In lieu of gifts of silver, Def Comedy Jam is celebrating its 25th anniversary with Netflix. The series, created by Russell Simmons, launched the careers of numerous black comedians such as Martin Lawrence, Cedric the Entertainer, and Dave Chappelle when it ran on HBO from 1992 –1997, and again in 2006–2008. Now Netflix is throwing a 25th anniversary bash this fall, featuring (deep breath), Bill Bellamy, Cedric the Entertainer, Dave Chappelle, Mike Epps, Adele Givens, Eddie Griffin, Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart, Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Kid Capri, Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan, Craig Robinson, JB Smoove, Sommore, Joe Torry, Sheryl Underwood, and Katt Williams.
While Def Comedy Jam will be celebrating its past on Netflix, the franchise’s immediate future remains at HBO. The cable network last month announced it was moving forward with Simmons’ All Def Comedy, a six-episode reboot featuring up-and-coming comedy talent. Simmons has long had a first-look deal with HBO for his television output. Assuming his pact operates like most similar arrangements, Simmons can still work with other outlets— hence the Netflix special— but only after giving HBO first dibs on the idea.
This post has been updated throughout.