Sometimes when you read about something too good to be true, it has no choice but to be a colossal letdown once it happens. But in the case of the HBO film Talking Funny what we thought we were going to get was just the surface. The show was not a stand-up special, hell, it wasn’t even an interview special. It was a look into how four different and equally fantastic comedian’s minds work and their approach to comedy. Chris Rock, Ricky Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld, and Louis C.K. gathered as old friends and well dammit if they just had some tremendously interesting things to day.
Ricky Gervais was loosely set up as the ringleader of this operation – though it became apparent that no one wasn’t really needed as we got into the rhythm of the show. Questions came from all four comedians as, and like any good comedy the stream of consciousness talk flowed.
The hour-long show was both conversational and a battle of wits between the vets as they spoke about competition, being on top of their game, what makes them laugh, and how they gauge comedy.
While it would be most surprising to hear someone like Gervais state that he isn’t happy telling jokes he feels anyone could come up with. It’s just as surprising that Louis C.K. and Chris rock are big fans of the fart joke and how the four of them can take a simple musical joke of an Otis Redding song by a hacky comedian and turn it into a pretty hilarious underlying joke of the night. One might also be surprised to learn that Rock gave C.K. a stamp on the race card when he dubbed him as one of the blackest men he’s ever met.
Bottom line, Talking Funny is a great concept for the comedy fan, whether they be into the all encompassing fart joke or tend to skew to something more cerebral. An hour with comedy masters is a great way to spend your time.