Make ’Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America
On January 13, 2009, Rhino Entertainment will release the 3 disc, six-hour documentary series Make ’Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America, hosted by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris. Make ’Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America chronicles more than a century of the funniest moments in American entertainment.
Make ’Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America was recorded in high definition, the set also includes exclusive bonus footage.
Make ’Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America compiles the most popular routines, the most ingenious physical shtick, the snappiest wisecracks, and the most incisive, biting satirical jokes to have come out of American culture. The list of influential comedic talent featured and/or interviewed for the series includes: Charlie Chaplin, Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Sid Caesar, Judd Apatow, Woody Allen, Larry Wilmore, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Richard Lewis, Jon Stewart, and many others.
Produced by Thirteen/WNET and Ghost Light Films, in association with Rhino Entertainment and BBC, Make ’Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America is produced and directed by Michael Kantor and cowritten by Kantor and Laurence Maslon. It melds performances, biographical portraits, and American history to illustrate how comedy has mirrored the political and social changes in American society. Each hour-long episode focuses on a different genre of comedy, from slapstick and satire to stand-up and sitcoms.
Episode titles include: “Would Ya Hit A Guy With Glasses?: Nerds, Jerks & Oddballs”; “Slip On A Banana Peel: The Knockabouts”; “Sock it to Me?: Satire and Parody”; “When I’m Bad, I’m Better: The Groundbreakers”; “Never Give A Sucker An Even Break: The Wiseguys” and “Honey, I’m Home!: Breadwinners and Homemakers.” The DVD extras feature interviews with comedians discussing comedy, including Roseanne Barr on sitcoms versus stand-up; James L. Brooks on “The Simpsons”; Carol Burnett on Lucille Ball; Joan Rivers on Bill Cosby; Cheech Marin on Lenny Bruce; as well as appearances by George Carlin, Richard Lewis, and more.
Directly following the DVD release of this amazing collection the series will premiere on PBS on January 14, 2009; check local listings for exact broadcast times.