Why A Documentary About Standup Comedy Should Be The Next Film You See

With all the films competing for attention now, choosing which one to see isn't the easiest task. Rather than look at blockbusters, though, take a look at documentaries. If you find one about standup comedy, that may be the film you should see first. 

Learn About What Made Famous Comedians Tick

Some documentaries are biographies, and you may want to learn more about a famous comedian who you've actually heard little about. You can understand why they did the comedy they did and how much of their stage persona was an act. This is a great way to pass the time for people interested in becoming standup comedians themselves.

Understand the History Behind Comedy Movements

Comedy is often social commentary. Even when it's meant to simply be silly and funny, there is usually a social expectation that it's poking fun at. Comedy can also be pointed. Social commentary is meant to bring about social change. Documentaries may focus on the role comedy played in certain social movements, either through promoting the changes made by those movements or providing the fodder for initiating widespread acceptance of the social movement. Learning about this can put history and comedy into perspective. For example, comedy that seems mellow today may have been shocking a few decades ago, and it became mellow only because a group of comedians made it more acceptable. That gives you an appreciation for what the comedians went through and how much society has changed since then.

Enjoy Standup Comedy Not Seen for Years

You can't have a documentary about standup comedy without including a lot of the comedy. You get history from these films, and history isn't always pretty. But most of the film will be funny, and that gives you a chance to see comedy routines that haven't been seen for years as the filmmakers dig up old footage. You also get a great summary of some of the best moments from the featured comedians, which gives you a starting point for finding more videos of these people's full routines. These documentaries can be especially helpful if you have kids; with the amount of content available now, younger people don't always have the same exposure to older films and concerts that they did as a child and teenager. These documentaries are wonderful introductions.

Look at theater schedules to find out which documentaries are showing and when. You'll find that arthouse-type theaters tend to show these more than conventional theaters, but that's not always the case; check schedules for both.

To learn more about stand up comedy documentaries, reach out to your local theater.