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TV Stand-up Specials Are Raking in the Bucks

Har har har! Photo: Getty Images

The second comedy boom is translating to TV stand-up specials, making right now a really great time to be a comedian. THR reports that “roughly 80 percent of comics are making between $50,000 and $500,000 for an hourlong special; 15 percent make between $500,000 and $2 million; 4 percent make between $2 million and $6 million; and 1 percent (think: Kevin Hart) make more than $6 million.” That means that even comedians who aren’t huge names can still make a solid buck (or few thousand) from filming stand-up specials. Whereas it used to be that only HBO, Showtime, and Comedy Central would air stand-up specials, now streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon are getting into the game, which is changing the size of the checks. As Mike Berkowitz, who reps Hart, Louis C.K., Amy Schumer, and Aziz Ansari puts it, Netflix is the No. 1 option for comedians since it’s “where the most eyeballs are.”