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Aziz Ansari Will Release Stand-Up Special on Netflix

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

‘Buried Alive’ will be Netflix’s biggest foray into original comedy yet and will be available November 1.

Aziz Ansari Will Release Stand-Up Special on Netflix

In this article…

The last time Aziz Ansari released a standup special, he made it available via a $5 download, a la Louis C.K. Now he's changing how he distributes his comedy yet again, giving exclusive rights to Netflix for his third special Buried Alive, which will be available on November 1. Via The New York Times:

[...]when you’re Mr. Ansari, you can’t help noticing what people say next.

“They always mention that they watched it on Netflix,” said Mr. Ansari, the 30-year-old comedian best known as a creator of the MTV sketch-comedy series “Human Giant” and a star of the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation.”

Until now, Netflix has given Mr. Ansari’s fans one more chance to hear his jokes, months or years after the telling. For his third stand-up special, Mr. Ansari is moving Netflix to the front of the line. His show “Buried Alive,” based on his tour of the same name, will make its Netflix debut on Nov. 1. It will be the biggest stand-up special distributed by Netflix to date, in much the same way that “House of Cards” was that streaming service’s first high-profile original drama.

There’s more comedy coming, the company says, as it opens another front of competition with HBO. In announcing the expansion into comedy specials and feature documentaries last month, the Netflix chief executive, Reed Hastings, said that the service had “become a big destination for fans of these much loved and often underdistributed genres.”

Mr. Ansari’s conversations with his fans bolster Mr. Hastings’s assertion. Netflix “seems like it’s the closest delivery service of media we have that actually matches up to our preferences and expectations.”

This is yet another way traditional distribution channels are being experimented with. Like Ansari explains in the article, the whole process is kind of up in the air right now. No one knows what method is best, so that leaves the door open for alternative ideas to come in and potentially disrupt the status quo. No one knows if Netflix will be a sustainable route for comics to release standup specials, but someone with clout like Ansari can afford to try new things like this.

I saw Ansari last June in Brooklyn, and a lot of his material there will likely be included on this new special. Fans have nothing to worry about, though. Even if Ansari isn't as "off-the-wall" as his previous specials (or his outrageous alter ego Randy), the material really shines through here. It's a bit more introspective and certainly has a universal appeal. Either way, I know what I'm doing on November 1.

Check CHARGED.fm for the best comedy tickets all year long!

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