SO, THE SPECIAL IS ENDING.
It comes with a whole mix of emotions to announce the end of The Special Without Brett Davis.
After 160 episodes, it feels like it’s time to wrap it up. We wanted to go out on our own terms and not because we accidentally burnt the studio down or something. Doing a weekly, live, one-hour show is an astounding amount of constantly shifting work that leaves little time for other projects or just getting your head on straight. Still, doing the show has been a dream come true, and I know I’ll never be able to replicate this magic again.
We are doing five more on MNN, beginning with this Wednesday’s “Mid-2000s Indie Rock Avengers: Endgame” episode, continuing with a lot of surprise guests from the past few years and ending on May 29th. (To attend live, just show up any of the next five Wednesdays at MNN on 59th St, or look out for them on YouTube.)
After, who knows? There’s been rumblings for the past few months that a new project from Chris Gethard is going to be big for the comedy scene at large, and there will be more info on that in the coming days. Another “spiritual successor” in the music realm is coming as well. Neither project is for me to announce, so stay tuned. The Special’s name will continue on in some way perhaps. Hopefully, it’s because a network or production company or an eccentric billionaire gives us an opportunity to make something like this for real (which is not unprecedented).
Personally, I will refocus to new projects. I’ll still host The Podcast For Laundry (it’s The Laundry Podcast with “Radley Carolla” now…) and I’ll be on Our Cartoon President on Showtime. I’m excited for the return of The Macaulay Culkin* Show, as well. I’ll also have a lot more time for one-offs (like this one) with the time previously dedicated to editing, casting, flyers, running around the city looking for a Green Goblin costume and/or cold e-mailing old sitcom stars.
We started on Manhattan Neighborhood Network back in 2015, with the assistance of Chris Gethard, JD Amato and the TCGS team, who helped us get the ball rolling as they moved on. Since then, we’ve had the help of countless VOLUNTEERS, who lent their incredible artistry and hours of thankless work, time, travel and money to the show only because they believed we were making a cool thing.
I’d like to thank all of the guests, the actors (both the Oscar-nominated and D-List), writers, journalists, podcasters, ex-VJs, professional wrestlers, magicians, ventriloquists, MURDERERS (multiple!), dancers, drag queens, food reviewers, sexperts and the many, many amazing musical guests that gave us a little extra attention over the years. Also special thanks to the audience members and other assorted people that answered last-minute requests to be part of a weird thing on a random Wednesday night.
It’s impossible to thank all of the comedic talent that has appeared on the show. So many of them that started with us can now be seen in movies, TV, big live stages and more. I have always said that the show’s biggest legacy is it’s IMDB page, and one day you can look back and see a generation of great talent totally slumming it.
Some of our talent, producers and crew are onto bigger and better things. Those that aren’t yet, hire them NOW. And to everyone ever involved with The Special, thank you.
P.S.: It’s impossible to name everyone who helped make the show possible, but I’d like to highlight producers Joe Nolfo, John Ambrosio, Edmond Hawkins, Frank Flaherty, Kate Sweeney, Billy Nord, Erica Getto, Cassie Grimaldi, Harris Mayersohn and Kevin Bannon. Special thanks to my co-writer, producer, and my longtime “Bob Zmuda” (for better or worse) Darren Mabee.
Thanks to editors David C. Monk, Sean Newman & Matt Damiano, art department Alec Lambert, Jordan White, Lauren Caputi, Jessica Ellis & Olivia Scenna, our music & lighting producers Jasno Swarez, Nick Foligno & Eric Jimenez. Thanks to our bandleader Simon Hanes and his many musical collaborators and our lovable announcer, “Mr. Jokes” Steve Whalen.
Thanks to the jacks-of-all-trades Sally Burtnick, Vin Forte, Jeffrey Marra, Russell Dolan, Isaiah McBeth, Jimmy Adamson, Madonna Refugia, Maya Sharma, Spike Einbinder, Mike Apichella, Ben Moosher, Marybess Pritchett, Beatrice Kilkenny-Schmidt, Emma Callahan, Chandler Moses, Amanda Xeller, Christopher Prophete, Charles Chawalko and many, many more. Additional thanks goes out also to Chris Gethard, JD Amato, Jo Firestone, Patrick Cotnoir, Kaitlyn Flynn, Ayala Cohen, Todd Sellers, Shirley Braha, Tom Scharpling, Ana Fabrega and our first guest, Jake Fogelnest.
And a special thanks to Manhattan Neighborhood Network, Jeanette Santiago, the MNN staff and community of producers, and particularly our frequent studio supervisor Rich Speziale, who will be making his musical debut on the show in a few weeks!
Some of our producers and crew are onto bigger and better things. Those that aren’t yet, hire them NOW. And to everyone ever involved with The Special, thank you.