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In Comedy, Timing Is All the pieces, Especially at Netflix’s Festival


Comics were sympathetic to Chappelle, however the backlash toward his jokes concerning the trans community began make its way into sets. After saying that individuals have been asking her concerning the assault, Robin Tran, a trans comic who was headlining a show, quipped: “I just wish to say, for the record, I only told him to scare Chappelle.” At a unique show, one other trans comic, Nori Reed, did a really funny, experimental set that postponed telling a traditional punchline for a number of minutes, then calling it inspired by Chappelle: “No jokes, all vibes.”

One among the strengths and maybe vulnerabilities of Netflix, the festival and repair, is its range. The streamer’s comedy taste has at all times been difficult to pin down. Its brand is big. I interviewed the heads of Netflix comedy in 2018, across the height of their power, though competition from rival services like Apple TV+ and Disney+ loomed. Asked in the event that they could proceed to attract probably the most famous names with big money, Lisa Nishimura, the vp of independent and documentary film content, said: “If we proceed to grow the audience, we’re OK.”

Now that the audience has shrunk, what does that mean? Will the variety of Netflix comedy specials dwindle? Will competitors fill the space? HBO has been putting out quality shows and located a discourse-dominating hit with Jerrod Carmichael’s “Rothaniel.” (That special was directed by Bo Burnham, whose “Inside” is one of the vital impressive success stories for Netflix of the past few years.)

In a Sunset Boulevard coffee shop, just a number of blocks from the hotel where club owners and comics stayed and you would see unnerving sights like late-night Comedy Cellar staple Dave Attell bathed in Hollywood daylight, I met with Robbie Praw, the vp of stand-up and comedy formats at Netflix. He looked weary managing this behemoth. Asked if financial troubles will change Netflix’s commitment to comedy, he said no but conceded that when it got here to the variety of specials, there could be “a bit more curation.”

It was a cautious, careful answer, one which reflected the moment greater than any joke, billboard or festival did that week.

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