In 2019, Larry Charles decided his next great project should be traveling to some of the worst places in the world, and seeing what qualifies as comedy there. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. This is a concept where both extremes of the political spectrum appear to be in agreement, even though would beg to differ. I wanted to go into the heart of darkness with this, where humor is kind of oddly juxtaposed with horror and it comes in many forms. Was there any nervous concerns you had going into that? I kind of get off in some ways on the heightened anxiety of the situation and I kind of get calm in those situations. You know, to lighten the mood.
Laugher makes people better, emotionally and psychologically. In most cases, Charles was surprised by what he found during his quest. So I got to these places and although that is very much a constant in these places, governmental critiques, satire of politics, very important elements in a lot of these countries like Iraq or Nigeria. Ahmed shares a story about his father kicking him out of the house for listening to forbidden music, the Backstreet Boys. This way, it was very pure and very urgent, and I think you feel that urgency when you watch it. He discusses rape jokes with the most famous comedians in Nigeria.
We were in Mogadishu, again very tough to get into, but we were able to sort of pull that off. The documentary series is less expansive than that anthological format, but not in its ideas or its intention. Blahyi found Christ in 1996 when the first Liberian Civil War that had shredded the African nation since 1989 was ending. He was known for leading his troops into battle nude. Episode Three: 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.
I asked Charles—a Jew from New York himself, raised in Trump Village in Brooklyn, New York—if he had reservations about including figures like this in the episode. It is journalism, five years in the making, and it is agonizingly honest. Reproduction of material from any Salon pages without written permission is strictly prohibited. But the comedians in all of these places had to stay there and I wondered what it was like for these comedians to have to stay behind in all of these places. I wanted to strip away all of the artifice and apparatus of infrastructure from the filmmaking experience and have a more pure filmmaking experience, if possible.
Now crying out at the crimes of liberal close-mindedness is as normal as brushing off punchlines about child rape and degrading women as nothing more than jokes, as Carlson has done. So I started to Google the most dangerous places I could think and comedy, so I Googled Somalia and comedy, Iraq and Comedy, Syria and comedy, and every single time there were comedians everywhere. All travel had to be cleared by the State Dept. Larry Charles is an award winning writer, director, producer best known for his work on Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Borat, Bruno, The Dictator, and Religulous. Or who makes you laugh, or what makes you laugh today? Of course, that same episode also includes a veteran who founded a comedy network that features, among other things, gags about trauma-related abuse. Or rather, he did and then the defended the material.
To many folks, Blahyi is better known by his old nickname General Butt Naked, which he bore with pride as a commander during that war. But we get to leave, and we come home, and we get rewarded, and we get accolades. One thing is for sure: Charles wants more. There were other nerve-wracking moments, but that was our first night in Liberia. Charles also interviews former child soldiers in Liberia, who use comedy to help ease the trauma of seeing their parents murdered. He is now a preacher.
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 world of comedy can be. Charles, sounding hesitant about his decision, opens the interview asking Blahyi, whose reported war crimes include cannibalism and the butchery of children, what human flesh tastes like. I feel like these different voices will eventually synthesize into some form of unified strand. He also gives ample oxygen to male comics whose most popular routines include lengthy gags trivializing rape. But why let that get in the way of humor potential? Listen on or Poetry Extra: Time For Verse - On the off-chance you missed this 1988 show when it was repeated on Radio 4 Extra — at 5am on Monday! But he also has other ambitions: a Dangerous World of Comedy tour, perhaps, or longer stand-alone interviews with some of his most compelling subjects that Netflix could air in their entirety. The long episodes the pilot clocks in at just under an hour and episodes range from 51-65 minutes mixed with the dour subject matter combine to make Dangerous World a better weekly watch as opposed to a four-episode binge.
This week's comedy on demand. Charles: It was very almost tourettey the way he went off on that one harangue. Perhaps Netflix executives did not expect that Charles would, say, insert a clip from an old sketch variety show of zombies munching on body parts at a diner into his interview with a cannibalistic war criminal. Then he speaks to a war survivor who is also a war criminal but still likes to laugh. The idea of what other cultures think is funny is something that always fascinated me, be it dark comedy or light comedy.