For years, veteran comics like Neal Brennan and Chris Rock have lamented the fact that Eddie Murphy has been on a prolonged hiatus from the stand-up game. Though Murphy never addressed his absence from stand-up directly, there have long been rumblings that he was hesitant to return to the stage out of a fear that the expectations surrounding his return would be far too great to live up to.
Tens of millions of dollars, however, can do a lot to change a man’s mind apparently. According to a new report from TMZ, Netflix is close to securing a wildly expensive stand-up deal with Murphy that will see the famed actor earn as much as $70 million for what may be a string of stand-up specials.
Hardly a surprise, Netflix in years past has shown a willingness to toss dole out excessive amounts of cash to secure some of the biggest names in stand-up, from Dave Chapelle to Jerry Seinfeld.
$70 mil sounds astronomical — Neil Armstrong astronomical — but it’s actually in line with the top dogs in comedy. Dave Chappelle scored $60 mil for 3 stand-up specials on Netflix back in 2017, and Chris Rock got $40 million for 2 specials the year before.
The news that Murphy is poised to return to stand-up comes at an interesting time for Netflix. Just this week, Netflix shares plummeted after the streaming giant attracted 2.7 million new subscribers. While seemingly an impressive figure, it pales in comparison to the 5 million new subscribers Netflix initially told investors to expect. With Netflix seemingly struggling to attract new subscribers, a stand-up special from Murphy will undoubtedly lure in some new subscribers and prevent some current ones from leaving.