HBO Is Gearing Up for More Comedy Including from Tracey Ullman

HBOComedy_logoHBO was always a host for the comedic talents of so many performers over the years. It is an innumerable amount. There was always showcases like STANDING ROOM ONLY, ON LOCATION, HALF-HOUR COMEDY throughout the years. Then there was the specials featuring the likes of George Carlin, Eddie Murphy, and Robin Williams & on and on. The tradition continues in 2016 with new specials sketch comedy and stand-up. Below is an official press release highlighting the laughs to come including the return of Brit Tracey Ullman to HBO.   








LOS ANGELES, Aug. 25, 2016 – HBO gets funny in upcoming months with standup specials starring hot talents Jerrod Carmichael, Pete Holmes and T.J. Miller, ALL DEF COMEDY from executive producer Russell Simmons and the return of longtime HBO favorite Tracey Ullman in a new sketch comedy series, it was announced today by Casey Bloys, president, HBO Programming. 



Jerrod Carmichael will tape his second solo special for the network this fall to debut in 2017. The special will be produced for HBO by A24. Carmichael created, produces and stars in the hit broadcast comedy series The Carmichael Show. His first HBO solo special, JERROD CARMICHAEL: LOVE AT THE STORE, debuted on the network in October 2014.




PETE HOLMES: FACES AND SOUNDS taped in Chicago this past April at the Vic Theatre. Slated to debut on HBO later this year, it is executive produced by Pete Holmes, David Rath, Chris Pollack, Jared Hoffman, Neal Marshall and Marcus Raboy, and directed by Marcus Raboy. Pete Holmes also stars in the upcoming HBO comedy series from executive producer Judd Apatow, CRASHING about a New York stand-up comic who is forced to reevaluate his life. Holmes created the show, which is slated to debut in 2017. He previously hosted the cable program The Pete Holmes Show.




T.J. MILLER: METICULOUSLY RIDICULOUS will tape September 16 at the Paramount Theater in Denver on a stop of his “The Meticulously Ridiculous Tour,” with a debut scheduled for next year. To be produced for HBO by Funny Or Die, the special will be executive produced by T.J. Miller, Dave Becky, Mike Berkowitz and, for Funny Or Die, Anna Wenger and Betsy Koch; directed by Jeff Tomsic. Miller is one of the stars of the hit HBO comedy series SILICON VALLEY which recently completed its third season and received 11 Primetime Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series. Other credits include feature films Deadpool, How to Train Your Dragon and the upcoming Office Christmas Party.




ALL DEF COMEDY tapes September 7 at the Avalon Theatre in Los Angeles, with debut slated for November. To be hosted by Tony Rock, the special will feature rising comedy stand-up talent. Executive producers, Russell Simmons, Jeru Tillman, Stan Lathan and Chris Conti; directed by Stan Lathan.




TRACEY ULLMAN’S SHOW, debuting FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28 (11:00-11:30 p.m.), stars the HBO veteran as a wide array of everyday people and famous faces in an all-new six episode sketch comedy series, which looks at modern life on the British side of the pond. In this new series Tracey brings her masterful skills to take on such people as Dame Judi Dench and Angela Merkel, as well as a host of others. Ullman’s numerous HBO credits includes TRACEY TAKES ON… which ran for four seasons and received six Emmys. She has appeared in such feature films as Woody Allen’s Small Time Crooks and Bullets Over Broadway, Robert Altman’s Ready to Wear and Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men in Tights.


All shows will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

HBOComedy2Having stated the content I ponder what that says about the comedy programming. Now I don’t want to trash past HBO officers, but Casey Bloys has done some work since his promotion up the ladder. He was behind successful effort to get more out of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. Now he has the likes of Tracey Ullman and Russell Simmons back on board. Now how hard was that? Yeah, they had to broker whatever kind of deals, but didn’t someone bother to think to ask them before this? Hell, Simmons as had an off and on development deal for years. Perhaps Bloys just walked up to him and said, “Hey, how about some more DEF COMEDY JAM like in the good ole days?” Deal sealed. Then he contacts Ullman and asks her if she eager to return after time away and – deal sealed. What? Did no one just ask before? I know it is not that easy, but now, regardless, we have a little resurgence in stand-up & sketch comedy coming to HBO and that is a good barrel of laughs indeed. Don’t you think so?  

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