Back in September, billboards declaring that “Netflix is a joke” began peppering the avenues of L.A. and New York. Some thought it might be an attack on the streaming giant, as the company has no doubt fundamentally changed the way we consume media and not everybody is happy about it. Turns out, however, that it was nothing so portentous.
Netflix has built its empire on the shoulders of acclaimed drama and genre series, from House Of Cards to Orange Is The New Black to Stranger Things and myriad Marvel properties. And now that it’s more or less conquered that space—Emmys be damned!—the company now wants to posit itself as the go-to for comedy specials.
The company has already built up an impressive catalog of exclusive specials from the likes of Norm Macdonald, Chelsea Peretti, Aziz Ansari, and Louis CK, but their upcoming sets are undoubtedly their biggest gets yet. Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres, and Dave Chappelle are all on the schedule, and in a new ad they’re here to let Frank Underwood, Piper, Eleven, and even Winston Churchill know that this is their domain now.
The whole thing is charming, and Seinfeld’s and DeGeneres’ bits are the best, if only for the seething silence exuded by Kevin Spacey’s Underwood and John Lithgow’s Churchill, both of whom act as if they’re on the verge of screaming, “This is DRAMA, you fools!” at these cackling jesters. That said, Rock and Chappelle screaming in amazement when Eleven crushes a can with her mind provides a delightful subversion of the breakout show.
What’s crazier? So good is Netflix’s upcoming comedy lineup that nobody here even thinks to mention that Patton Oswalt also has one coming up.