From Girl Code to Nailed It!—for which she just became the first Black woman nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Show—to being one of Conan’s faves to a string of guest appearances on all your favorite comedy series and/or podcasts to last year’s fantastic photo-comedy book #VERYFAT #VERYBRAVE, Nicole Byer has become one of the most prolific comedic presences in pop culture of the last decade. What has eluded her, however, is a one-hour comedy special, the signature dive, if you will, of a standup comedian (sorry, I’m still in Olympics mode). She’s done appearances on aggregate comedy shows and has a half hour in Netflix’s Comedians of the World series (season one, episode seven, if you’re interested), but she’s never done a full hour, until Netflix, with whom she has a ripe creative relationship thanks to Nailed It! came through with the offer. Netflix is producing a one-hour special for Byer, which will tape next month at New York’s Gramercy Theater. The special is expected to air later this year.
If you only know Byer from TV hosting—she also hosts Wipe Out with John Cena—her standup might come as a shock. She’s super raunchy, as in this eleven-minute bit from Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, which is not at ALL safe for work:
I can’t wait to see what she strings together for a full hour. But Netflix isn’t stopping with a comedy special, Byer is also going to star in a scripted series for them called Grand Crew, centered on friends who hang out at a wine bar. The series comes from Brooklyn 99’s Dan Goor and Phil Augusta Jackson, so a promising bunch of people all the way around, and this is all happening just as she might become “Emmy winner Nicole Byer”. Given her rising success on television, getting a standup special now actually feels almost embarrassingly overdue, like it should have happened years ago, and been the kick-off to her ascent, not the capper. Better late than never.