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Netflix News

Chris Rock will make history as Netflix’s first live-broadcast performer

Netflix reveals iconic comedian and actor Chris Rock as the headline act of the streaming platform’s first-ever live, global streaming programme.

“Chris Rock is one of the most iconic and important comedic voices of our generation,” Robbie Praw, the Netflix vice president of stand-up and comedy programming, 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 honoured that Chris is carrying this torch.”

The new show will mark Rock’s second stand-up special for Netflix, his first being Chris Rock: Tamborine, which debuted in February 2018. The upcoming live stream show is set to air in early 2023. 

This marks Netflix’s first foray into live streaming, but they are no beginners when it comes to live comedy events. The Netflix is a Joke: The Festival took place in spring 2022 and featured more than 330 comedians performing 295 separate shows across upwards of 35 venues in the Los Angeles catchment, including the first-ever stand-up show at Dodger Stadium. The festival sold more than 260,000 tickets. 

Over the summer and into autumn, Rock has been busy on the road with his Ego Death World Tour and has a run of comedy tour dates still to come in December in California alongside close friend Dave Chappelle. 

Earlier this year, Rock made the headlines following the infamous Will Smith slap at the Oscars. The over-baked reaction came after Rock made a joke about the award-winning actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith. 

A few weeks later, in May, Chappelle was performing at the Netflix is a Joke festival at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles when a man from the audience ran onto the stage and “lunged” at him. 

Fortunately, neither of the comedians sustained any serious injuries and made light of their respective situations. Two days after Chappelle’s attack, the pair joined each other on stage at a Comedy Store gig. 

Chappelle joked: “At least you got smacked by someone of repute. I got smacked by a homeless guy with leaves in his hair.” Laughing, Rock replied: “I got smacked by the softest n**** that ever rapped.”

Following the incident at the Oscars, Smith was banned from the award ceremony and all other Academy events for the next ten years. In the fallout of the Oscars incident, Pinkett-Smith addressed the public on the Red Table Talk Facebook series, stating that she hopes Smith and Rock can “reconcile”.