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Chris Rock Sets Live Netflix Comedy Special

Rock will be the first artist ever to perform live on Netflix.

Chris Rock performs live during his Total Blackout Tour at the Ericsson Globe Arena on October 2, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden

Chris Rock

Redferns/Getty Images

As streaming becomes increasingly more like linear TV — with ads, bundles, and even livestreams of network TV — the biggest streamer in the business is taking its first stab at live broadcasting.

A live Chris Rock comedy special will premiere on Netflix early next year, the streamer announced November 10. This event will be the first time Netflix has hosted a live program. Details on what a live broadcast on the service will look like will come at a later date.

“Chris Rock is one of the most iconic and important comedic voices of our generation,” Netflix VP of Stand-Up and Comedy Robbie Praw said in a statement. “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.”

The news follows Netflix’s venture into hosting live comedy programming this year with the “Netflix is a Joke” festival this spring. The Los Angeles comedy festival hosted 330 comedians — including Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, Pete Davidson, Bill Burr, Aziz Ansari, Dave Chapelle, and others — performing 295 shows across 35 venues in the city. Several of those sets were recorded and later released on Netflix for on-demand viewing, but Rock’s special marks the first comedy special to be recorded live for the streamer.

Rock has worked as a comedian since the 1980s and came to prominence after a three-season stint on “Saturday Night Live.” A series of acclaimed HBO comedy specials over the rest of the decade helped him reach mainstream stardom, and he later hosted a talk show for the premium cable network from 1997 to 2000. He’s also well known for developing and writing the sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris,” based on his childhood in New York.

The currently untitled special will be Rock’s second stand-up set for Netflix, following “Tamborine” premiering in 2018. And, of course, this is Rock’s first televised comedy special since the infamous Oscars slap, so don’t be shocked if a few jabs at Will Smith make the special.

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