The Netflix is a Joke: the Festival was Seriously Star-Studded
What is it? Is it a festival? A comedy tour? Even some of the Netflix is a Joke: the Festival
What is it? Is it a festival? A comedy tour? Even some of the Netflix is a Joke: the Festival performers seemed a little confused about the whole thing.
But for 11 days, scores of A-list comedians descended on Los Angeles for an extraordinary comedy festival that brought serious fun in a time when it is most sorely needed. Here's a look back at some of the best moments from the festival.
What is the Netflix is a Joke: the Festival?
It all started on April 28 – and went on through May 8. Comedians from all walks of life joined together for the biggest comedy festival of the year.
The festival's website explains, "Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival is a BRAND NEW comedy festival that’s calling on THE BIGGEST NAMES IN COMEDY to descend on LA for ELEVEN DAYS. From absolute legends to hand-picked rising stars, we’ve stacked this thing with the funniest people who responded to our DMs."
The website adds, "THE BIGGEST COMEDY EVENT IN HISTORY*
But for all the playful banter, it may well have been exactly that.
Events that comprised the 11-day comedy extravaganza included:
- Stand-up performances
- Table reads
- Surprise performances
- and more.
In addition, the festival flyer promised, "the world's largest assortment of small dogs," chortles, free air, free smells, a brave squirrel, helpful signage and more – but what else can you expect from comedians put in charge of making a flyer?
Highlights of the Festival
The festival delivered on all the promises – although it's unclear if the squirrel was able to attend after all.
But Netflix's Tudum created a brilliant recap of the festival's best moments, and here's a look back at what the festival did bring – and yes, lots of laughs were included:
- April 28: The Thursday kickoff included Dave Chapelle at Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl, with appearances from Pete Davidson, Luenell, Anderson Paak, DJ Pee Wee and more. Tudum writes, "… over at The Lab at Hollywood improv, Sabrina Jalees and Friends welcomed Joel Kim Booster, Naomi Ekperigin, Patti Harrison and Natasha Leggero."
- April 29: For the festival's first Friday, Davidson headlined his own show. At the Fonda Theater, Davidson headlined and was joined by Carly Aquilino, Giulio Gallarotti, Joey Gay, Jordan Rock, Dave Sirus, Big Wet, Neko White and Machine Gun Kelly. Chapelle returned to the Bowl and was joined by Bill Burr, Deon Cole, Ludacris, Swizz Beatz, Donnell Rawlings, Jeff Ross and Usher.
- April 30: Natalie Palamides headlined at the Elysian and Marlon Wayans at the Palace Theatre. Chapelle again headlined at the bowl with Mo Amer, Jimmy Carr, Michel Che and Jon Stewart – along with the triumphant stage return of D'Angelo.
- May 1: Day 4 saw comedians flock to the home of Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos. Guests like Chapelle chowed down on breakfast burritos (why not) and were joined by Norman Lear, Jimmy O, Ken Jeong, Bo burnham, Adam Sandler, Ali Wong, Bill Burr, Fortune Feimster, Jerrod Carmichael, Jerry Seinfeld, Jimmy Carr, John Mulaney, Keegan-Michael Key, Ken Jeong, Molly Shannon, Nick Kroll, Tiffany Haddish, Tig Notaro and more.
- May 2: Day 5 kicked off with celebrity golf match at El Caballero Country Club. Becky Robinson showed up in character along with Andrew Santino and Rory Scovel. Arsenio Hall hosted a "talk-show" and Dax Shepard and co-Host Monica Padman held a live version of their podcast.
- May 3: John Mulaney headlined at the Kia Forum as he talked about being pushed into rehab by fellow celebs. RuPaul's Drag Race star Kornbread hosted a show at the Regent, while Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin hosted a ladies' night set at the Palladium.
- May 4: Snoop Dogg took the stage with Hall at the Roosevelt Hotel theater, blunt in hand, and they were joined by Katt Williams, Chinedu Unaka, and Quinta Brunson.
- May 5: Tudum writes, "Jonathan Van Ness took to the floor — literally — during the Queer Eye and Getting Curious star’s set on Thursday night at the Orpheum Theatre. Displaying quite the gymnastic prowess, JVN set the stage with an Imaginary Olympian Living Room set, performing a floor routine and the splits all while clad in a rainbow leotard. Meanwhile, Sarah Cooper relaxed backstage at the Bourbon Room with her friend Katie Morrissey before heading out on the town, and the cast of Blockbuster, including Randall Park, Melissa Fumero, JB Smoove and Tyler Alvarez, competed in a Movie Trivia Happy Hour over at Outdoors at Hollywood Palladium." Snoop hosted an evening at the Palladium and chatted with the audience about – what else – being high.
- May 6: For the last 3 nights, stars went all out with Amy Schumer hosting back-to-back events, alongside stand-up pals Chris Distefano, Christina P, Ron Funches, Lil Rel Howery, Rachel Feinstein, and Jaye McBride. David Letterman hosted an evening set, as did Margaret Cho.
- May 7: Focused on celebrating queer comedy, Billy Eichner hosted the evening at the Greek Theatre, joined by Mae Martin, Patti Harrison, Wanda Sykes, Judy Gold and Trixie Mattel. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted at the YouTube Theatre.
- May 8: To close out the festival, Mindy Kaling did a table read, Brian Regan and Megan Stalter hosted sets, and other stars wound down the 11-day event with laughs galore.
If the festival isn't the birth of something new and extraordinary, at least it was the birth of a few thousand laughs.
But we have a feeling the comedians can't resist returning next year – and again after that.