This past Wednesday, we were invited to cover the red carpet premiere of Kevin Pollak’s new documentary film Misery Loves Comedy. The film was part of this year’s TriBeCa Film Festival, currently running throughout New York City. Comedy has been a big focal point of the festival including Pollak’s film among other comedy docs Live From New York!, Monty Python’s Meaning of Live, and Roseanne for President! In Misery Loves Comedy, Pollak weaves conversation footage from some of the biggest names in comedy from the stand-up, acting, producing, and writing worlds to tell his story. His goal: find the correlation, if any, between misery and comedy. The film begs the question, “Do you have to be miserable to be funny?” We also learn what it’s like inside the mind of said talents including Jimmy Fallon, Tom Hanks, Amy Schumer, Kumail Nanjiani, Larry David, Kathleen Madigan and so many others. 60 to be exact.
We find out what it’s like to have a prosthetic leg thrown at you on stage. And what it’s truly like to bomb. One thing is clear watching this movie and that is that humor can be found in the worst of situations. And the funniest a comedian can be is when they are telling the truth and being honest. Misery Loves Comedy is available right now on iTunes, and hit theaters in NYC today and then heads across the rest of the country throughout May. Check out the MLC webpage for dates. And finally, our interviews with Lewis Black, Jim Norton, Caroline Hirsch (owner of Caroline’s on Broadway), and the director himself, Kevin Pollak.
Good to see you, how have you been?
I’ve been good. A little sketchy at the moment but good.
You are leaning right now, did you forget a shoe or something?
No, haha, it’s just this weather transition. And also I leave for Traverse City, MI where at night it’s 25 degrees. I can’t do it anymore.
You just need to stay in one isolated zone. What’s your ideal prime temperature? What do you want to sit at for the rest of your days? 77 degrees?
Ahh, 68 would work.
Nothing over 70, got it.
Being a part of the documentary Misery Loves Comedy, you’re asked to reflect on your career. Have you come to grips with what you’ve chosen to do and what your legacy is?
I’ve kind of accepted it, I enjoy it. It allows me to get away with murder.
That’s true… and well, the bodies are well hid right Lewis?
Haha, let’s hope so.
Was there a time where you almost gave up, maybe you bombed so bad you said to yourself, that’s it. I’m out.
No. I think that’s how you end up with people who become comics because we enjoy the death just as much. You have to. If you’re able to watch your own death, on a continual basis, you should be able to become a comedian.