Netflix will be launching its first original production in the Middle East, and it will be a stand-up special with Lebanese comedian and actor Adel Karam.
The still-to-be-named comedy special will be produced by Creative Arab Talent and will see Karam deliver his comedy stylings, which cover everything from relationships to social issues that Arabs often face. It will showcase Karam’s “distinctly Arab blend of smart, sarcastic humor,” Netflix said in a statement. The event will be filmed in Karam’s hometown of Beirut, at the Casino du Liban, which will mark the comedian’s first appearance there.
The special is expected to launch to Netflix users around the world sometime in 2018.
“I am very happy and excited to be a part of Netflix’s first original production to be produced in the Middle East,” Karam said in a statement. “It is a great honor and privilege and I can’t wait to embark on this new adventure.”
Netflix’s Vice President of International Originals Erik Barmack calls Karam “a very strong voice in comedy. We are extremely excited to collaborate with him, and can’t wait for the local audience, who have a deep appreciation of comedy, to watch the show, as well as to introduce him to our global audience.”
In addition to appearing on many late night talk shows, Karam has also acted in a handful of Lebanese movies like the 2007 romantic-comedy film Caramel, and, most recently, as the lead character Tony in the 2017 drama The Insult, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, and follows the media circus surrounding a Lebanese Christian (Karam) and Palestinian refugee in court.
Karam is the latest among a number of international comedians that are offering specials on Netflix, including Gad Elmaleh, a Moroccan French stand-up comedian; English comedian Jack Whitehall; and Beppe Grillo, who hails from Italy. Netflix currently offers a large roster of stand-up specials, including many from high-profile American comedians as well, like Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, and Dana Carvey — we’ve rounded up some of the best stand-up routines on Netflix to help get you started. Other comedians will also mark their returns to stand-up, using Netflix as the preferred medium for their via specials, including Ellen DeGeneres and Chris Rock.
Netflix has been giving comedy serious attention with some of its latest acquisitions and originals, including not only traditional sitcom-like series, such as Grace and Frankie and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, as well as stand-up routines like those mentioned above, but in other formats as well. Iconic comedian and actor Carol Burnett, for example, will mark her return to television with a child-oriented talk show called A Little Help With Carol Burnett that will launch in 2018.
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