I’m told I’m a funny guy. Growing up as a fat and not very good-looking kid, making people laugh was kind of the only thing I had going for me. Stick me in a group of people and although at first I’ll be quiet and reserved eventually if I come out of my shell, I can be pretty funny.
What I can’t do is do stand up.
I’ve had it before. “Oh you should be on stage”, You’re a funny guy, you should do stand-up”. I have often said that I am funnier than I let on through these blog posts, but that’s kind of the reason I can’t stand on stage and tell jokes.
Never mind the anxiety it simply thinking about having a room full of people staring at me expecting me to make them laugh, but delivering a pre-planned script of jokes and stories….not for me thanks.
With that being said, I respect the art of stand up comedy immensely.
I get many invites to film showings. Most of them are for films I have never heard of and 99% of them are in London. On most occasions, I politely reply that I won’t be able to attend due to me not living near London but thanks anyway, however if you have an online screener available, I would be happy to take a watch. Mostly I get no reply or simply a “Thanks for letting us know”, but recently I got a reply from an invite to watch a documentary movie called “Dying Laughing”.
‘Dying Laughing’ is a British produced documentary interviewing pretty much the biggest names in stand-up. Included but not limited to some British favourites such as Steve Coogan, Frank Skinner, Jason Mamford, Billy Connolly and the late Victoria Wood. Add to that people such as Jerry Seinfeld, Jaime Fox, Chris Rock and Kevin Hart and it’s clear they tried to cover their bases with many different types of comedians.The documentary is 1 or 2 camera set-up interview style where the subject gives his or her opinion and inevitable stories about various unique things about being a comedian interlaced with stock footage of audience members in various comedy clubs reacting to a comic in stage.
There’s some great stories here and you learn how a comic can out together a routine and the hard work goes into that. Jamie Fox tells a story about going around the country with his act and going to prominently ‘White’ cities and doing his routine, seeing hat works and what doesn’t work. Taking that and then doing the same is prominently ‘Black’ cities, repeating the act and seeing what part of the act works for that audience. repeating this around different demographics, helps him put together an act that gets a reaction from everyone, no matter who you are.
There is stories of failure, stories of success and stories that make you laugh out loud. They break down how they have deal with hecklers and had to tell jokes in front of 15 people because when you first start out, that’s what you do..
For me the film went on a little long and would have been a little better if you could have interlaced some of the comedians actual acts in between the interviews. That may have not been possible but it would have helped to break up the flow a little better.
As with most adult comedy, this film is not suitable for kids/work. Although the language is used in the right context the F-words, S-words and even a couple of N-Words are heard so if you are sensitive to those kind of words, maybe not be the movie for you.
Saying all that I did enjoy the movie. It was a great insight to what goes into and lets you open up the mind of some of the greatest comedians and we get to see what makes them tick, laugh, cry and both at the same time.
If you are interested in the world of comedy or simply a fan of some of the acts featured in ‘Dying laughing’ I would recommend you check the movie out.
Needless to say this film is not suitable for children unless you want them to grow up hilarious but with a very dirty mouth.
Want to know more? Here’s the trailer and if you want to watch the documentary, check out http://dyinglaughingfilm.com/.
Thanks for reading my review, let me know if you enjoyed it and of course let me know if you didn’t….just remember to be nice.