Over fifty very famous American, Canadian, British and Australian funny people (filmmakers, writers, actors and comedians) share life and professional journeys and insights, in an effort to shed light on the thesis: Do you have to be miserable to be funny?
A group of stand-up comics, comedic actors and comedic filmmakers are individually interviewed about different aspects of the profession especially as it relates to their personal life. The topics of questions and answers include: the relationship with their parents with regard to their comedy; why they chose what is a natural kid's path of wanting attention as a career; when and/or how they discovered how comedy really works; the rush or high of performing; the need for public adoration; the comics that they admired early in their career and what material they may have stolen from other comics; when they knew their comedy had matured to professional status; the feeling of bombing; the relationship with peers, especially in comparison to relationships with non-comics; and the process of putting in the countless hours. The ultimate question placed to them is do you have to be miserable to be funny?Written by
Director Kevin Pollak, also a comedian, directs this documentary that gathers a large number of comedians and asks them various questions about the profession. This includes what their parents thought of their career choice, the "hey look at me disease," the drug of being on stage and if one needs to be mentally messed up in order to be good at their job.
Jason Alexander, Amy Schumer, Sam Rockwell, Jon Favreau, Preddie Prinze, Jr., Kevin Smith, Matthew Perry, Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Fallon, Lewis Black, Martin Short, David Koechner, Bob Saget, Larry David, Kevin Nealon, Richard Lewis, Andy Richter and Jim Norton are just a few of the comedians who are interviewed here.
For the most part this is an entertaining documentary and especially when you consider they've got so many well-known comics including many in the current mainstream. Even Tom Hanks is interviewed here and shares a couple funny stories. The highlights of the film are actually the moments with Freddie Prinze, Jr. who talks about following in the footsteps of a very famous father who was also notorious on how his life ended. You really get to see a different side to Prinze and someone those familiar with his movie roles won't recognize.
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