RLJE Releasing ‘The Opening Act’ on Blu-ray and DVD Dec. 15

RLJE Films, a division of AMC Networks, will release the comedy The Opening Act on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Dec. 15.

Written and directed by stand-up comedian Steve Byrne, and produced by Vince and Peter Billingsley, The Opening Act stars Jimmy O. Yang (“Silicon Valley”) as Will Chu, who is stuck in a thankless job while trying to pursue his true passion in life, becoming a stand-up comedian. When he gets the opportunity he’s been waiting for, the emcee slot on the road opening for his hero Billy G. (Cedric the Entertainer), the realities of life on the stage come crashing in, from hecklers to drunk groupies to hard-to-impress morning radio DJs.

The cast also includes Alex Moffat (“Saturday Night Live”), Neal Brennan (Get Him to the Greek), Debby Ryan (“Insatiable”), Ken Jeong (The Hangover), Bill Burr (The King of Staten Island), Jermaine Fowler (“Superior Donuts”), Russell Peters (Supercon), Whitney Cummings (“Whitney”), Tom Segura (Instant Family), and Iliza Shlesinger (Spenser Confidential).

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Blu-ray and DVD extras include a making-of featurette; a “Getting Started in Comedy” featurette; and extended stand-up scenes with Yang, Cedric and Cummings.

The film is available now through VOD and digital sellthrough.

Chelsea Handler Stand-Up Special to Stream on HBO Max Oct. 22

Chelsea Handler makes a return to stand-up comedy after a six-year hiatus with HBO Max’s Chelsea Handler: Evolution debuting on the streamer Oct. 22.

During the hourlong special, Handler will share experiences about her family, friendships, and her first foray into therapy — where she unearthed why everyone on this planet annoys her so much. Handler reflects on her personal journey toward self-awareness, assisted by her reliable companion — cannabis.

A six-time No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, Handler filmed the special this summer from her home state of New Jersey on the heels of her most recent bestselling memoir, Life Will Be the Death of MeThe special was filmed in front of a live audience following social distancing and safety protocols.

Netflix streamed its first talk show in 2015 with Chelsea Handler, which lasted two seasons.

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Netflix Signs Jerry Seinfeld for Second Stand-Up Comedy Special

Netflix has reportedly inked Jerry Seinfeld for a second original stand-up comedy special, “Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill,” launching on May 5.

The deal follows a 2017 agreement affording Netflix with original stand-up special, “Jerry Before Seinfeld,” followed by streaming rights to original series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” which originated for nine seasons on Crackle before moving to Netflix in 2019.

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Netflix also gets exclusive rights to “Seinfeld” beginning in 2021.

Seinfeld remains a headline act in Netflix’s previously-announced “Netflix is a Joke Fest” live comedy event in Los Angeles, which has been postponed from its original April 27 to May 3 dates.

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Netflix Launching Live Comedy Festival in Los Angeles

Netflix reportedly is planning a major live comedy festival event in Los Angeles this spring from April 27 to May 3 in partnership with Live Nation.

Dubbed “Netflix Is a Joke Fest,” the seven-day event will feature more than 100 comics across 20 venues, including a tribute to late comedians George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Joan Rivers and Robin Williams, according to the Los Angeles Times, which first reported the event.

Among the 130 comics slated to appear: Dave Chappelle, David Letterman, Amy Schumer, Ali Wong, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, Jamie Foxx, Sarah Silverman, Kevin Hart, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Ken Jeong, and Martin Lawrence, among others.

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Ticket prices range from $15 to $500 depending on the line-up. Netflix is projecting about 80,000 attendees across all venues.

Netflix, which has produced and streamed myriad standup comedy specials, will stream 11 of the bigger-name acts at a later date. Venues include the Wiltern Theater, The Paladium, the Hollywood Bowl, the Fonda Theater hosted by David Letterman.

“Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration,” a gay-themed comedy format will showcase at the Greek Theatre, featuring Sandra Bernhard, Alan Carr, Margaret Cho, Hannah Gadsby, Rosie O’Donnell and Wanda Sykes, among others.

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Other comics appearing include Bill Burr, Pete Davidson, Chelsea Handler, Jenny Slate, Whitney Cummings, Marlon Wayans, Iliza Shlesinger and Michelle Wolf.

“This festival is a unique celebration of the art of comedy, and the role it plays in reflecting our lives and defining culture,” Ted Sarandos, chief content officer, said in a statement. “It’s a chance for comedy lovers to come together and see their favorite artists as well as discover new ones, and for us to be able to share the electricity and excitement of the festival in Los Angeles with Netflix members around the world.”

 

‘I’m Dying Up Here’ Season One on DVD May 29

Paramount Home Media Distribution and CBS Home Entertainment will release I’m Dying Up Here: Season One on DVD May 29. The Showtime series deals with stand-up comedians trying to make it in Hollywood in the 1970s.

The cast includes Melissa Leo, Ari Graynor, Clark Duke, Michael Angarano, RJ Cyler, Andrew Santino, Erik Griffin, Al Madrigal and Jake Lacy.

Created by David Flebotte, “I’m Dying Up Here” is based on the nonfiction book of the same name by William Knoedelseder and is executive produced by Flebotte, Jim Carrey, Michael Aguilar and Christina Wayne

The series was renewed for a second 10-episode season slated to premiere May 6.