On the day HBO Max officially launches its “MAX ORIGINALS” offensive against Netflix with four simultaneous releases of stand-up comedy, the platform has announced three more forthcoming specials.
Coming soon to HBO Max…a drive-in showcase headlined and hosted by Colin Quinn, plus the first solo hours from both Phoebe Robinson and Aida Rodriguez. No dates yet for any of these, which have also yet to film. Today, HBO Max debuted Rose Matafeo: Horndog, Beth Stelling: Girl Daddy, James Veitch: Straight to VHS, and the Latinx multiact special HA Comedy Festival: The Art of Comedy hosted by Anjelah Johnson. They’ve also already announced specials in the works from Chelsea Handler, Tracy Morgan, Marlon Wayans, John Early, and Ahir Shah, along with a slate of five showcases from Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco, which includes solo specials from Moses Storm, and Chris Redd.
Quinn will direct and perform in his tentatively titled Summer of 2020: A Drive-In Comedy Special, which will include documentary elements, showing how he and his funny friends are adjusting to the new abnormal by performing at a drive-in movie theater in Brooklyn after a long layoff in quarantine.
“Colin is a pillar of the stand-up community” said Suzanna Makkos, executive vice president of original comedy and animation for HBO Max. “The fantastic group of comedians he’s selected, most of whom have not performed in front of a live audience for months, will allow the viewer a window into how the pandemic has impacted this art form. Utilizing a drive-in movie theater allows comics a unique way to connect with the audience while also prioritizing safety”
“Anybody can please an audience” said Quinn. “It takes a real comedian to make a bunch of cars laugh.”
Robinson already had a relationship with HBO thanks to her showcase series 2 Dope Queens. This will be her first solo special on TV. “Phoebe’s unique brand of humor is exciting and fresh and we are proud to welcome her to the Max family” said Makkos. “A true multi-hyphenate, she radiates with authenticity and has her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the world today.”
“I feel like Susan Lucci when she finally won a Daytime Emmy® (this reference is for my mom). It took twelve years to get here, but here I am” said Robinson. “Starting my relationship with HBO via 2 Dope Queens was a dream come true and to be able to stay in the HBO family with this stand-up special is helping me keep my lights on and Tampax Pearls in my medicine cabinet. Jokes aside, i’m honored to have the privilege of making people laugh, especially during these times. Thank you in advance for giving me the job of a lifetime.”
Rodriguez featured in a Netflix showcase last year fronted by Tiffany Haddish, and now gets her own solo hour.
“We are so thrilled to be able to partner with Aida not just on her scripted development but for her first one-hour stand-up special” said Makkos. “Aida has such an unmistakable comedic voice and distinct point of view. Her ability to tackle an array of current events will certainly resonate with audiences.”
“I’m excited about my first hour-long special and I’m thankful that HBO Max believed in me enough to create a place for my voice, “ said Rodriguez. “They have been a great partner every step of the way.”