9:00am PT by Rick Porter
Netflix to Honor Comedy Legends With Hall of Fame Ceremony
Netflix is extending its stand-up comedy brand with a ceremony honoring some of the legends of the form.
In conjunction with producer and director Marty Callner and his Funny Business Inc., the streamer in 2020 will air a special called The Hall: Honoring the Greats of Stand-Up. The inaugural hall of fame induction ceremony will be held in Los Angeles, and the hall will have a physical home in a new wing of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York — the hometown of comedy legend Lucille Ball.
Callner, Funny Business partner Randall Gladstein and David Steinberg, the longtime manager of Robin Williams, will executive produce the special.
"Stand-up comedy is more than funny jokes — these artists shape our culture, teach us and challenge us about the world and ourselves," said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. "We're honored to partner with Marty, Randall, David and everyone at the National Comedy Center as we celebrate the greats in this field, create a space for comedy lovers to come together and share the induction ceremony with Netflix members everywhere."
The first inductees will be announced at a later time. A date for the induction hasn't been set.
The Hall and the initiative surrounding it are the brainchild of Callner and Gladstein, who have produced music and comedy events together for 35 years. Callner directed HBO's first-ever stand-up special, An Evening With Robert Klein, and has helmed specials for comedians such as George Carlin, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Chris Rock, Whitney Cummings, Sandra Bernhard and Jerry Seinfeld.
"Stand-up comedy is an art form all its own," said Callner. "Stand-ups have a unique ability to make us laugh and to make us think. Often their social commentary mixed with humor makes them the most effective voices of the moment. It is long overdue that they be recognized with The Hall, where generations to come can appreciate their work forever."
Netflix has become a major player in stand-up comedy, with megadeals for specials from headliners like Rock, Ricky Gervais, Amy Schumer and Dave Chappelle. The streamer has also given a platform for rising comics like Ali Wong and Hannah Gadsby to raise their profiles and book bigger venues when they tour.
CAA brokered the deal with Netflix for The Hall.