Last year, comedian Quincy Jones, popular in the L.A. comedy scene, was diagnosed with stage 4 peritoneal mesothelioma, and given a prognosis of around a year to live. Yet, the comic continues to hold encouragement that he’ll make it longer, especially since his lifelong dream is just a month away from coming true.
The Boston Globe reports that Jones, 31, had yet to do his own, personal stand-up special, and with his dire illness, he feared that it would never happen. That dream, however, is coming true for the comic. HBO will air Jones’ own comedy special this spring.
The taping will take place on April 4 at Los Angeles’ Teragram Ballroom, and is slated to air sometime this Spring. It couldn’t have happened with the help and support of fellow comics, according to Jones. He told the Boston Globe that he not only feels blessed, but his positivity keeps him motivated.
“I definitely know that I have a more positive attitude toward things than most people do. I never really think of this as just me, doing it alone. Sometimes you may feel alone, but I know for a fact that I’ve never truly been alone through this. And I’ve been blessed in that regard.”
Jones undergoes regular chemotherapy treatments, which leave him with side effects that make it difficult to continue his work; work that includes working days in a Los Angeles coffee shop and nights at comedy clubs. Regardless, Jones soldiers on with the help of friends and the promise of an upcoming HBO show. He recalled that while he was in the hospital, he was scared that he would never be able to perform for people again.
“One of my biggest fears when I was in the hospital was that I wasn’t going to be able to perform again. So when people asked me, ‘What do you want to do?’ I said, well, the next step in my career would be a special. An hour special.”
To help him live out his dream, his friends and fellow comedians Mickey Blaine and Nicole Blain started a Kickstarter project for Jones. They originally intended to help get funding for his own stand-up, as well as medical expenses, so they were shocked when HBO decided to get involved.
The Kickstarter project easily reached its goal of $50,000, but the publicity Jones received in the meantime is priceless. Jones not only got attention for his talents, but he also became an unofficial spokesman for mesothelioma. He said that his upcoming special is for anyone with cancer or anyone who’s lost someone to cancer, as well as spreading awareness about such a rare disease.
“The special is not about me. This is bigger than me. The special is dedicated to anybody who has been through cancer, lost someone to cancer or has cancer. This is literally about a disease.”
Comedian and talk show host Ellen Degeneres also got involved in Jones’ campaign. In fact, Degeneres is to thank for Jones landing the HBO special after she called the the cable giant and asked them participate. She also tried to get Netflix on board.
During her show last week, the talk show host told her audience and viewers, as well as Jones (who was there as a guest star), that HBO picked him up for a special.
“We called the head of HBO, and your people didn’t even tell you this, but HBO is going to air your special.”
Jones stared for a moment in disbelief before bursting out into a hearty, appreciative laugh. He realized that biggest dream would be accomplished and his biggest fear would be squashed.
“My biggest fear used to be — before cancer — dying without leaving anything. Dying before I have the chance to do the s–t I wanna do. So this would be my opus. This would be my legacy I’m leaving here. That’s it, you know? You just want to feel like you’re giving something to the universe. You wanna feel like you’re leaving something.”
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