Chris Rock Is Making A Historic First On Netflix

Chris Rock will headline the first Netflix live-streaming event which will be a comedy special.

By Jennifer Asencio | Published

Netflix will be inaugurating its live streaming service with a Chris Rock special. Deadline reports that the global live-streaming event will take place in 2023 and will feature new material from the beloved comedian. The streamer announced in May that they were working on providing live content and expected to release it soon.

Beyond the Chris Rock special, possible uses for Netflix’s live streaming technology would be live voting in its reality contests such as The Circle and participation in interactive shows like the Bear Grylls nature show You vs. Wild. Unscripted material has been successful on traditional television, as the popularity of shows like The Real Housewives, Survivor, and The Bachelor/Bachelorette indicate. Live streaming gives audiences a chance to be direct participants in the action in ways that more traditional television cannot.

Comedy specials also provide organic content suited to live audiences. Netflix is known for its Netflix is a Joke festival which has featured a variety of comedians, including Bill Burr, Kevin Hart, Dave Chappelle, Ricky Gervais, and even Snoop Dogg. Chris Rock has also been featured in the comedy special Tamborine on the streamer, and appeared beside Dave Chappelle in Netflix is a Joke in the spring of this year.

Along with being Chris Rock’s second special on Netflix, it will also mark the first recorded show he has done since the infamous Oscars incident. The comedian has not had much to say regarding the slap from Will Smith but did recently promise during a London show that he’d address the incident on Netflix. He did have a little to say about it at a Madison Square Garden show during the Only Headliners Allowed tour with Kevin Hart and Dave Chappelle.

An interesting bit of trivia about Will Smith and Chris Rock is that the two appeared together in a 1996 episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air called “Get a Job” in which Will is awarded a position that includes taking out the sister of a comedian played by Chris Rock. The episode includes Chris Rock dressed as “Jasmine,” the sister of his character, Maurice. After playing opposite one another in such a close capacity, it is a shame that it all came to an end with a violent reaction to a controversial joke.

For the most part, however, Chris Rock has been involved in his creative projects and has not opened up much about the slap. He recently appeared in David O. Russell’s period piece Amsterdam with Christian Bale and Margot Robbie and has ongoing appearances on Saturday Night Live. He also plays the voice of the feline Hamilton on the celebrity NFT series Stoner Cats, which can only be viewed if one possesses the show’s token.

Meanwhile, the comedian has been doing what he’s best known for, which is touring his stand-up show around the world. It was during his Ego Death tour that he alluded to speaking about the Will Smith altercation on Netflix, and he has been keeping busy with other shows, both solo and with his fellow comedians. The distinction of the first live Netflix special going to Chris Rock is a result of his hard work in the comedy industry.

Chris Rock can be seen in theaters in Amsterdam, and his comedy can be caught on Netflix in the special Tamborine and its extended cut, Total Blackout. The Netflix live special will be debuting the service in 2023. It will be fun for audiences to see what the streamer can do with a live element.