Synopsis by Ryan Shriver
On the cusp of stardom, standup comic Maija DiGiorgio suffered an emotional breakdown while performing before a room packed with a number of the comedy industry's head honchos -- whom were on the receiving end of DiGiorgio's obscenity-laced outburst -- at the Aspen Comedy Festival. Subsequently faced with a nearly industry-wide blacklisting as a result, the comic (and film school graduate) came upon the idea of creating a film journal to document her struggles within the industry, as well as within her own psyche. The result is Bitter Jester, DiGiorgio's 2003 film that started as a document of self-examination and evolved into an examination of success and achievement within the standup circuit. Greatly assisted by the contacts and prestige of executive producer Richard Belzer -- a friend and former employer of DiGiorgio's boyfriend and co-conspirator Kenny Simmons -- DiGiorgio proceeds to gain access to a surprising berth of comedy legends, including Chevy Chase, Richard Pryor, Phyllis Diller, Whoopi Goldberg, and George Carlin, all of whom dispense insightful and sometimes surprising opinions about their individual achievements.
behind-the-scenes, comedian, comedy, cross-country, humor, jealousy, reputation, self-doubt, show-business, stand-up-comedy, struggle