What does it mean to be a successful comedian? How far can the boundaries of taste be pushed to get a laugh? Four top comics - Ricky Gervais, Louis C.K., Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock - discuss and debate their craft on the laugh-filled HBO presentation "Talking Funny", which debuts tonight at 9 PM ET/PT. Ricky Gervais is executive producer of the special, which was directed by John Moffitt.
In the special, the quartet reveal the secrets of their success, share hysterical anecdotes and jokes and remind each other of the valuable lessons they've learned along the way (including how to shamelessly pilfer each other's material). Each comic answers questions such as: "Who was the first funny kid you ever met?," "When is it time to add new material to your act?" and "How do you know when you've hit on the proverbial 'thing' that sets you apart?," giving quirky insights into what rocketed them to being the best in the business and at the top of their game.
The comedians also examine their own distinctive styles of comedy and discuss whether or not to use profanity, how one comic can recycle another comic's material into something new and fresh, and deciding whether a topic is off-limits, no matter how shocking it may be to the audience. When the dust settles and the spotlights are on, it all comes down to giving the audiences what they paid for - the laugh.
Here's a sneak preview of "Talking Funny":