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Chris Rock Plots World Tour, First Stand-Up Specials Since 2008

Comedian will tape first of two Netflix sets next year

Chris Rock will record his first stand-up special since 2008 next year after inking a deal with Netflix. Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty

Chris Rock has inked a deal with Netflix for two new stand-up specials, the comedian's first since 2008's Kill the Messenger.

Rock is scheduled to tape the first special in 2017 after embarking on a world tour that's currently in the works. Netflix has yet to release any details on when the special will arrive on the streaming service, or when Rock will record his second set.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rock earned $40 million for the two specials, a $20 million-per payday that's believed to outweigh any previous deal struck by top comedians like Louis C.K., Jerry Seinfeld and Amy Schumer.

Despite the lengthy gap since his last stand-up special, Rock has continued to dabble in the form. Last year, he directed Schumer's HBO special Live at The Apollo (and earned an Emmy nomination for his work), while his various hosting gigs over the years — including the Oscars in February — have frequently featured some stand-up. Rock's last movie, 2014's Top Five, also found him playing a stand-up-turned-movie star grappling with his career trajectory.

In a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, Rock spoke about the challenge of making his stand-up routines more personal and less dependent on specific references. "People deal with emotions in music all the time, but comedians are always talking about what they see," he said. "But we seldom talk about what we feel. That's the next thing for me. It's not taking it up a notch, but how do I move forward artistically and not level out? Like we said earlier, what's my 'Can't Always Get What You Want'? I just want to figure out more universal, deeper things."