Netflix to Debut Shorter, 15-Minute Stand-Up Comedy Specials
Netflix is ordering some smaller doses of stand-up comedy. The streaming giant is continuing its investments in live-taped comedy by adding a selection of 15-minute stand-up specials from up-and-coming comedians.
Netflix confirmed the news in an e-mail to Fortune on Monday after Vulture first reported that it would soon film and release a series of quarter-hour stand-up specials. The company said the new, shorter specials would be taped next month at the Terminal West concert venue in Atlanta before they are released online later in 2018.
Netflix has already invested heavily in live comedy, including signing exclusive streaming deals with high-profile stand-ups like Dave Chappelle, Amy Schumer, and Jerry Seinfeld, among many others who have taped stand-up specials of varying lengths for the service. Most of Netflix’s stand-up specials featuring high-profile comedians are around one hour long, while the streaming service also released a new series last year called The Standups that features six different comedians performing 30-minute comedy sets.
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Now, though, Netflix is adding shorter stand-up performances that could make for more mobile-friendly viewing for users looking for some quick videos to watch on the go on a smartphone or tablet. The new format also gives Netflix an obvious way to introduce its users to what a spokesperson called “emerging” comedians. While some of those up-and-coming performers may not yet be known to most Netflix subscribers, if the company finds that a particular comedian’s 15-minute set resonates with its users, that could pave the way for one of the site’s longer formats, such as a 30-minute or hour-long special, or even casting on one of Netflix’s many original series. Think of it as part of a Netflix farm system for comedians.
Netflix said that some of the comedians performing the new, 15-minute specials will include Aisling Bea, Michelle Buteau, Tim Dillon, JR De Guzman, Sabrina Jalees, Janelle James, Sam Jay, Josh Johnson, Ian Karmel, Jak Knight, Matteo Lane, Max Silvestri, Taylor Tomlinson, Phil Wang, Emma Willmann, and Kate Willett.