10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Amazon Enters Stand-Up Comedy Space With Jim Gaffigan Special
Amazon is entering the stand-up comedy space.
The retail giant and streamer has signed a deal with comedian Jim Gaffigan as its first foray into the stand-up genre. The special, Gaffigan's seventh, signals Amazon's intent to compete with deep-pocketed rival Netflix in the genre. Netflix entered the space — previously dominated by the likes of HBO, Showtime and Comedy Central — and the market for comedy specials exploded. (Look no further than the record $40 million Netflix paid Chris Rock for two stand-up specials.)
The Gaffigan special, Quality Time, will be recorded live at the State Theatre in Minneapolis on March 9 and will be directed by Jeannie Gaffigan. It is executive produced by Comedy Dynamics' Brian Volk-Weiss and Cisco Henson and Brillstein's Alex Murray. All five of Gaffigan's scheduled Minneapolis performances are already sold out. Quality Time is distributed and produced by Comedy Dynamics.
"I am so honored to be Amazon's first original stand-up special. This is going to be exciting," Gaffigan said.
Gaffigan's previous stand-up specials include Beyond the Pale (Comedy Central), King Baby (Comedy Central), Mr. Universe (self-distributed), Obsessed (Comedy Central), Cinco (Netflix) and Noble Ape (Comedy Central). The last four were produced by Comedy Dynamics and earned Grammy nominations for best comedy album.
The stand-up special extends Gaffigan's relationship with Amazon. He next co-stars in Amazon film Troop Zero with Viola Davis and Allison Janney. He has multiple projects lined up for what he's expecting to be a banner year. He's repped by UTA, Brillstein and Schreck Rose.