Part 1: War- The Survivors
Part 1: War – The Soldiers
Despite our differences across the world, the one thing that unites all of us and fills us with joy is the sound of laughter. Whether it be an Asian slapstick comedy or a Mexican sitcom, everyone the world over appreciates and understands the power comedy can have over your mental well-being. So how does one deal with this in the middle of a war zone? Or while fighting an ever-oppressive race war? Step forward Larry Charles who takes us on a fascinating, heart-warming journey through some of the most dangerous places on Earth in search of comedy gold.
Split across four episodes, Dangerous World Of Comedy is an eye-opening look at comedy around the world. The first two episodes tackle war zones, split into two parts with an equal amount of focus on the soldiers and victims. From here, the final two episodes act as stand-alone segments tackling both racial conflicts in the US and the stigmatized, oppressed women in the Middle East. Across these episodes Larry interviews a whole range of people, diving into the comedic history of various countries as well as exploring what the future of comedy may look like in that specific country.
Armed with a plethora of archival footage, including TV snippets and stand-up routines, Dangerous World of Comedy is surprisingly insightful, breaking down preconceptions around humour and showing that comedy really does have a place all round the world. As Larry tells us early on, there are many casualties of war – laughter is not one of them. It’s easy to see why too and this tool for escapism has been proven to improve your well-being and help positively affect your mood.
Of course, with all comedy this is very subjective and at times the cultural references do lose their impact. Hearing a Liberian female comic rapping or a woman playing on the gender diversity issue may not seem like a big deal if you’ve delved in stand up before but the context in which these jokes are being told play a huge part in the overall impact this has.
With each episode at a little under an hour, this documentary series is an easy one to dip in and out of although it is recommended to watch the first two in order. With a balanced viewpoint and an incredibly endearing set-up, Dangerous World of Comedy is well worth checking out and one of the more unusual documentaries on Netflix today.