Seth Rogen’s ‘Hilarity for Charity,’ Letterman and Jay-Z, ‘Strike Back’ Finale
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Seth Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity (Netflix): Gathering some of the most politically incorrect comics for a very good cause, comic actor Seth Rogen and wife Lauren Miller’s sixth annual comedy/variety show, from the Hollywood Palladium, raises money for Alzheimer’s research and home care. (You can contribute at DonateHFC.com.) The result is a disarmingly strange hour of lowbrow penis jokes and uplifting moments, including Kermit the Frog leading a sing-along of “The Rainbow Connection.” (Probably helps to smoke as much weed as Rogen attests to.) The headliners doing sharp stand-up sets include Tiffany Haddish, Sarah Silverman, Michelle Wolf, John Mulaney and Saturday Night Live’s Michael Che.
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction (Netflix): David Letterman welcomes his latest cultural icon, rapper Jay-Z, for an in-depth conversation that ranges from the whimsical (his impressions of fellow rap stars Snoop Dogg and Eminem) to the personal and emotional, as he recounts crying when his mother recently came out to him.
Strike Back (10/9c, Cinemax): O.G. heroes Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) and Stonebridge (Philip Winchester) stick around for the fifth-season finale of the high-octane action series, with Section 20 heading to a remote island to fetch a top-secret file that’s sought after by Ives (Trevor Eve) and TV’s current go-to villains, the Russians.
Inside Friday TV: NCIS’s Mark Harmon narrates Amazon Prime’s eight-episode docu-series All or Nothing: The Michigan Wolverines, which goes inside the University of Michigan’s college football program, with Coach Jim Harbaugh in his third season. … Among oh-so-many Netflix premieres: the movie 6 Balloons, starring Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson and The Disaster Artist’s Dave Franco in the odyssey of a woman and her heroin addict brother driving through L.A. in search of a detox center. … Jamie (Will Estes) faces a personal and professional crisis on CBS’s Blue Bloods (10/9c), when his partner Eddie (Vanessa Ray) is shot while on duty. … HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher (10/9c) features an unusually eclectic roster of guests, with Geraldo Rivera as the top-of-show interview, Louie Anderson the mid-show guest, and disgraced former N.Y. Governor Eliot Spitzer joining the roundtable. … Followed by the sixth-season premiere of the newsmagazine Vice (11/10c), with actor Michael Kenneth Williams (Hap and Leonard) taking the reins in the opener to expose how the juvenile justice system has led to the country’s mass incarceration crisis.