Netflix has released hit shows such as House of Cards and Stranger Things and has been producing and releasing original movies moreso in recent years. On top of their shows and movies, the streaming service has a lot of success with comedy specials such, as Dave Chappelle’s two new stand-up specials.
Netflix rarely releases or comments on viewing numbers, but is making an exception to flaunt the success of Chappelle’s two new specials.
“Early results are promising,” Netflix wrote in a letter to shareholders Monday. “The triumphant return of a comedy legend in Dave Chappelle: Collection 1 was our most viewed comedy special ever. We are also finding this to be true in international markets as well, with comedian Gad Elmaleh’s Gad Gone Wild, a breakout hit in France last quarter.”
While Netflix did announce the Chappelle collection was the “most viewed comedy special ever,” it did not disclose how many viewers specifically watched it. It’s also important to note how well it did, seeing as it was one of 17 stand-up comedy specials released by Netflix this past quarter.
Then again, comedy does well so it’s not too surprising to see Chappelle’s special do well and that Netflix has been releasing more comedy specials as of late.
“There’s always been an interest in stand-up comedy,” Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos said on the earnings call Monday. “It was actually back in our early original content days and the red envelope entertainment, it’s all we did was produce original stand-up comedy and acquired documentaries and foreign language films. Always had good luck with it, just on a very small scale. And the format lends itself really well to what we’re doing … it’s uncensored, it’s commercial free, and that allows for a lot of creative freedom. And the fan base for these folks is very big.”
Sarandos also explained why Chappelle’s special did well and what it meant for the service to secure the rights to the special. He said Chappelle’s return was a big event in the culture of comedy and that if correctly Netflix picks and chooses where to invest, they see high viewing numbers like they did with Chappelle.
While no concrete plans for more future Chappelle shows have been announced, it’s safe to assume Netflix will keep investing in comedy.
You can read the entire letter to the shareholders right here.
Also of note, Netflix recently announced users have watched 500 million hours of Adam Sandler movies since December of 2016. What a ratings bonanza!