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tv special | stand up comedy | See All (2) »


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26 March 1994 (USA)  »

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The Best History Lesson You Could Ask For!
5 July 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"But Seriously!" has been one of the precious items in my video collection for many years, since I recorded it from TV here in the UK. I know that I'll never tire of watching it, and will never fail to laugh out loud at the comedy genius on display.

This is American history from the 1950's to the 1990's - from the Kennedy presidency to the Bush presidency, via Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Regan - told through stand-up comedy. All the important issues of those forty years are illuminated with intelligence and wit: Race & Segregation, the Kennedy Assassination, Vietnam, Watergate, Drug Culture, the Moon Landing, AIDS, Lebanon Hostages, Glasnost, the Iran Contra Affair, Homelessness, Pornaography... ending with the LA Riots.

There are many substantial clips of my stand-up heroes - Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce... and the best video material of Mort Sahl I've been able to get my hands on. Somebody has done a great job, and I suspect Rob Reiner as Executive Producer had much to do with it, the director Jeff Leiberman not having much comedy in his other projects. (UPDATE! I now know that the great job was done by Jeff Leiberman, and let's hope he does more work in the future with comedy in its core.)

For me, this has also been my only chance to enjoy the work of other US comedians whose work is not so well known over here: Dick Gregory, Robert Klein, Godfrey Cambridge, Dennis Miller, and Jack Paar are all shown at the top of their art.


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