December 4, 2019
Pending subscription streaming video platform HBO Max has greenlit four new stand-up comedy specials.
The streamer, which launches in 2020, 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.
“From legends to newcomers, this impressive slate of specials will complement the library of premium stand-up specials that HBO has become known for,” Suzanna Makkos, EVP of original programming, comedy and animation at HBO Max, said in a statement.
Tracy Morgan returned to television in 2018 with “The Last O.G.” on Turner-owned 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.
Morgen, a multiple Emmy nominee, 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 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.
Rose Matafeo is a comedian and actress whose 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.
Ahir Shah has had sold-out runs in London’s West End, as well as successful U.K. 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.
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.