“You don’t have to be miserable. But there has to be something wrong with you.”
I’d say most people who recognise Kevin Pollock, recognise him as an actor. In the 90s, he had an amazing run. He was in big budget, big prestige movies like Scorsese’s Casino. He was in massive money makers like Grumpy Old Men. And he was in one of the quintessential indie-movie-becomes-blockbuster of the 90s, The Usual Suspects. But before his acting career took off, during his acting career since, and seemingly with no sign of slowing down, he’s always been a stand up comedian. Which is why he seems like as a good a person as any to make a documentary examining what makes comedians tick, with Misery Loves Comedy.
Through a series of talking heads, Pollock takes us through a kind of life cycle of his subjects. Who was the first person they recognised as funny? When was the first time they realised they were funny? When did they start using that skill to their advantage? And eventually, he gets to the title with his final question, do you need to be miserable to be a successful comedian. (more…)