Review: Pete Holmes, “Faces and Sounds” on HBO

If you haven’t yet watched the new Pete Holmes stand-up hour, Faces and Sounds, it debuted Saturday night on HBO and delivers — and not just because of his many titular faces and sounds!

Here’s an excerpt from my review in Decider:

HBO’s audience may not be as familiar with Pete Holmes as you are.

After all, despite filming an hour stand-up comedy special for Comedy Central in 2013, followed immediately by two seasons of hosting The Pete Holmes Show in late-night after Conan on TBS, Holmes hasn’t yet established himself as a household name or face. His upcoming sitcom, Crashing, likely will rectify that situation. So HBO wisely set aside this new hour, Pete Holmes: Faces and Sounds, on Saturday to introduce him properly and give you reasons to root for Crashing to do anything but come February.

The 37-year-old comedian from Massachusetts already has won you over vocally, either from years of voicing the talking E-Trade baby for years on TV commercials, or from his hugely popular podcast, You Made It Weird.

So he doesn’t need more of an introduction when he bounds onstage at the Vic in Chicago, where Holmes started to find his comedy voice after college.

Even that moment, in itself, is enough to suffice for Holmes. “That was the best moment of my life,” he says upon taking the microphone. “We don’t even have to do the show. This is just a bonus now. That felt so good, we should take turns. Each of you should come up one at a time just to feel that. Diseases that are forming will go away.”

Spending time with Holmes does feel like a bonus. He wants his company, onstage or off, to share in the same joy he feels – even if he’s making goofy jokes, faces and sounds about diarrhea in an ornate, old theater.

Read my full review of Pete Holmes: Faces and Sounds, via Decider.


Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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