5 Knockout Stand-Up Specials for the Long Weekend

Nikki Glaser, ‘Someday You’ll Die’

(Stream it on Max)

The Tom Brady celebrity roast on Netflix ended with regret (he said he wouldn’t do it again), outrage (“Super Bowl of Cruelty,” The Washington Post thundered) and weeks of chatter. In other words, it was exactly what the streamer surely had hoped for. The other major winner was the stand-up Nikki Glaser, whose set was perfect promotion for her knockout new special.

She begins her tight, cynical hour about the end of your 30s with a pugnacious bit about why she doesn’t want to have kids and finishes with another on why getting married is settling. Both show off Glaser’s gift for grabbing a subject, attacking it from every side, playing smart and dumb, ingratiating and insulting, going sweet or sour. Her joke tool kit overflows. Her most assured tack finds laughs by cluelessly saying the wrong thing, as when she tests out ideas for a friend’s baby shower, mulling bull-riding or a trampoline park before arriving at a “stomach-punching contest at a staircase museum.”

Glaser, who calls herself a “rangy broad,” likes the polish of old-school showbiz. In a glittery dress, she closes with a ta-da of a final line. But she can also get real. There’s a vulnerable subtext to her steely persona. You can even see it in her roasts if you squint. Our harshest insults often reflect our own insecurities, and this new hour is so wised-up on the dreams of youth that it can seem melancholy. Looking for a soul mate? “Your soul mate statistically is in China,” she quips. “The closest you’ll get is your soul mate touched your phone on an assembly line.”

Nathan Macintosh, ‘Down With Tech’

(Stream it on YouTube)

In his debut “Money Never Wakes,” Nathan Macintosh squeaked in rage over the obscene inequities of class in this country. His follow-up, “Down With Tech,” also self-produced, focuses his populist fury on the tech oligarchs and how much of our attention we have conceded to their whims. Together they form a mad-as-hell double-header perfectly suited for our era: angry at elites, hilariously exasperated and flamboyantly ineffectual.

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