Netflix has started adding Mexican comedians to its lineup. Watching stand-up comedy is a great way to learn Mexican Spanish. It’s full of colloquial expressions and pop culture references.
If you are an intermediate or advanced learner, try watching these Mexican stand-up comedians with Spanish subtitles as studies have shown it enhances language learning.
Warning: Mexican humor traditionally relies on ethnic and homophobic stereotypes and can be extremely politically incorrect to North American and European ears. I have omitted the worst offenders from this list, but still be prepared for some cringeworthy moments.
However, if you can get past the occasional tasteless joke, you’ll be rewarded with cultural insights as well as cool slang to impress your Mexican friends.
All these Mexican stand-up comedy specials are Netflix originals and available in the US as well as most — but unfortunately not all — other countries. To check if a show is available where you are, just click the title.
If you watch one Mexican comedy special on Netflix, make it this one. A pioneer of Mexico’s stand-up scene, Sofía Niño de Rivera’s brand of self-deprecating humor is darkly hilarious.
A good opportunity to pick up common groserías and gain insights about Mexican culture like the mutual disdain between chilangos (Mexico City residents) and the rest of the country.
In this highly entertaining follow-up to her 2016 hit, Niño de Rivera brings her trademark black humor to the stage of Mexico City’s iconic Auditorio Nacional.
Her snarky wit will make you laugh out loud, and you’ll score many colorful new expressions to liven up your vocabulary lists.
Note: Watch the specials in order as many jokes in this one reference her first show.
Daniel Sosa hits his comedic stride in his irreverent second stand-up special, in which he reminisces about his childhood and ponders Mexican traditions. Lots of slang and references to contemporary Mexican culture.
I found popular standupero Carlos Ballarta’s second show much funnier than his first (listed below). In this special, the chilango comic mocks himself, pointing out the absurdities of parenthood and how he uses his wife’s pregnancies to avoid commitments.
Language note: ñero, originally derived from the word compañero, is Mexico City slang for an uneducated urban youngster. So Furia Ñera translates as something like working-class or barrio rage.
Comediante mexicano Mau Nieto dishes on his humble origins, his attempts at sobriety, and about being one poop away from losing the love of his life. Lots of chilanguismos (Mexico City slang).
Recommended with chilango pride by my awesome Spanish teacher in Mexico City.
Young Mexican comedian Daniel Sosa recounts anecdotes of daily life and interprets various characters including a Tupperware dealer, a thirsty priest, and a soldier inside a Trojan horse. His jokes require a good grasp of Mexican culture and slang, so his act offers many learning opportunities.
An added bonus is the spectacular backdrop provided by Mexico City’s Polyforum Siqueiros, featuring the world’s largest mural by famed painter David Alfaro Siqueiros.
Sunglasses-clad Carlos Ballarta’s cynical and humorous take on the tragic realities of daily life in the Mexican capital.
Diva of Mexican stand-up Manu NNa riffs on the struggles of being gay in a machista society and shares his affinity for telenovelas and marijuana.
Lots of colorful slang and pop culture references. Funny, brash, and sexy, with a few cringe-inducing moments of crass stereotypes (see warning above on Mexican humor).
In this high-energy performance, Alex Fernández riffs on reggaetón lyrics, the show Sabadazo, and the origin of suppositories. Lots of funny musical impressions. Clean material refreshingly free of racist stereotypes.
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Have feedback on these Mexican comedy shows or more Netflix recommendations for stand-up in Spanish? Please share your suggestions in the comments.
Ingrid retired early from software engineering at 43 to devote herself to language learning and travel. Her goal is to learn a new language to fluency every two years. Currently, she speaks English, German, Spanish, and Portuguese, and is learning French.