For each Comedy Special, we calculate a Popularity Score, taking into account the total number of views and the length of time the title has been available to viewers in the relevant country. It is expressed as a number between 0 and 100, with the most successful Special in that country receiving a score of 100. Therefore, a Special with a score of 50 is half as popular as the top title. You can read a full breakdown of how we calculate these scores here.
There are two ways we can assess the ‘number one comedian on Netflix’:
- Views – Share of global views across all solo stand-up specials on the platform.
- Top spots – Number of countries in which they are the most-watched comedian.
We’ve taken both approaches, and they come up with different answers. For both scenarios, this research looks at the 18 countries with the greatest number of views for solo stand-up shows.
Most watched stand-up comedian
Let’s start with the top 20 comedians based on overall views. American comedian Dave Chappelle takes the lead with a good margin, followed by Louis C.K. and Jim Jeffries. Dave Chappelle was also the recipient of a lucrative deal with Netflix, to the tune of $20 million per special.
While we’re here, we’ll take a look at the rest of the top twenty. The demographics are overwhelmingly male, with only two women: Iliza Shlesinger coming in at number nine, and Ali Wong in 15th place.
The top twenty comedians are also mostly American, with only four and a half coming from outside the States. Jimmy Carr and Ricky Gervais are UK household names, Trevor Noah hails from South Africa, and Russell Peters is the sole Canadian in the line-up. The half is Jim Jeffries, an Australian-American.
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