Leslie Jones: Time Machine
Filmed at the Warner Theatre in 2019
Leslie Jones’s first stand-up special after leaving “Saturday Night Live” is fixated on time: The final bit involves Jones time-traveling to the past to speak with her younger self, then heading to the future to speak with her older self. Jones turned 52 just days before filming the hour during two shows at the Warner Theatre last September, and the comedian finds a way to nimbly work personal stories into broader observations. Directed, somewhat inexplicably, by “Game of Thrones” co-creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff for Netflix, Jones showcases her penchant for physical comedy during a particularly memorable story about Prince and another bit where she uses the audience (and the Warner itself) as a prop.
Martin Amini: Son of An Ice Cream Man
Filmed at the Kennedy Center in 2020
Silver Spring native Martin Amini recently moved to Los Angeles to make it in comedy, a struggle he reflects on in his just released YouTube special “Son of An Ice Cream Man,” filmed during his first headlining set at the Kennedy Center. The host of “The Overachievers” stand-up show, which he stages semi-regularly in both L.A. and during trips home at the D.C. Improv, leans into personal stories in his special, particularly those about his Bolivian mother and his Iranian father, who owns eight ice cream trucks in Potomac and likes to remind Amini that he can always come home to work for him if the whole comedy thing doesn’t work out.
Available on YouTube.
Nimesh Patel: Head Nimesh in Charge
Recorded at Bier Baron Tavern in 2019
New Jersey native Nimesh Patel made history in 2017 when he was hired as “Saturday Night Live’s” first Indian American writer. He made headlines a year later when he told a joke about a gay black man during a show at Columbia University that led organizers to cut his set short. Patel recounts that joke — and the controversy and fallout from the experience — during his debut stand-up album, “Head Nimesh in Charge,” which was recorded at the Bier Baron Tavern in Dupont last summer and features several nods to the D.C. audience in attendance.
Dave Chappelle: Equanimity
Filmed at Warner Theatre in 2017
Dave Chappelle filmed his Netflix special during a residency at the Warner Theatre that fall as part of his return to the spotlight after his post-“Chappelle’s Show” hiatus. The Emmy- and Grammy-winning special finds the comedian taking aim at society in ways that remind viewers he’s one of the best stand-ups to ever do it while also touching on topics that may offend others. It’s the second special the D.C. native has filmed in Washington: His first hour, HBO’s breakthrough “Killing Them Softly,” was recorded at the Lincoln Theatre in 2000.