The first HBO special I can recall seeing is also the one that had the greatest impact on my love of stand-up comedy.
Dana Carvey's 'Critics Choice' was filmed in 1995 which would make me no older than 11 and yet I can remember the events leading up to me watching it quite vividly. I remember my mom had to convince me to watch it with her and my dad. Her argument was simple and concise "He does voices. You love people who do voices." I, as a child, couldn't argue her logic and so I sat down and watched with mom and dad.
In retrospect I think my parents would not have invited their impressionable young man to watch the special had they actually seen it for themselves before hand. What they were expecting was the Dana Carvey from Saturday Night Live(Party On Garth!) and what they got was a profanity laced, sexual joke telling, comedian who happened to do voices.
It's a mystery to me now as to whether or not I understood any of the jokes but I do remember hearing my parents having this conversation at some point. "This is terrible. I had no idea or I wouldn't have offered should we turn it off?"
"What's the point he's heard everything already now" and we finished watching it.
Afterward I convinced my parents to tape it for me the next time it re-aired. I played that tape like a kid watches Barney and I introduced my friends to the brilliant and filthy Dana Carvey. Below is my favorite bit from the special...Enjoy!