Netflix has signed Chris Rock for two stand-up specials and the comedian is reportedly getting a huge payday for his efforts.
According to The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, Netflix is paying $20 million for each show, for a total of $40 million. This is believed to be the highest payment ever for a stand-up comic, ahead of the fees that Jerry Seinfeld and Louis C.K. have received. Rock hasn’t been on TV for a stand-up special since 2008, though he did host the Oscars earlier this year, delivering a number of jokes during his opening monologue.
According to the Variety report, there was a bidding war for Rock’s new stand-up specials, with Netflix ultimately winning out over Amazon, Hulu, and HBO, the latter of which hosted Rock’s The Chris Rock Show. That show ran for five seasons, ending in 2000.
Rock is no stranger to Netflix, as he appeared in last year’s Bill Murray holiday special, A Very Murray Christmas. He’s also not the first comedian to get a Netflix deal, as Patton Oswalt, Aziz Ansari, and Chelsea Handler, among others, also have their own specials on the streaming service.
“Chris Rock is a beloved actor and director, and his remarkable stand-up makes him comic royalty,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “There is no one like him, and Netflix offers the global platform and creative freedom that will serve as a perfect home for someone with his incredible talent.”
The first Rock show will tape in 2017, though it’s not known when it, or the second one, will be released. His last TV comedy special was 2008’s Kill the Messenger, which aired on HBO.
Rock guest-starred on Empire and directed 2015’s HBO comedy special, Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo. He also created the show Everybody Hates Chris and starred on Saturday Night Live.