John Early: Now More Than Ever Review – An Electric Special For The Ages

By Ricky Valero
Published: June 13, 2023 (Last updated: April 6, 2024)
John Early: Now More Than Ever Review
John Early: Now More Than Ever (Credit - HBO)


John Early throws his name in the hat for being one of the most talented entertainers in the world with Now More Than Ever.

From being Elliott Gross in the widely popular series Search Party to his recurring voice role as Henry Tuntley in The Great North to his Taylor Swift’s Anti-Hero appearance, John Early is no stranger to being in show business. But for the first time, he hits the stage in his comedy special for HBO, John Early: Now More Than Ever.

The special follows John Early as he performs stand-up comedy, covers songs from Britney Spears to Neil Young, and some crazy backstage sketches.

The special opens with Early backstage giving some pre-made lemon squares to his friends, saying, “I brought my world-famous lemon squares.” He then comes to the stage and sings a cover of the Missy Elliot song “Oops (Oh My)” in a more acoustic style. I will say it was a solid opening, but the mic was a little low on his vocals, making it hard to understand him.

Early acknowledges his parents are in the crowd at the beginning of the special, even shining a bright spotlight on them. Now, mind you, Early’s work is very raunchy and vulgar, and in one bit, he talked about how much he loved anal and turned a spotlight on his parents to see their reaction, which was priceless.

John Early Sings, Jokes, and Shows His Talent in “Now More Than Ever”

If you are looking for what to expect from the special, I would say this is very much in line with what we saw from Bo Burnham’s Inside. However, I would be willing to go out on a limb to say that I enjoyed this quite a bit more because Early is funny, and he has this incredible singing voice that will blow you away with the range of the songs he covers.

One of the most impressive feats in this entire special is watching Early effortlessly transition from joke telling to singing back to joke telling. It’s one thing to entertain you for an hour by telling jokes or singing songs, but blending them is not easy. We saw this a little earlier in the year with Alex Borstein’s special Corsets & Clownsuits, which was equally brilliant. If this is a new phase of comedy/entertainment we can expect, I am here for it.

I would be insane not to shout out the editors of this special, Stephen Gurewitz, Ben Granger, and Jake Williams, who each perfectly weaved in and out of this in a way that made it flow perfectly.

John Early is a rare one-of-a-kind talent that delivers some incredibly entertaining moments for an hour straight. Is it perfect? No, but that doesn’t matter, as you will sit back and enjoy a fun, unique special.

This type of comedy/entertainment is an acquired taste for audiences. As a result, I think people might be turned off a little by Early’s eccentric persona, but if you are willing to go out on a limb to watch someone genuinely great at what he does, Now More Than Ever is very much worth watching.

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