Velez is reteaming with Apatow following their work together on feature The King of Staten Island, which Apatow, co-wrote, directed and produced, and Velez appeared in and co-produced.
Apatow will executive produce the special with Velez, along with Jon Kamen, Meredith Bennett, Neal Marshall and Dave Sirulnick. Mike Bonfiglio (HBO’s May it Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers) will direct the special and produce with Josh Church.
“We love Ricky’s stand up and his comedic honesty. We couldn’t be happier to be doing his first hour special with him,” said Nina Rosenstein, Executive Vice President, HBO Programming.
“I met Ricky Velez when he acted in, and co-produced, The King Of Staten Island,” said Apatow. “He is a brilliantly funny and insightful comedic voice. I am so excited to get to work with him on his first HBO special.”
New York City-based stand-up comedian and actor Velez was a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, and has appeared on Netflix’s Master of None, HBO’s Crashing and Comedy Central’s This Week at the Comedy Cellar. Named one of Variety’s “Ten Comics to Watch,” Queens, NY native Velez also was named “New York’s Funniest Comedian” by Caroline’s Comedy Club and was featured in Comedy Central’s and the New York Comedy Festival’s Fifth Annual “Comics to Watch” showcase.
Next, he can be seen in Apatow’s The King of Staten Island, starring Pete Davidson and Bill Burr, out June 12. The film, a semi-autobiographical comedy-drama about Pete Davidson growing up in Staten Island, was set to open the 27th edition of the SXSW Film Festival, but the fest was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“My family couldn’t afford HBO when I was a kid, so we stole it. Now I get to be on it,” said Velez. “This is such an honor, thank you Nina Rosenstein and HBO for this insane opportunity. Also, Judd, who has been a true mentor and supportive in every way possible.”
Velez’s special is Apatow’s latest project with HBO. His previous credits with the premium cabler include Gary Gulman: The Great Depresh, The Zen Diaries of Gary Shandling, Girls and Crashing. Apatow also previously teamed with Bonfiglio on HBO’s May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers.
Velez is repped by ICM Partners, WME (touring), Brillstein Entertainment Partners, and Morris Yorn.
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