Make ‘Em Laugh – The Funny Business of America reveals the funny business of America is not deals made on Wall Street but comedy. This 6 part series broadcast January 14th, 21st, and 28th at 8 and 9 P.M. on PBS is something no fan of comedy, stand-up comics, sitcoms, etc. should miss. Make ‘Em Laugh is to comedy what Ken Burns’ Baseball is to Ken Burns.
The series features a who’s alive and who’s not of comics and comedy business people. Episode one of this series is Would Ya Hit a Guy with Glasses: Nerds, Jerks, & Oddballs. The show opens with Judd Appatow before getting serious and presenting the greatest special comedians: Harold Lloyd, Bob Hope, the great Jonathan Winters with some really rare footage, and a very brief look at Jean Carroll, Phyllis Diller, and Joan Rivers.
Woody Allen’s important contribution to stand-up comedy is well noted with, again, rare footage stand-up comedy fans will gefiltafish. The first Make ‘Em Laugh episode also covers Cheech and Chong, Andy Kaufman, Steve Martin, Robin Williams, and a too short clip of Lord Buckley.
Just about anybody who is somebody in comedy pops in for a bit of a comment on comedy. The strength of this PBS comedy series is nobody gets in the way of the funny.
Other Make ‘Em Laugh episodes will be Honey, I’m Home!: Breadwinners and Homemakers (January 14th, 9 P.M) about the family situation comedy. Slip on a Banana Peel: The Knockabouts airs January 21st, 8 P.M. and is about slapstick and comedy teams.
Episode 4, January 21st, 9 P.M. is When I’m Bad, I’m Better: The Groundbreakers on edgy stand-up comedy and comics like Moms Mabley, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Carlin. Show number 5 is Never Give a Sucker an Even Break: The Wiseguys. It airs January 28th at 8 P.M.. This show will focus on the con men, wise guys, comedy characters.
The last show in the Make ‘Em Laugh series airs January 28th at 9 P.M. and is titled Sock It To Me” Satire and Parody. It covers Saturday Night Live (hopefully forgetting the many godawful years), Carson, Jon Stewart, Colbert, and Will Rogers.
This 6 part show is an absolute must for anyone who likes a good laugh and understands the importance of comedy.
If you are in the L.A. area the following is probably a good way to spend an evening:Writers Bloc presents a tribute to the upcoming PBS series, "Make 'Em Laugh", on the history and state of American Comedy. With Michael Kantor and Larry Maslon, director/writer, respectively of the three-part series, and authors of the companion book, and featuring comedians Larry Wilmore and Richard Belzer.For reservations, visit www.writersblocpresents.com