Netflix Stand-Up Comedy Library Grows

Ryan Ash, Staff Writer

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Everybody loves a good laugh, and when something is funny, it’s hard to look away. Stand-up comedy is a great source for gut-busting comedy because of its intimacy and almost conversation-like form. Today it’s now more accessible than ever through one of the world’s largest video streaming platforms: Netflix.

Starting off in 2012 with fairly mainstream U.S. comedians like Bill Burr, Jim Jefferies and Aziz Ansari, Netflix has been quietly growing its number of stand-up comedy shows.

In the past two years, Netflix has released over 50 original comedy specials each year. This has given many lesser-known comics exposure. Foreign comics whose shows are in different languages such as Yoo-Byung-jae and Rafinha Bastos have also benefited from the subtitling and wide distribution Netflix can provide.

Netflix has also been successful in capturing household name performers, such as Trevor Noah, and has even enticed previously retired stand-up comedians like Ellen Degeneres and Dave Chappelle to come back for another special.

Female stand-up comedians have also benefited from Netflix’s recent fixation on comedy. In an otherwise male-dominated profession, comedians such as Ali Wong, Tig Notaro and Iliza Shlesinger now reach millions of viewers.

Netflix has also come out with several collections of stand-up comedy. Titles like The Standups and The Degenerates each showcase several comedians in approximately 30-minute episodes. This shorter format lends itself to audiences who may not watch stand-up comedy often and might be on the fence about committing to an entire hourlong special.

The newest stand-up collection, Comedians of The World, was launched on New Year’s Day and features 47 comedians from 13 regions. Already, over 20 comedians have announced specials planned for release on Netflix in 2019.

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