Chris Rock Will Be the First Artist to Perform Live on Netflix
It’s been quite a 2022 for Chris Rock, and not always in a good way. You might have heard about this incident at the Academy Awards this year, it was sort of discussed a little bit. Will Smith slapped Rock in the face, on stage, in the middle of the ceremony, after Rock made a joke at Jada Pinkett Smith’s expense.
That was probably not a 2022 highlight for Rock. But at the very least, it could potentially give him some material to draw on for his next big project: The first-ever live stand-up special — or live performance of any kind — on Netflix. The streaming service announced today that Rock would star in “the company’s first-ever live, global streaming event” in early 2023.
Netflix’s vice president of standup comedy, Robbie Praw, had this to say about the announcement:
Chris Rock is one of the most iconic and important comedic voices of our generation. 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.
Chris Rock previously released a standup special on Netflix, Tambourine, in 2018. It is still streaming there now.
There’s no guarantee Rock will discuss the Will Smith incident and its aftermath on the special — although if he doesn’t, that would be a bit of a surprise. This will be a massive forum; certainly Rock’s biggest since the Academy Awards back in March. People are going to want to hear what he has to say about the slap. Thus far, Rock has largely avoided discussing it at length in public. He also turned down an offer to host the 2023 Oscars, comparing the choice to asking Nicole Brown Simpson “to go back to the restaurant.”
The exact timing of Rock’s live Netflix special will be announced at a later date.