Chris Rock, brilliant stand-up comedian, has been notably absent from the comedy landscape over the past eight years. He's spent the time pursuing a number of other projects - he wrote, directed, and starred in the well-received Top Five, popped up on FOX's Empire, and directed Amy Schumer's recent HBO special - but now it appears he's finally making his way back to the stage.
According to The Hollywood Reporter:
"(Chris Rock) has signed a massive pact with Netflix for two stand-up specials ...
The first Rock show will tape in 2017 and follow a new world tour that is currently being planned. It's unclear when either that first show will air or when the second will tape and be rolled out."
First of all, two new Chris Rock specials is enormously exciting, and with Rock taping the first of them in 2017 (following a world tour that's being planned as we speak), I assume we can expect his material to be ... well, let's call it "satisfyingly timely".
Secondly: $40M for two stand-up specials is a staggering windfall of a payday, placing Rock at or above the same level as some of comedy's other heavyweight performers (THR thinks that the $20M-per puts him ahead of even Jerry Seinfeld, but I wouldn't be surprised if Seinfeld's hit that number before). Anyway, this is good news for people who love Chris Rock and good news for people who enjoy watching stand-up on Netflix.
On a related note, here's a few off-the-top-of-my-head Netflix comedy recommendations: both John Mulaney specials, Tom Segura's Mostly Stories and Ali Wong's Baby Cobra. Which ones are you guys into?