Netflix is planning to become the first subscription video on demand (SVoD) OTT service to present a live global comedy streaming event, with a special performance featuring comedian Chris Rock.

The landmark live video stream, which will be presented “early in 2023,” according to a Netflix announcement, will be Rock’s second stand-up special for the giant streaming service, following his popular February 2018 “Chris Rock: Tamborine,” performance, which was recorded and made available on demand.

“Chris Rock is one of the most iconic and important comedic voices of our generation,” Robbie Praw, Netflix’s stand-up and comedy events VP, said in a statement. “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.”

Continuing to break new ground in the streaming world, this will be Netflix’ first live-streamed comedy special, but the SVOD giant has recorded large-scale live comedy events prior, including last spring’s “Netflix is a Joke: The Festival.” That event featured more than 330 comedians performing across 295 shows from more than 35 venues in Los Angeles. It also included the first-ever stand-up show at Dodger Stadium.

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The event sold more than 260,000 tickets and was billed as the biggest live, in-person event in Netflix history.

A former Saturday Night Live star, Rock is no stranger to live televised comedy performances. He has four Emmy Awards for his work in comedy, including two for his iconic 1996 special “Bring the Pain.” As an Academy Awards Show host last March, Rock was famously assaulted live on stage by an allegedly offended Will Smith.

In the weeks leading up to the Netflix live stream event, Rock will be doing a series of in-person performances with another controversial Netflix favorite — Dave Chappelle.

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By Greg Tarr

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