Watching too much TV these days can get you down, with its seemingly nonstop schedule of wars, famines, and economic crises. Unless, that is, you are watching HBO. The premium channel that has done so much for comedy over the past 35 years is still going strong with a mix of long-running mainstays and shining newcomers. An impressive slate of original comedy series has been bolstered by stand-up specials featuring the biggest names in the business. It is a wonder that such complete comedic coverage can be had on just one channel, available through premium packages from your satellite TV provider.
Here’s a rundown of what’s on tap at HBO’s laugh factory:
Bill Maher is still dropping jaws with his no-apologies, in-your-face comedic satire on “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Hosting politicians, sports stars, and other public figures, Maher takes a hard look at politics and culture in America. With his astute blend of humor and seriousness, he makes sure we take a moment to consider the “real” questions facing society today, even if we do so while holding our sides in laughter.
George Lopez is the newest addition to HBO’s lineup of blockbuster stand-up comedy shows. His “Tall, Dark, and Chicano” has been leaving audiences all over the US in stitches and tears and recently made its television debut on HBO. The show will be replayed over the next several weeks and, as always, is available through HBO On Demand for one-touch viewing at your convenience.
It’s not all about the new guys, however, and HBO has really upped the ante by adding veteran Robin Williams to the schedule. His stand-up special, “Weapons of Self-Destruction,” premieres in December of 2009 and is sure to be an epic showcase of Williams’ timelessly savvy humor and slapstick impressions. Make sure George and Robin look as good as they sound by checking them out in high definition.
The backbone of HBO’s lineup is still its consistently high-quality assortment of fresh, original series:
Emmy-nominated “Flight of the Conchords” has developed something of a cult following in its three seasons and depicts two charmingly bumbling New Zealanders as they chase musical success as a folk duo in New York City. Witty dialogue is interspersed with wittier mini-musicals as these Kiwis navigate romantic woes, a half-competent manager, obsessed fans (they only have one, actually), and the cold, hard reality of chasing dreams in the Big City.
“Seinfeld” creator Larry David has been back in action for several seasons on HBO, this time as actor, writer, and director of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” a quirky comedy which showcases Larry’s day-to-day as a Los Angeles screenwriter. Besieging family and friends with his uncanny knack for social faux-pas, Larry revives the comedic glory of “Seinfeld” by reminding us that plots are overrated.
Another new addition to the comedy lineup is “Hung,” starring Thomas Jane and Anne Heche. This sexually charged comedy centers around a struggling high school basketball coach who seeks to right his ship by making use of a considerable personal “endowment.” Implausible, racy, ridiculous, and sure to get you laughing, “Hung” is a must-see for those looking for new and exciting comedy on HBO
HBO’s schedule is bursting with more comedy than ever. What’s more, with HD programming, you can put yourself, virtually speaking, in front row seats for some of the hottest shows in comedy. Whether you want edgy stand-up, biting satire, or pure goofiness, you will never want for laughs on HBO.
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