Los Angeles Times

Netflix is expanding its stand-up comedy reach with specials focusing on emerging and global voices

The night before he was to tape his first Netflix comedy special, Jak Knight, whose gigs not long ago included "coffee shops and the back of a dude's house," was pacing his hotel room and polishing jokes when the enormity struck him: "I have 15 minutes to show the entire world my personality."

Knight traveled to Atlanta in February with other rising comics - diverse in race, gender and humor - to tape stand-up specials in Netflix's latest expansion into comedy. He hopes his short set in "The Comedy Lineup," which debuted this month, will ignite his career much like late night TV shows, HBO specials and Madison Square Garden concerts propelled stars like Richard Pryor, Jerry Seinfeld and Amy Schumer.

"This Netflix thing is like the new [Johnny] Carson show. Everybody gets to see you," said Knight, whose 15-minute set riffed on birth control and generational divides. "This is where everybody is looked at, where all the eyes are going to be. This is where I get to do shows in Singapore and London. This is a big, big deal."

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