For two and a half decades, creator and producer Russell Simmons's Def Comedy Jam was the comedy show to watch if you wanted to see some of the best and brightest in cutting-edge comedy. To commemorate, Netflix is producing Def Comedy Jam 25, a comedy special that will bring back a number of comedians to celebrate the show's past and set a strong foundation for the show moving forward. Simmons, Stan Lathan, Sandy Wernick and Jesse Collins will serve as executive producers, with Def Comedy Jam 25 launching exclusively on Netflix this fall.
Though the lineup for the special is subject to change and there's an expectation that some "special guests" will show up, the current list includes: 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.
Def Comedy Jam originally aired on HBO from 1992-1997, and was revived for a brief return from 2006-2008. Created and produced by Simmons, the series showcased and helped launch the careers of a number of comedians like Lawrence, Cedric the Entertainer, Underwood, and so many more. As part of his overall first-look deal with the cable giant, Simmons is developing a new version of the series that's set to premiere on HBO in December 2017 titled All Def Comedy.
Here's a clip from actor/comedian Chris Tucker's (The Fifth Element, Friday) comedy set during the heyday of Def Comedy Jam to give you a better sense of what it was all about:
Def Comedy Jam 25 is the latest example of Netflix's efforts to be known as the home for standup comedy, having signed comedians like Chappelle, Amy Schumer, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin James, and Louis CK to hug deals for comedy special that air exclusively on the streaming service.