It’s been eight years since Chris Rock last performed in a TV standup comedy special, but thanks to a record-breaking deal with Netflix we’ll be seeing not one but two new specials from the comedian.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix will be paying through the nose for the privilege of streaming the two specials, reportedly coughing up a record $40 million.
“The $20 million per special is believed to be more than such A-list comedians as Louis C.K., Jerry Seinfeld and Amy Schumer have commanded,” notes THR.
Rock’s previous specials — including “Kill the Messenger” (2008), “Never Scared” (2004), and “Bigger & Blacker” (1999) — aired on HBO, which is clearly on the losing end of this new deal.
“Chris Rock is a beloved actor and director, and his remarkable stand-up makes him comic royalty,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a statement. “There is no one like him, and Netflix offers the global platform and creative freedom that will serve as a perfect home for someone with his incredible talent.”
“Increasingly, Netflix is becoming the preeminent destination for standup comedy, partnering with top-tier talent across a wide variety of styles and humour, enabling them to bring their fresh, distinctive and hilarious voices to our members in 190 countries around the world. Our members discover every day that we truly offer something for every comedy fan, and the comedians we partner with understand the power of having a direct line to our ever-growing global audience. Coming on the heels of our first Emmy win in the category (“Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping”), now is the perfect time to take things to the next level with Chris Rock,” said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix’s VP of original documentary and comedy.
“I’m very excited to be working with Ted and Lisa and all the good people at Netflix,” added Rock. “I can’t wait to get back on stage.”
The first special will be taped in 2017 during Rock’s upcoming comedy tour; it’s not yet known when it will air, nor when the second special will be recorded.