Press release from WarnerMedia, Dec. 3, 2019:
HBO Max has greenlit four new stand-up comedy specials. Tapping into existing talent across the WarnerMedia portfolio, the streamer is teaming up with Tracy Morgan (The Last O.G.), John Early (Search Party), and rising stars Rose Matafeo, Edinburgh Comedy Award winner, and Ahir Shah, double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee.
“We are incredibly proud to showcase this expansive range of comedic talent on HBO MAX,” said Suzanna Makkos, executive vice president of original programming, comedy and animation, HBO Max. “From legends to newcomers, this impressive slate of specials will complement the library of premium stand-up specials that HBO has become known for.”
- Tracy Morgan returned to television in 2018 with The Last O.G. on TBS, which debuted as cable’s #1 new comedy. The series’ sophomore season ranks among the top 10 cable comedies of 2019 and a third season is due to premiere on TBS in 2020. Comedy superstar, multiple Emmy (R) nominee, and a true O.G. of comedy himself, Morgan is no stranger to stand-up specials. His most recent special, Staying Alive, explores his new take on life, his career, and mortality. Morgan recently announced his 2020 comedy tour, No Disrespect, and will executive produce this special for HBO Max.
- John Early is best known for his role as Elliot in the critically acclaimed TBS series Search Party. Following sold out runs of his live show, John Early: Now More Than Ever, in New York and Los Angeles, this will be Early’s first one-hour television special showcasing his talent in stand-up, characters, and cover song performances. The special is executive produced by Early and A24.
- Rose Matafeo is a comedian and actress whose celebrated show Horndog won Best Show at the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2018. A whirlwind of stand-up, sketch and mid 20s angst, Horndog has enjoyed sell-out performances around the world. Her first-ever comedy special is a continuation of her partnership with HBO Max following the recently announced Starstruck, a brand new comedy series written, created by and starring Matafeo. Starstruck and the stand-up special are produced by Avalon Television and executive produced by Matafeo, Rob Aslett, Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner.
- Ahir Shah is a double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee for Best Comedy Show in 2017 and 2018. He has had sold-out runs in London’s West End, as well as successful UK and international tours, including runs at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal. He is currently on tour with his critically acclaimed new stand-up show Dots, which made best of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe lists including The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Scotsman. Produced by Avalon Television, Shah will executive produce his first stand-up comedy special alongside Rob Aslett, Jon Thoday, and Richard Allen-Turner.
HBO Max recently announced a partnership with Conan O’Brien and Team Coco to bring stand-up specials to the streamer. O’Brien will host two specials that feature short sets from multiple up-and-coming comics while also curating hour-long sets from three comedians. In addition to those five specials, HBO Max has purchased the rights to a one-hour special from comedian James Veitch, also produced by Team Coco.