After a long day of work, the perfect way to wind down is with a good ice cream and a hilarious comedy special. But some of us are parents and we can’t watch the likes of Ali Wong or Amy Schumer around kids. Alternatively, sometimes we want a comedian who doesn’t use dirty humor — some people actually like dad jokes!
We’re not saying all clean comics make dad jokes, but we definitely have a higher chance of hearing some with Jim Gaffigan than with Richard Pryor. So look no further — here’s your guide to most of the clean comedians on Netflix.
With his specials, Cinco (2017, TV-14) and Comedy Monster (2021, TV-14), Jim brings his trademark “clean” style of comedy to the streaming giant. He talks about laziness, being a dad, and life as a comedian … and he’s almost always reliably hilarious.
We all remember comedian Sinbad from our childhood, but what we didn’t realize is how appropriate his comedy actually was! He began his career on Star Search, so he had to have a clean set to get through. But by the 1990s, his show, The Sinbad Show, made it essential for him to be as kid-friendly as his foster parent character. His specials, Son of a Preacher Man (1996, TV-PG), Nothin’ but the Funk (1998, TV-PG), and Afros and Bellbottoms (2006, TV-14), are all on Netflix.
A newer comic on the scene, Nate Bargatze is even more kid-friendly than Jim Gaffigan. While he doesn’t yet have a household name, he could very easily become a family favorite with his jokes about animal caddies and new math. Be sure to check out both his specials, The Tennessee Kid (2019, TV-PG) and The Greatest Average American (2021, TV-G).
Comedian Brian Regan has two specials on Netflix: Nunchucks and Flamethrowers (2017, TV-PG) and On the Rocks (2021, TV-G). Brian notably talks about aging and raisins—two wrinkly subjects! He might even make the kids laugh.
While Seinfeld is anything but “clean” (despite its tenure on network television), Jerry’s comedy is definitely family-friendly. Known for cracking jokes about peanuts on airplanes, Jerry’s style is considered “hack” by some comedians, but he was the one to first make the hack jokes. He basically invented a style of comedy. So give any of his three specials — I’m Telling You for the Last Time (1998, TV-14), Jerry Before Seinfeld (2017, TV-14), and 23 Hours to Kill (2020, TV-PG) — a watch.
It’s about time to get a woman on this list! Plenty of women perform clean comedy, but just as there are still fewer female comedians thanks to a systemically male-dominated industry, there are fewer clean female comedians. But Anjelah Johnson did it in her special, Not Fancy (2015, TV-14), in which she also addresses her Mexican heritage.
New York-based country boy comic Ryan Hamilton took his silly billy style to Netflix with his special, Happy Face (2017, TV-14). Making jokes about Disney World, Ryan is a comedian for the whole family.
Longtime veteran Tom Papa isn’t always clean, but he puts out two clean specials worth watching for any comedy fan — Live in New York City (2011, TV-14) and You’re Doing Great (2020, TV-14). As he gets older, his comedy gets even more refined as he jokes about marriage and family life.
We all know Kevin James from Paul Blart: Mall Cop, but before that he was a standup comedian. His 2001 special, Sweat the Small Stuff (TV-PG) was one of his breakout moments, and appealed to almost every audience. His 2018 special, Never Don’t Give Up (TV-PG), is just as lovable.
Fred Armisen’s standup special isn’t so much standup as it is an experimental performance piece that's also unsurprisingly hilarious. Just like his SNL and on-screen persona, Fred takes an odd idea and makes it relatable in his special, Standup for Drummers (2018, TV-PG).
AY isn’t just an exclamation — it’s also the stage name of comedian Ayo Makun. His special, Spotting the Difference (2023, TV-14), is making waves in Netflix’s comedy catalog. He dives into religion, media, and paying for healthcare all in a funny and appropriate manner.
Mike Birbiglia is a storyteller first and a comedian second. He doesn’t prioritize being “clean” or even making the best joke. He seems to care most about telling the best story in the best way possible, which means sometimes he’s totally appropriate for the kids, and other times, not so much. But luckily, his special My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend (2013, TV-14) is fun for everyone.
He may be a political comedian, but Colin Quinn keeps it “clean” in his 2019 special, Red State Blue State (TV-14) as he compares the right and left sides of the political spectrum. Perhaps they’re more similar than we thought.
He’s a silly actor and he’s a silly comedian! Jeff Foxworthy rose up alongside Larry the Cable Guy, a hilarious pair to everyone. He has two specials on Netflix that are family-friendly: We’ve Been Thinking (2016, TV-14) and The Good Old Days (2022, TV-14).
Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias
Known to his fans as “Fluffy,” how could Gabriel Iglesias not be family-friendly? We’re sorry to let you down, but at least one of his specials is for adults only, but two of them are rated TV-14: I’m Sorry for What I Said When I Was Hungry (2016) and One Show Fits All (2019). The bilingual comic talks often about his heritage while also goofing around and having fun.
As the former host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah is used to being on network television, so he knows how to keep it appropriate and funny at the same time. Two of Trevor’s three Netflix specials can be enjoyed by the whole family: Afraid of the Dark (2017, TV-14) and Son of Patricia (2018, TV-14).
Harith Iskander might be lesser known than some of his “clean” colleagues, but in Malaysia, he’s considered the King of Comedy. So, he took his Malaysian fame to the screen in his debut Netflix special, I Told You So (2018, TV-14).
Like some other comics on this list, Tig Notaro isn’t solely a clean comic, but her special Happy to Be Here (2018, TV-14) fits the bill. She talks about her recent bout with cancer and her new relationship with unexpected punchlines and brilliant tags.
Steve Martin and Martin Short
This comedy duo is back in the cultural conversation thanks to their starring roles in Only Murders in the Building, but Steve Martin and Martin Short's 2018 Netflix comedy special, An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life (TV-14), is truly unmissable (and unforgettable).
Sheng Wang’s debut special, Sweet & Juicy (2022, TV-14), was directed by Ali Wong but Sheng definitely has his own stamp on it. He talks about major things like feminism to the little things like snoring in his teen-appropriate special.
Now you have plenty of specials to add to your Netflix watchlist that hopefully won’t be leaving the platform anytime soon. Sit back with your kids or even solo and enjoy some "clean" comedy.