Stand-up comedy is in its own TV niche. Most channels don’t carry it as part of their regular programming, but some networks (mostly HBO, in the past few years, but also other premium channels like EPIX) have carved out a space where they’ve become a destination for comedians to launch highly-anticipated comedy specials. Apparently someone at Netflix recently thought to themselves, “Hmm, we’ve conquered most aspects of television, what still lies before us?” The answer was, evidently, stand-up comedy, as the streaming giant has made a hard push to collect high-profile comedians (and even stolen some, like courting Jerry Seinfeld away from Sony’s Crackle service), reportedly paying them very big bucks as well.
Today, Louis C.K. has become the latest comedy to join those ranks, which include Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Dave Chappell, and Sarah Silverman. Each have made deals with Netflix (some to the tune of $40 million, as in Rock’s case) to create exclusive stand-up shows. Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix, said of the deal:
Louis has been one of the most innovative comedy voices in this new era of stand up. He has also been a thought leader in the business of comedy. We have marveled at his creativity and his ability to invent comedically and commercially, and are thrilled that he is bringing his newest specials to Netflix
I’ve always really enjoyed Louis C.K.’s stand-up specials, and most are currently available on Netflix (Hulu, however, has the rights to Horace and Pete, which C.K. originally released exclusively via his own website louisck.net). His new Netflix special, 2017, will be the first to debut exclusively on that platform. There’s no number attached to his deal yet (we don’t know how much most of these comedians are being paid since the $40 million for Rock slipped out), but I’m sure it’s a pretty penny.
In addition to these specials, C.K. is also voicing an animated character in the series The Cops, which he co-created for TBS. He’s also a co-writer and producer for Zach Galifianakis‘ FX series Baskets and Pamela Adlon‘s Better Things, and is an executive producer for Tig Notaro‘s One Mississippi on Amazon. We still don’t have any word yet though on more Louie, but, he seems busy!
2017 was filmed in Washington D.C. and will premiere on April 4th on Netflix.