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This new Netflix stand-up comedy special has viewers falling out of their chairs laughing

Published Dec 9th, 2021 5:32PM EST
woman in purple suit at microphone
Image: Clifton Prescod/Netflix

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Comedian and actress Nicole Byer is having something of a moment. In addition to starring and guest-starring in a ton of high-profile projects, ranging from Girl Code to 30 Rock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and the Netflix reality series Nailed It!, she also co-stars in the new NBC sitcom Grand Crew that premieres in just a few days (December 14). Besides all that, she also hosts multiple podcasts. And she’s also just released her debut standup comedy special on Netflix, titled Nicole Byer: BBW (Big Beautiful Weirdo).

Meet Nicole Byer

Here’s Netflix’s summary of her comedy special, which is streaming now. “Karens gone wild. Cat funerals. Trying to hook up during lockdown. Nicole Byer gets delightfully down and dirty in her first Netflix comedy special.”

In my considered opinion, Byer definitely looks to be one of the hardest working women in standup comedy. She’s a published author. She has more standup dates in the works including in Phoenix and San Jose, Calif. Byer also hosts podcasts, like Why Won’t You Date Me? which currently has more than 200 episodes available to check out.

New York City has loomed large in Byer’s life, both personally and professionally. “It’s the city where I started doing comedy,” Byer says at one point during her new special. “It is the city where I dropped a pizza, cheese side down, and then ate it!”

Netflix is a Joke

Speaking of Byer, she’s also one of more than 130 artists participating in the upcoming “Netflix is a Joke: The Festival” comedy event. Netflix, in association with Live Nation, is producing the 11-day comedy fest that’s kicking off in Los Angeles on April 28. Other acts set to appear include Ali Wong, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari, Chris Rock, Conan O’Brien, Dave Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Hart, Seth Rogan, and more.

Dave Chappelle, whose recent Netflix special The Closer attracted considerable controversy for the streamer, is also among the comedians set to appear. Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, December 10.

Also worth noting, the comedy festival will take place across LA venues including Dodger Stadium, the Hollywood Bowl, and The Greek Theatre. Other locations include The Comedy Store, and the Arena (formerly known as the Staples Center).

Events like this one, as well as the prevalence of so many standup specials like Nicole Byer: BBW, is evidence — as if anyone needed reminding at this point — of the importance Netflix places on content from comedians. “It’s absolutely thrilling for Netflix to be hosting a comedy festival of this magnitude in Los Angeles,” Robbie Praw, director of stand-up and comedy formats at Netflix, said about the upcoming festival.

“Discover new voices”

“We were so disappointed to postpone the event last spring and our line-up of comedians can’t wait to bring much-needed laughs to audiences in LA and around the world on Netflix,” Praw continued. “Netflix Is A Joke Festival is going to give comedy fans the opportunity to see the greats and discover new voices in one of the greatest cities in the world.”

Recordings of select shows from the festival will debut in their entirety at a later date on Netflix. Highlights will also be available on the Netflix Is A Joke SiriusXM channel, as well as on the streamer’s social platforms.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.