HBO (Wed., Sept. 27, 9:30 P.M. ET)
Townsend, the talent behind the ultra-funny film Hollywood Shuffle (which sent up the movies’ stereotyping of blacks), created this very hip comedy-music special. Townsend delivers a well-written stand-up act touching on racism, hecklers, VD and overpaid athletes. There is a tasteless but amusing sketch about intestinal gas. Townsend’s “partners,” too, are a hysterical group. Stand-ups Lewis Dix (with a look at the differing efficiency of white and black McDonald’s employees) and Don Reed (presenting KungFu Theater) are crowd pleasers. Musical guests include singer Dianne Reeves. While Townsend’s soap parody, The Bold, the Black, the Beautiful, needs punching up, the show is a solid laugh winner.