Jim Eaton-Terry looks at Dying Laughing, a new documentary on the life of the stand-up comic
There’s always something odd about an extended conversation with a really great stand up. Inevitably there’s the tension of waiting for a gag that never comes, which often distracts from the conversation. Comics are clearly aware of this, and the weaker ones will defuse the tension with a crowd-pleasing riff or two, but the best conversations strip away the humour and show how the world looks from the stage.
An elderly man plays with the remains of a fence, then walks across a scrubby heath.
“There were no trees here,” he says, looking at a path weaving through the bushes. “Nothing.” He regards the nothing for a moment, then tells of the last time he saw his family at the Kraków-Plaszów forced labour camp, in 1942. The camp featured in Schindler’s List.