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The Unbookables (2012)

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The Unbookables is a narrative documentary about stand-up comics who have spent their careers pushing limits--on stage and off. Relegated to small venues and touring in a crappy van through... See full summary »

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Andy Andrist ...
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Brett Erikson ...
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James Inman ...
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Kristine Levine ...
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Travis Lipski ...
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Sean Rouse ...
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The Unbookables is a narrative documentary about stand-up comics who have spent their careers pushing limits--on stage and off. Relegated to small venues and touring in a crappy van through the Midwest they careen between the desire to succeed and the reality that there may be nothing left to lose. Road life is far from glamorous: comics come and go and cruel pranks and hard drinking punctuate their obsidian dark comedy on stage. They succeed and fail-spectacularly. When they face being fired for going too far on stage, the conflict culminates in a showdown: compromise or double down? Written by Jeff Pearson

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Take a ride on comedy's dark side.


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19 January 2012 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
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James Inman: Stupid is funny and funny is money.
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When you're next laughing about something, look to its core, and you'll find it's negative.
11 August 2015 | by (Scutum Crux) – See all my reviews

Few people realize that what makes us laugh typically has a negative base. From slapstick of 3 Stooges smacking and poking each other to any typical sitcom, where the laughs are based on misunderstanding, miscommunication and misconduct. The Unbookables are equally guilty, but their material is based on topics far more real. Monologues are based on everyday, true to life subjects that might shock, disturb, or at least cause you to keep your laughter hidden inside. War. Cancer. Incest. Beastiality. Child prostitution. Cock gagging & anal gaping. These are subjects that few would imagine as having a funny side, but they do, as evidenced by the audience laughter. It may be strained laughter accompanied by a shake of the head or hands covering the face, but it's laughter. This group of guerrilla comedians are talented, but they sacrifice big venues, big paychecks and big distribution by staying true to their material. In uncommon style, this documentary leaves the stage, and follows their life on tour as they test their patience and sanity while crammed in a retro tour van, constantly simmered in alcohol and stolen hydrocodone, quickly establishing a pecking order where the most senior of the group is constantly harassed, not so much out of disrespect as out of the need to channel stress. A unique view of life on the road of darkest comedy that is definitely not for everyone. It forces the question: Do some find this comedy has gone too far simply because they learned that even the darkest subjects truly do contain humor?


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