Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy features the legendary writer-director examining comedy around the world. From Russia, China, India, Iran, Nigeria Turkey and more, Charles travels to the unlikeliest of places and speaks to the unlikeliest of comedians to unearth just how dangerous and how meaningful the world of comedy can be, according to the official logline.
The series is executive produced by Larry Charles and Joe Russo, Anthony Russo and Mike Larocca, under their ROAM Pictures nonfiction label.
“‘I am grateful to Netflix for giving me the opportunity to tell this honest and harrowing and heartbreaking story of comedy in the face of war and violence and death,” Charles said. “Comedy as a tool of rebuilding, as an instrument of healing and as a weapon of truth. From Somalia to Iraq to right here in the United States, comedy is essential to our survival.”
Charles is best known for his collaborations with Larry David in television and with Sacha Baron Cohen in features.
Charles was a writer-producer on NBC’s Seinfeld, co-created by David, and has served as director/producer on David’s followup series, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. Charles won an Emmy (with Elaine Pope) for writing an episode of Seinfeld and shared a best comedy series Emmy for the NBC sitcom with the rest of the producing team. He has earned best comedy series nominations for three series, Seinfeld, Mad About You and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
On the feature side, Charles directed Baron Cohen’s breakout hit Borat and its followups Brüno and The Dictator. Charles also helmed the Lionsgate documentary Religulous.
A description of each episode of Larry Charles’ Dangerous World Of Comedy follows below.
Larry Charles visits the war ravaged countries of Iraq, still in the midst of a war, and Liberia, slowly recovering from one to find out from war survivors who have suffered painful personal loss, how they’ve used comedy as a healing tool for themselves and their societies. Then he speaks to a war survivor who is also a war criminal but still likes to laugh.
Larry speaks to veterans, wounded and traumatized by war, from Iraq, where we visit an Isis prisoner in jail, to Liberia where drug addicted former child soldiers perform comedy and live in abandoned cemeteries, to Somalia where he speaks to comedians who risk death by merely performing and learns of one comedian who was assassinated for his comedy to Los Angeles where Larry meets veterans who are transforming the horrors of their war experiences into comedy.
Larry explores issues of Race in comedy with African-American comedians, Native-American comedians, a comedian who also happens be an illegal alien, two alt.right racist comedians and gets some much needed perspective from Trevor Noah.
Larry talks to female comedians in Saudi Arabia about their struggles and triumphs, then visits Nigeria to talk to both male and female comedians there about the rampant rape culture in Nigeria and how it permeates comedy.