There’s something unique about New Jersey comedians that separates them from your average comic. Perhaps it’s the working-class attitude that underscores what it means to be from New Jersey. Or maybe it’s feeling like an afterthought to the glitz and glamour of New York City. Whatever it is, it created a brash, quick-witted sense of humor that molded New Jersey comedy legends such as, Abbott and Costello, Jerry Lewis, and Flip Wilson. Today, in the footsteps of their forefathers, New Jersey comedians dominate streaming services with specials, sitcoms, and talk shows. Here are five of the funniest New Jersey comedians you can stream right now.
1. Marc Maron
Marc Maron was born in Jersey City, but grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Despite this fact, New Jersey undoubtedly runs through his veins. In fact, Maron cites listening to “the old men who hung out” at his grandfather’s New Jersey appliance store as an introduction to his love for conversation. Whether it’s on his hit podcast “WTF” or his IFC sit-com “Maron,” his New Jersey influence shines through in his bold, confrontational style of humor.
If you’re looking to get your Maron fix, Netflix is the place to go. You can watch him star as women’s wrestling director, Sam Sylvia, in the Netflix original series “Glow,” as well as stream his newest comedy special, “End Times Fun.”
2. Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander, a native of Newark, NJ, is as Jersey as it gets when it comes to funny people. Although he isn’t known as a stand-up comedian, his exuberant presence in situational comedy is a sight to see. And, let’s face it, his overly neurotic character on “Seinfeld,” George Costanza, captures an archetype we’re all too familiar with in the tri-state area.
“Seinfeld” may have ended in 1998, but it’s humor never gets old (and that’s a fact). If you can’t get enough of George Costanza, head over to Hulu where you can binge every season of “Seinfeld” right now.
3. Chelsea Handler
From her hit talk show “Chelsea Lately” to her uproarious comedy special “Uganda Be Kidding Me: Live,” Chelsea Handler is the quintessential New Jersey comedian. No matter what she’s doing, this Livingston, NJ native is never afraid to take an unfiltered look at the world around her, a rare gift that is second nature to New Jersey comedians like Chelsea Handler.
There’s no shortage of Handler’s material, but here are a few suggestions to point you in the right direction. On Netflix, you can watch both seasons of her most recent comedy talk show “Chelsea.” You can also stream her documentary “Hello, Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea,” in which she explores the concept of white privilege.
4. Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart may have been born in New York City, but there’s no questioning that he’s a New Jersey comedian at heart. Raised in Lawrenceville, NJ, Stewart’s Garden State demeanor is evident in his work. Whether it’s a stand-up comedy routine or a monologue for “The Daily Show,” his searing honesty and unabashed criticism of cultural and political foes is indicative of his Garden State upbringing.
Stewart has since passed the reins of the “The Daily Show” on to Trevor Noah, but continues to mine comedy gold. Most recently, he wrote and directed a political satire entitled “Irresistible,” starring Steve Carrell. Stream it today on Amazon Prime Video, Youtube, or Video On Demand.
5. Bill Maher
Like Jon Stewart, Bill Maher was born in New York City, but grew up in River Vale, NJ. Over the course of a long career as a stand-up comedian and talk show host, Maher garnered notoriety for his role as the host of “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher,” as well as several comedy specials. Much like his fellow New Jersey comedians, Maher thrives on targeting the absurdities he observes in society, ranging from religion to politics.
Maher’s most notable project is “Real Time with Bill Maher,” a comedy talk show that’s the pinnacle of clever social commentary. Head on over to HBO Max to stream season 18 now.