EXCLUSIVE: “You are never exempt from a bad night — never. Doesn’t matter who you are.” But there are good nights. Nights when the near-debilitating intoxicant that is an audience’s laughter makes it all better. Here’s a trailer for Dying Laughing, a documentary about stand-up comedy and those who dare to do it. It’s about the craft, the creative process and the psychology of perhaps the world’s second-oldest profession. Interviewees include some funny folks you might know about: Jerry Lewis, Jerry Seinfeld, Amy Schumer, Chris Rock, Kevin Hart, Mike Epps, UK reps Eddie Izzard, Billy Connolly and Steve Coogan and the late Garry Shandling.
The description from the film’s producers pretty much sums up the life: “A stand-up comedian is usually the writer, the director and the star performer, and unlike any other art form there is no rehearsal, no practice, no safety net. The stand-up can only work in front of a live audience – with feedback being instantaneous and often brutal. For most people, baring their soul and then having an audience boo would be a life-changing trauma; for stand-ups it’s a nightly challenge.” (Think about that next time you grumble about your job.)
As Seinfeld says, “It’s beyond art; it’s a magic trick.” Says Schumer: “It’s definitely not, like, a great way to invest in your romantic life, this career path. But I feel like, if you have the capability to do this, you gotta do it.” Dying Laughing, from directors Lloyd Stanton and Paul Toogood, premieres Saturday at the Los Angeles Film Festival. ICM Partners is repping rights to the pic. Check out the trailer above.