Laughing Matters
Suzanne Westenhoefer, Karen Williams,
Kate Clinton, Marga Gomez
Directed by Andrea Meyerson
Wolfe Video 2004
Mature Content

Laughing Matters is a stand-up comedy DVD and documentary where some idiot trashed a great concept by going artsy-fartsy on it. The documentary’s premise was to have funny stand-up comics like Suzanne Westenhoefer, Karen Williams, Kate Clinton, and Marga Gomez do their stand up routines and interview them about their experience and what being a lesbian comedian involves. The problem is some director, probably fresh out of some junior college film school in the boonies or something (I’m being sarcastic by the way, the director is not fresh out of film school but it probably was the boonies), decided it would be cool to mix the interviews with the routines and then mix the various comics, their routines, and the interviews together into some messy hodge-podge. NO! Bad director! Bad director!! Someone take her splicing kit away, now!

That Laughing Matters opens with all the production values of some in-house industrial promotional video can easily be forgiven. I can accept budget limitations and so on. That someone cannot understand the simple idea that if you call a dvd Laughing Matters and feature funny comics like Kate Clinton, Suzanne Westenhoefer, Karen Williams, and Marga Gomes people will actually expect to see the comic’s routine uncut, unspliced, untrashed, unconfettied totally baffles me. I do not care if you have a message, an agenda, some kind of great, important vision, whatever you want to call it, to share with the whole wide world, your message or whatever should not kill, annihilate, destroy, ruin, disrespect the work of the comics who cooperated with you to make this comedy DVD..

Laughing Matters is supposed to be a stand-up comedy documentary. Fine. But make a bleeping documentary then. The interviews with and profiles of the stand-up comics are quite interesting. What Kate Clinton, Suzanne Westenhoefer, Marga Gomez and Karen Williams have to say is extremely interesting and important but the importance of what they have to say is absolutely lost by the constant interruptions created by the director’s splicing kit. It would have been a lot better, more interesting, and the “agenda” would have been accomplished if this dvd had been done simply: stand-up then interview with one comic or interview with and then stand-up routine by one comic.


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