That’s Not Funny

A Dead Serious Documentary About Comedy

91 minutes 9.4/10 based on 19 votes

It was Thomas Jefferson who said that ridicule is the only weapon that can be used against unintelligible propositions.

There are quite a few people around the globe that refuse to watch movies that aren’t comedies. It only makes sense, entertainment is supposed to make you laugh, to make you feel good. Although this self-limitation might sound ridiculous to many, the truth is that an element of comedy in any show, movie, or program adds some form of relief or escape.

Comedy is everywhere and almost in everything. We use it to break tension, point out hypocrisy, and even to talk about some serious topics like politics. People turn to comedy to help them wind down after a long day or to help them start out a new day on a positive note. In fact, most of us choose our friends based on how hard they can make us laugh. All this is so because laughing feels good.

In recent years people have started to become increasingly more offended by the things comedians are saying on stage or the jokes that are showing up on TV shows.

Mike Celestino, the producer and director of this documentary shares candidly his opinion about people who get offended and why comedy is so important to him.

This film tries to expose what will be the future of comedy by first exploring its past all the way back into Ancient Greece where political satire had a direct influence on public opinion. It takes a look at modern comedy that has its origins in Vaudeville, where it shared the stage with magicians, musicians, monologists, and acrobats.

Most people can recall names like Charlie Chaplin, George Burns, Abbott and Costello and The Three Stooges. All these, and many others, got their start in Vaudeville. But as the shows became more popular, theatre owners started enforcing decency codes in order to seem more polite.

From the use of the slapstick to laughing at other people’s pain, this documentary analyzes what it is that makes people laugh and how censorship has enforced strict rules throughout time that have actually turned out to be an infringement on the rights of others.

Comedy is an art and like history, art is a means for benefitting from human experience. Mike Celestino is convinced that art is where bad ideas belong and it’s much better for a person to place his or her bad ideas into art, than to act them out in real life. That way every person gets to decide whether or not to agree, laugh at, or ignore those bad ideas in true freedom of speech. Watch this thought provoking film now.

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Discuss This Documentary

  • Unes Walter

    Totally agree with everything, well done, it’s a must see even if it’s just to inspire thoughts from a different angle and hopefully, at least for some, it widens the tolerance and acceptance for the freedom of expression in whatever art form presented.

  • PK

    We liked the explanation of satire. We also liked the explanation that it is possible to laugh at the likes of HIitler because comedy helps us deal with the really horrible things in life. Last but not least, we approve of the choice of George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and Lenny Bruce as the top three standup artists. .

  • MuchMoreToLearn

    I’m sure that all these outrage police demanding safe spaces would have been happy to watch the comedy of Bill Cosby, who was probably the most prolific rapist of his generation.

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