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Dying Laughing (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000183534
Added by: David Simpson
Added on: 9/6/2017 21:43
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    Review for Dying Laughing

    9 / 10

    Dying Laughing is a look at the phenomena that is Stand-up Comedy. It is seen as one of the most honest forms of entertainment as also the most pure. It is just a microphone, a stage and a group of people to talk to. The documentary tries to discover why people do it and why people enjoy it.

    There are extensive interviews with a Who's Who of Stand-up from the ages including Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Connolly, Jerry Lewis, Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman, Eddie Izzard, Jamie Foxx, Amy Schumer amongst others. It is really surprising to see so many A List talent giving their thoughts, but I am glad that it is not just a few, but the creators of this documentary have really put the effort into tracking down the best in the business.

    We look at how some have started, being booed off stage, freezing or simply just no one being there. The inspiration for the material with the late Gerry Shandling telling a story about how someone asked him 'What the shortcut is?' to which he answered 'There isn't one.'

    The extensive touring and the effect it can have on those doing it staying in awful hotels sometimes only playing to one or two people. Jamie Foxx explains how he uses different towns to see what material works. And if it doesn't work it leads to one of the most unique aspects of stand-up. No one heckles an Opera, but they all have stories on being heckled and how they deal with it. Billy Connolly says someone came on stage to punch him, missed and when taunted 'Is that the best you can do?' the response was 'No' and he headbutted him.

    Comedy is seen as a very therapeutic, despite the inherent madness of it all. It is not surprising and anyone who has come home from work and told their workday story to howling laughter will understand that. Many of the comedians talk about how they started simply by telling stories to friends and it taking off from there.

    One of the things that I do wish they included are examples. The interviewees are all full of great stories, but there are times when you wish they would show some material from them. It would have been great to have seen some live examples of Jerry Seinfeld or Billy Connolly on stage, though they are all hilarious with their stories as you would expect.

    I found this to be a fantastic documentary. As a lover of stand-up comedy it was fascinating to hear some of the greats talk about how and why they do it. Seeing the likes of Jerry Seinfeld alongside newer comedians like Kevin Hart and Amy Schumer was a testament to the amount of time spent on creating this documentary. I howled with laughter at some of their stories and though adding some actual stand-up would have no doubt benefitted the whole, I like the fact I can now go away and discover or rediscover some of these comedians. If you are a fan of stand-up comedy you will love this documentary. If you are thinking of trying it, this will be a perfect blueprint to how to start.

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