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In what it has dubbed “the biggest comedy event in history (probably),” Netflix is hosting more than 250 live events in Los Angeles from April 28 to May 8.
Netflix Is a Joke: The Festival will take over dozens of venues, from the Hollywood Bowl and Dodger Stadium to the Improv and the Laugh Factory. Headliners, many of whom boast deals with the service, include Dave Chappelle, David Letterman, John Mulaney, Amy Schumer, Bill Burr, Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, Ali Wong, Chelsea Handler, Pete Davidson and Hasan Minhaj.
The festival was originally announced in March 2020 and scheduled for that April, but was pushed back amid the pandemic and will now feature more than double the number of shows originally planned. The event builds on the streamer’s strategy to generate buzz and revenue via live events (like March’s The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience, which took place in L.A., Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Montreal) — with the added benefit of being able to record specials as future content.
Says Netflix vp Robbie Praw: “The genesis was The Hall, our event to honor the greatest stand-ups of all time, and we built the festival around it. But after the pandemic hit, we had time to expand it all beyond our wildest dreams.”
The festival will also feature live tie-ins for shows Never Have I Ever, Cobra Kai and Somebody Feed Phil; a lineup of live podcasts, including Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend; an LGBTQ+ comedy night; Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum performing with their Prince cover band; and sit-down conversations between Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Mike Myers and David O. Russell, and Larry David and Robert B. Weide.
This story first appeared in the April 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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