Netflix has agreed to pay Chris Rock $40 million for two stand-up specials as part of a record deal. That’s a lot of money.
The first special tapes in 2017 after Rock’s big world tour—his first in eight years—with the second taping date TBD. Rock, who’s good at making people laugh, will earn $20 million per show, which according to The Hollywood Reporter, “is believed to be more than such A-list comedians as Louis C.K., Jerry Seinfeld and Amy Schumer have commanded.”
After a reported “bidding war”—where network heads dress up in dueling gear and yell numbers at each other—Netflix reportedly won out over HBO, Amazon and Hulu, according to Deadline, which notes:
By aggressively buying projects, the streaming networks have been quickly gaining ground in the standup special field, taking market share away from the once-dominant players, HBO, Comedy Central and Showtime.
Rock’s previous standup specials Bigger & Blacker and Never Scared aired on a little network called HBO. Besides serving as Oscars host slash best black friend earlier this year, Rock was nominated for an Emmy for directing Amy Schumer’s HBO’s standup special.
In a statement, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos described Rock as “a beloved actor and director” and “comic royalty.” To recap, Netflix has a lotta money$$$$$$.