Netflix has tapped stand-up legend Chris Rock to test out their newly developed live streaming technology for the platform’s first ever live stand-up special, which is set to take place sometime in 2023. Said Robbie Praw, the Vice President of Stand-up and Comedy Formats at Netflix, “Chris Rock is one of the most iconic and important comedic voices of our generation … We’re thrilled the entire world will be able to experience a live Chris Rock comedy event and be a part of Netflix history. This will be an unforgettable moment and we’re so honored that Chris is carrying this torch.”

Hopes are high that the special will be even more unforgettable than the last time Rock told a joke live on-camera.

 

This isn’t the first time that Rock has experimented with the format of a traditional stand-up show – his 2008 special, Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger, was cut together from three separate performances in New York, London, and Johannesburg. The special earned Rock an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program, one of four Emmys that the prolific comedian has received during his historic career.

That same year, another comedy legend, George Carlin, performed his final HBO stand-up special, It’s Bad for Ya, on a live broadcast. Carlin passed away from heart failure less than four months after the performance, and he was posthumously awarded a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. Rock is following in some formidable footsteps with this experiment in live streamed comedy.

For those who have been anxiously awaiting Chris Rock’s unedited, unfiltered take on the events of this past March’s Oscar ceremony, Rock, who has been uncharacteristically tight-lipped regarding the incident in which Will Smith stormed the stage and slapped the comedian mid-ceremony, has hinted that this upcoming special may be the moment where he finally unleashes his thoughts on the subject.

During a recent show in London, Rock said of the slap, “People expect me to talk about the bullshit, I’m not going to talk about it right now, I’ll get to it eventually, on Netflix.” Whether that’s a promise or a deflection remains to be seen, but if he does choose to rehash the infamous incident during his live streamed special, let’s hope that Netflix hires better security than the Academy. You never know who will be in that audience, and we hear that Jada is a master of camouflage.

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