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Misery Loves Comedy

This new doc asks dozens of comics: How does comedy work?

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Kevin Pollak sits down with dozens of well-known standup comics, comic actors and other assorted funny-business folks to find out: who becomes a comic; why comedy works (or sometimes doesn't work); and how life is a feedback loop for good material. It's not much visually — it's all talking heads — and plenty of it is obvious (people like funny people), but there's some wheat among the chaff for fans of comedy or those interested in breaking down how entertainment works. The title is a fudge, since more time is spent on other topics, and few of the interviewees get very introspective about any complicated interplay of misery and comedy. But overall, there are some insights and good anecdotes — I'd have watched 90 minutes of comics talking about times they bombed. Perhaps most importantly, viewers will leave with a better understanding of the work that goes into being "effortlessly" funny.

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