Netflix has established itself as the premiere home for stand-up comedy over the past few years, and it has accomplished this by shelling out millions to some of the top names in the industry.
Ricky Gervais’ recent Netflix special, “Humanity,” is the first of two specials in a deal the actor-comedian reportedly signed for $40 million.
Gervais follows stand-ups like Amy Schumer, Dave Chappelle, and Chris Rock in netting multi-million dollar deals from the streaming service.
It should be noted that Netflix has also drawn criticism for under-paying some comics. Comedian Mo’Nique came into a pay dispute with the company last year when they reportedly offered her $500,000 for a special.
Also, Louis C.K. was reportedly set to make between $30 million and $35 million from Netflix for a two-special deal, before the company cancelled his second special following sexual misconduct allegations against the comedian. While he was paid for his first special, released in early 2017, we’ve excluded him from this list as his deal is not ongoing.
Here are the 5 comedians Netflix has paid insane amounts of money:
Amy Schumer — $13 million
Netflix initially offered Amy Schumer $11 million in 2017 for her hour-long “The Leather Special,” but Schumer was reportedly able to use Netflix’s more lucrative deals with Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle as a bargaining chip to receive $13 million for the hour, according to Variety.
Ricky Gervais — $40 million
Ricky Gervais reportedly “secured the highest fee ever paid for a UK stand-up special” for his most recent Netflix special, “Humanity,” according to Chortle. Gervais told the outlet that his second special in the deal, which was extended in January, would be worth the same. He then retweeted a Twitter user who wrote that Gervais had made $40 million from Netflix for the two specials.
Gervais has also profited from previously released shows that Netflix acquired of his, including “Derek” and “An Idiot Abroad.”
Chris Rock — $40 million
Chris Rock signed a two-special deal with Netflix in 2016 that was worth $40 million in total, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The first of his two specials, “Tamborine,” debuted in February.