Maria Bamford shot her "special special special" at her home in Eagle Rock, one of several DIY releases comedians put out in 2012.
This was a difficult list to distill from dozens of excellent audio and video shows that were sent to me for review. They are listed below via "publish date" and are not weighted in any way beyond that. Thank you to everyone who sent me their media, if you didn't make it on this list, you at least got a mention in an earlier column.
John Mulaney - New In Town (January 31) - Mulaney, primarily known for his writing on "Saturday Night Live," had his first major TV premiere this year with New In Town and it's a great opportunity to see him tell a story that's longer than a 4-8 minute sketch. Mulaney's stream of hilarious anecdotes culminates in a true story of a visit to the doctor that might be worth acquiring the DVD alone.
Patrice O'Neal - Mr. P (February 7) - This posthumous release (Patrice died in November of 2011) is of a comedian that so many comedians (Louis CK, Bill Burr, Chris Rock, Robert Kelly, Jim Norton, etc.) regarded as a friend and inspiration. What's remarkable about this recording is not that it is of a particularly outstanding performance, but, rather, that it is of what would be a typically boisterous bought of comedy with Patrice. What you hear O'Neal do on Mr. P is what you'd see him if you caught him at the Comedy Cellar in New York City on virtually any night of the week: informed, original, brilliantly funny conversations with a man whose absence is sorely felt.