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Articles - Between the Laughter - CBC Newsworld June 17 2008 10:00

Between the Laughter - CBC Newsworld June 17 2008 10:00
Between the Laughter
CBC Newsworld June 17 2008 10 P.M.
National Film Board of Canada 2007
60 minutes

Between the Laughter is a National Film Board of Canada documentary on Stephen O'Keefe a deaf guy who wants to be a stand-up comic. I was interested in Between the Laughter because of the comedy aspect and was a bit disappointed that it focuses a lot more on the story of a deaf person in a hearing world. Still, this NFB production is up to the board's high standards.

Stephen O'Keefe is an interesting guy. He has a business degree, a law degree, a wife and child, works in the family business, and has decided to embark on a career as a stand-up comic. As one of his friends quite pointedly comments, it must be pretty difficult to learn how to do stand-up comedy when you can't learn by listening to what others are doing.

A lot of Between the Laughter focuses on O'Keefe's challenges as he was growing up, going to school, and faced every day life. It is interesting but if you have seen any other documentary on deaf people you are fairly familiar with most of the issues.

Where it gets really interesting is when the comic is working on his material with his comedy coach or doing a show somewhere. Like any other comic he has a very off night but the show ends with him having a good night at some club somewhere.

As a comedy fan I have to admit this guy has some pretty good material and a lot of potential. As his coach says, O'Keefe is advantaged by his audience really having to listen to him when he comes on stage, something other new comics have to work hard for.

One very strange thing about Between The Laughter is the F-word is not bleeped out but it is presented as f*** in the subtitles. Go figure.

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