Earlier this week, Netflix announced its plans to debut a stand-up comedy event series early next year, which will feature half-hour sets from 47 comedians from different parts of the world— including from the region. Entitled “Comedians of the World”, the series, which is expected to debut on January 1, will be the first of its kind to feature Arab comedians.
Hailing from Nazareth, Khalefa is a celebrated standup comedian who has performed in multiple comedy festivals around the world. Meanwhile, Al-Khairallah serves as the creative director of Telfaz11, a Saudi Arabia-based digital media company. Comedian Alnefaie is best known for his 2016 short film Wasati, and Hallak is breaking ground as one of the only hijab-wearing stand-up comedians.
The series brought together 47 comedians from 13 regions around the world, such as Africa, France, the United Kingdom, and was filmed in eight languages, including Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, German, and English. Each of the talents will have a 30-minute stand-up special dedicated to them. Other comedians to star in the series are Chris D’Elia and Neal Brennan.
For now, the streaming platform’s only original Arabic content is a standup comedy special with Lebanese comedian and actor Adel Karam, entitled Adel Karam: Live from Beirut, which premiered in March. However, Netflix has plans to expand its footprint in the region, with Jinn — Netflix’s first original Arabic series — set to debut to Netflix members worldwide sometime in 2019.
The six-episode coming-of-age drama will tell the story of a group of Arab teenagers who’s lives are disrupted when they unknowingly invite a supernatural force (known as a jinn) into their world.