For $7.99 a month, Netflix users can stream some of the very best in comedy — and the lineup keeps getting better: Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Amy Schumer, Louis C.K., and Jerry Seinfeld are among the big names who will be debuting stand-up specials on the streaming service this year.
It wasn’t always this way. In 2012, Bill Burr was the only comedian to premiere a special on Netflix. That number went up to five in 2013, six in 2014, and doubled to 12 in 2015. In 2016, Netflix produced 26 specials including hours by Saturday Night Live‘s Michael Che, musical comedian Bo Burnham, and Patton Oswalt, who won both an Emmy and a Grammy for his Talking for Clapping. This year, they’ve already released specials from Jim Gaffigan, Daily Show host Trevor Noah, and Chappelle’s Show co-creator Neal Brennan. It’s become the digital Comedy Cellar, a place where subscribers can visit at any time if they’re looking for some laughs.
Most of the bigger specials coming out this year don’t have release dates or titles yet, but below, find a guide to the most notable hours heading to the streaming service.
Stand-up specials to date: 1
Why this one’s significant: His two stand-up specials are just one part of his deal with Netflix, where all episodes (along with 24 new ones this year) of his Crackle series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee will be moving. The Seinfeld co-creator and star is also developing scripted and non-scripted comedy programming for the streaming service, meaning that Seinfeld’s stamp is about to be all over it. Plus, the fact that he only has one proper special to his name makes these Netflix ones all the more, well, special.
Stand-up specials to date: 2
Why this one’s significant: Just look at EW’s own headline for our 2015 cover story that dubbed Schumer “the comedian poised to take over the world.” She’s been recognized by the Emmys for Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer and HBO special Live at the Apollo, along with her hosting stint on Saturday Night Live. Her 2015 comedy Trainwreck nabbed her a Golden Globe nod for acting and made a solid $110.2 million at the box office, and she’s returning to the big screen this year to star in Snatched alongside Goldie Hawn.
Stand-up specials to date: 6
Why this one’s significant: Five out of Rock’s six past stand-up specials were for HBO, so it’s a pretty big deal that he’s switching to Netflix for this one, his first since 2008’s Emmy-winning Kill the Messenger. He started out doing stand-up in the ’80s and briefly appeared on Saturday Night Live in the early ’90s before cementing his name in the comedy scene with the release of 1996 special Bring the Pain, which later nabbed him an Emmy for writing. Although his stand-up output has slowed in recent years, he frequently hosts awards shows — he helmed the 2016 Oscars ceremony — and directed, wrote, and starred in 2014 film Top Five.
Stand-up specials to date: 3
Why this one’s significant: Chappelle’s been officially back on the comedy circuit for a few years now, but he still feels like a bit of a rarity thanks to his notable absence from the scene following his abrupt departure from Comedy Central’s The Chappelle’s Show in 2005. His Netflix stand-up specials, directed by Stan Lathan, will mark his first since For What It’s Worth, which premiered on Showtime in 2004. He’ll also be releasing two other shows previously filmed at Austin City Limits and The Hollywood Palladium from what’s been called his “personal vault.”
Stand-up specials to date: 8
Why this one’s significant: As an accomplished stand-up and creator of critically acclaimed series Louie and Horace and Pete, C.K. is one of the biggest forces in modern comedy. Aside from his own projects, he also serves as an executive producer on half-hours like Baskets and Better Things and has shown up in Oscar-nominated films American Hustle and Blue Jasmine. Three of his specials — the most recent being 2015’s Live From the Comedy Store, which he released on his website for $5 before it later premiered on FX — are Emmy winners, so if Netflix wants to become synonymous with stand-up, adding someone like C.K. to their roster will certainly help.