HBO took another step today in putting themselves back at the front of the televised comedy special scene, announcing Sarah Silverman will star in her first special for the cable network this fall.
Through the ‘80s and ‘90s, the hour-long HBO special was the must-have status symbol for stand-up comics, thanks to the memorable sets by such legends as George Carlin, Robin Williams, Chris Rock, and Eddie Murphy. But other networks (particularly Comedy Central) began taking a progressively bigger bite out of that pie, as did the proliferation of comedy sites online, and HBO comedy hours have been fewer and further between (though Louis C.K. recently made a high-profile return to the network with his special Oh My God).
Significantly, the biggest of those sites, Funny or Die, is listed as a co-presenter of Silverman’s hour, titled Sarah Silverman: We are Miracles. Though Silverman hasn’t done an HBO hour previously, she did write and star in Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic, a 2005 theatrical film that combined stand-up segments with musical numbers and comedy scenes. That film’s director, Liam Lynch, will also helm We are Miracles.