Divine Comedy: 25 Best Stand-Up Specials and Movies

From classic HBO specials to arena-comic concert flicks, these bits continue to crack us up

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15. 'The Roseanne Barr Show' (1987)

Just before Roseanne brought the lives of a rude blue-collar family into the affluent, freshly scrubbed world of Eighties sitcoms, Roseanne Barr offered a stand-up special that doubled as a test-run of the show. She holds court in her "domestic goddess" role, smacking her gum and telling dirty jokes with a matter-of-fact abrasiveness that deliberately flies in the face of "lady-like" behavior; when told she's not very feminine, her reply is, "Well, suck my dick." With this special, Barr not only set the table for her own show, but for future comedy with a working-class bent and for a younger generation of stand-ups like Sarah Silverman and Amy Schumer, whose material has a rude feminist kick. ("Rage is Roseanne's ozone," New Yorker critic John Lahr said. "She creates it, she exudes it.") Barr may be playing several parts at once here, , but they all coalesce into a defiant, come-as-you-are rebuke to the Reagan era. ST

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