The return of Dave Chappelle has been a success. The comedian reportedly netted a massive payday from Netflix in return for three comedy specials, and judging from a new report it appears it was money well spent. While Netflix is never one to up and give numbers regarding their shows, they did indicate that more than just fans of Chappelle's Show are excited that he's back.
Netflix tells us in their first quarter report to shareholders that Dave Chappelle: Collection 1, which includes the specials The Age Of Spin and Deep In The Heart Of Texas, are the most viewed comedy specials in the streaming service's history. Netflix adds that this isn't just true for America and that the specials were very successful on an international level as well. I find that a bit surprising, as I wouldn't imagine Chappelle's brand of comedy translates to an international audience, but I'm glad to hear it all the same. Netflix is likely feeling the same way as they await the third contractual comedy special from the comedian which will be released sometime in the future.
It was reported that Netflix paid Dave Chappelle around $60 million for the three comedy specials, but that number hasn't officially been confirmed. If it were true, the seemingly high cost is nothing to Netflix when you consider the amount of money it costs for a single season of a successful series to be developed. For a relatively low cost, Netflix can pay the top comedy talent to work exclusively with them, and they're actually saving money in doing so. The success of Chappelle's specials should put other top comedy networks like HBO and Comedy Central on notice (if they aren't already) that Netflix is looking to monopolize the stand-up industry.
While that may be bad for those networks, it sounds great for the consumer. Netflix is still being provided at a much lower rate than most cable networks offer HBO, and the unedited stand up is an advantage that Comedy Central can't provide unless they go very late into the night. Outside of Dave Chappelle, Netflix has also released projects from Louis C.K. and Amy Schumer, and Chris Rock will be releasing two specials on the platform later this year. That's just the top 1% of the litany of specials from big time comedians Netflix is offering on its service.
Hopefully, this Netflix love of Dave Chappelle leads to more than just stand up specials! I know there's a slim to nil chance we'll ever see Chappelle do something like Chappelle's Show ever again, but I would love to see what other things Dave could develop with his mind and Netflix's money. Be sure to bookmark our midseason premiere guide and summer premiere schedule as there is a chance we'll be seeing his third special appearing on there sometime soon.