Netflix is becoming a comedy juggernaut, showing just how much the network has grown compared to its competition. Variety reports that the company is working with Ellen DeGeneres for a standup special. The effort would be DeGeneres’ first special in 15 years, and adds fuel to the argument that Netflix is now the new go-to for top-tier comics.
“It has been 15 years since I did a stand-up special. 15 years,” DeGeneres said in an official statement. “And I’m writing it now, I can’t wait. I’ll keep you posted when and where I’m gonna shoot my Netflix special. I’m excited to do it; I’m excited for you to see it.”
Today’s announcement was teased by two cryptic tweets sent earlier this afternoon:
Looks like it's been 15 years since you did a stand-up special, @TheEllenShow. How about one for Netflix?— Netflix US (@netflix) May 24, 2017
Let me think about it. Ok I'm in. https://t.co/kUAdHyXAjS— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) May 24, 2017
That DeGeneres is returning to standup comedy at all is significant. Her last special was HBO’s Ellen DeGeneres: Here and Now, which aired in 2003 and earned multiple Emmy nominations. Since then, the comedian has worked on her award-winning daytime talk show and done voice-acting for Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.
However, Netflix is clearly bullish on working with top comedy talent, announcing special after special at a stunning pace. In addition to the likes of Rock and Seinfeld, the company recently released specials for Louis C.K. and The Daily Show’s Hasan Minhaj. And at a time when it’s betting big on bigger and riskier projects, like Bong Joon-ho’s Okja, working with Ellen DeGeneres shows Netflix looking to grow bigger and faster than its competition.