Sox has licensed 100 episodes of the standup comedy showcase series that ran on A&E Network in the early 1990s. Those will be collected with new installments that Hirsch and Sox Entertainment will produce. Sox has also reached a deal with the New York Comedy Festival for access to select performances across that celebration of standup that is set to unfold its 18th edition Nov. 7-13.
Hirsch is marking the 40th anniversary this year of her influential comedy club on Broadway in the heart of the theater district. Hirsch also was the driving force behind the NY Comedy Festival. Notable names featured in the episodes to be sold include early appearances by Marc Maron, Denis Leary, Jon Stewart, Richard Belzer, Susie Essman, Mario Cantone, Ray Romano, Colin Quinn, Jeff Foxworthy, Lewis Black, George Lopez, Kevin James, Norm Macdonald, Wanda Sykes, Sarah Silverman, Joe Rogan, Patton Oswalt and Jim Gaffigan.
“The appetite for live comedy has never been stronger coming out of Covid,” Hirsch said. “As one of the country’s top comedy brands and the leading destination for comedy seekers journeying to New York, I felt the time is right during our 40th anniversary celebration to bring back these incredible acts for new generations to enjoy, while also putting the spotlight on today’s rising talent with new original episodes.”
Sox aims to sell the package to a streamer or cabler, or possibly in a deal with a conglomerate that has both linear and streaming platforms to feed with a steady stream of content.
“Streamers and basic cable networks seeking ad-friendly content will gain the ability to acquire rights, offer non-obtrusive spots and monetize performances by top-notch standup comics – something that, until now, has been out of their reach,” Koondel said. “Cable providers also stand to benefit by meeting their obligations to provide a certain percentage of original programming to the (MVPDs) carrying them. This gives them a highly effective and cost-efficient way to meet the demands of the marketplace.”
Koondel is an executive producer ofvFreevee’s “Judy Justice,” the new court show that Judith Sheindlin segued to last year after she wrapped her 25-year run on the bench of “Judge Judy.” He spent 25 years as a top content sales executive at CBS Corp. and Paramount before launching Sox Entertainment in 2019.