Misery Loves Comedy Trailer: An Overdose of Funny People

In the little-remembered movie Punchline, Tom Hanks shows us the depressing life of struggling stand-up comedians. Now he’s appearing in a documentary that also associates the connection between the gig and misery, appropriately titled Misery Loves Comedy. In it, as seen in the trailer above, he compares getting laughs on stage to doing crack cocaine – or rock cocaine, he’s unsure.

What that implies is that there’s a hard crash following that amazing high (not that I know what happens after you do coke). The idea of the sad clown is an idea for a reason, and maybe this film doesn’t tell us much of what we don’t already know, but it promises to do so hilariously and from a whole ton of perspectives.

Misery Loves Comedy seems to pack the most comedic geniuses in one movie since The Aristocrats, which is fitting since they both played Sundance exactly a decade apart. Another one of their own, Kevin Pollak, directed this doc, and as you can also see in the trailer above, it received some great reviews at the festival back in January. FSR publisher Neil Miller is among those who had positive things to say, such as these words:

For a talking heads documentary, it’s quite populated. But the stories and the people are fascinating, especially for anyone who loves the craft of comedy. To see the likes of Lewis Black and Jimmy Fallon musing similarly about the failures of their careers – or as Black says, “you have to be willing to watch yourself die” – is illuminating. There’s no denying that any life lived “on the road,” be it music, comedy or traveling circus, is difficult. But in comedy, there’s something else. A deeper sense of misery that takes over when one walks off stage. That’s where misery and comedy meet for many of Pollak’s subjects. To be in control of an audience is the height of their happiness, to lose that is to plunge instantly back into the darkness.

In the end, Pollak’s film seems less about answering the question and more about the journey. It’s great to spend time with these comedians as they tell stories about the good times and the bad.

Tribeca Film picked up Misery Loves Comedy out of Sundance and will release the doc next month, first on iTunes on April 14th then in theaters on April 24th. Check out an alphabetical list of the more than 75 people who appear in the movie:

  • Jason Alexander
  • Judd Apatow
  • Scott Aukerman
  • Maria Bamford
  • Mike Birbiglia
  • Lewis Black
  • Michael Ian Black
  • Eddie Brill
  • James L. Brooks
  • Bobby Cannavale
  • Kelly Carlin
  • Dana Carvey
  • Steve Coogan
  • Larry David
  • Rob Delaney
  • Jimmy Fallon
  • Peter Farrelly
  • Jon Favreau
  • Wayne Federman
  • Paul Feig
  • Jim Gaffigan
  • Janeane Garofalo
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Dana Gould
  • Nick Griffin
  • Christopher Guest
  • Tom Hanks
  • Chris Hardwick
  • Caroline Hirsch
  • Jeremy Hotz
  • Eddie Izzard
  • Jim Jefferies
  • Penn Jillette
  • Jake Johannsen
  • Richard Kind
  • Andy Kindler
  • David Koechner
  • Lisa Kudrow
  • Tom Lennon
  • Samm Levine
  • Richard Lewis
  • Kathleen Madigan
  • Marc Maron
  • Ralphie May
  • Joel McHale
  • Stephen Merchant
  • Larry Miller
  • Eugene Mirman
  • Kumail Nanjiani
  • Kevin Nealon
  • Laraine Newman
  • Jim Norton
  • Opie & Anthony (aka Gregg “Opie” Hughes and Anthony Cumia)
  • Tom Papa
  • Jimmy Pardo
  • Matthew Perry
  • Freddie Prinze Jr.
  • Greg Proops
  • Jason Reitman
  • Andy Richter
  • Bob Saget
  • Amy Schumer
  • Peter Serafinowicz
  • Harry Shearer
  • Martin Short
  • Michael Showalter
  • Bobby Slayton
  • Kevin Smith
  • Barry Sonnenfeld
  • Nick Swardson
  • David Thomas
  • Paul F. Thompkins
  • David Wain
  • Matt Walsh
  • Alan Zweibel