HBO will air a one-hour special that terminally ill stand-up comic Quincy Jones is shooting April 4 in Los Angeles.
“You mentioned last time that you want to do a comedy special,” Ellen DeGeneres told Jones, no relation to the famed producer, on her daytime talk show Monday, referring to his appearance on the show that ran March 15. “That’s really important for you to do a comedy special. . . . So what you don’t know, we called the head of HBO — and your people didn’t even tell you this — but HBO is going to air your special!”
Jones, 32 — who said on his earlier visit that he was diagnosed with mesothelioma on Aug. 6 and given a year to live, though he has also stated July 3 as the date — was overjoyed. Friends had raised more than $50,273 on Kickstarter to finance production of the special, and the photography app/website Shutterfly donated another $10,000 during Jones’ previous “Ellen” appearance. The company gave $15,000 more on the Monday show, taped March 17.
HBO confirmed it would telecast the special this spring. Jones’ friend Mickey Blaine is directing, with Blaine, his comedian wife Nicole Blaine and Jones among the executive producers. The show, which was shooting without a distributor attached before this, is taping at Los Angeles’ Teragram Ballroom.
The Seattle native moved to Los Angeles in early 2012. In October the following year, Jones wrote on his blog that he had done “over 750 sets this year,” mostly on unpaid open-microphone nights. He also performed at the 35th annual Seattle International Comedy Competition in 2013.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that occurs in the mesothelium, the layer of tissue that covers the majority of our internal organs. The Mayo Clinic notes, “Mesothelioma treatments are available, but for many people with mesothelioma, a cure is not possible.” Jones told DeGeneres he has been undergoing chemotherapy every three weeks.
He wanted to do a comedy special, he said on his March 15 appearance, because, “I’m at that age where all my friends have kids and are married. And I had to do some reflecting: It’s like, ‘What do I have to show for my 32 years on Earth?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, I do comedy, I’m a comedian. Why not try and film this special?’ ”