situations and incidents that happen to him, the resilient hero manages to squeeze out material for mind-blowing performances on the stage of comedy clubs. The main role was played by the famous stand-up comedian, whose biography is in many ways similar to the twists and turns of the character’s fate.

Original title:
Louie

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Louis C.K., Hadley Delaney, Ursula Parker…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 8.5


Man in the Moon (1999)

A biopic that follows the vicissitudes of iconic stand-up comedian Andy Kaufman. The bright eccentric artist not only performed on stage with separate humorous numbers, but turned his whole life into a real show. Skillfully combining fiction and reality, the great hoaxer literally fascinated the public. The humorist’s fans at first opposed the actor approved for the main role in the film, but then they appreciated his game.

Original title:  
Man on the Moon

Genre:  
Drama, comedy, biography

Actors:  
Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Courtney Love …

Country:  
USA, UK, Germany, Japan

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:  
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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