Seriously Funny: An Argument for Comedy (1996)

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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Howard Jacobson, author of the wide-ranging study An Argument for Comedy, hosted this five-part TV documentary based on that selfsame book. Although ostensibly a study of what made people laugh in the last decade of the 20th century, the series also touched upon a number of serious topics pertaining to the world of entertainment. Among those interviewed were American comedian Roseanne, theater critic John Lahr (son of the great stage clown Bert Lahr), and Australian funster Barry Humphries, dropping his familiar Dame Edna characterization in favor of another comic alter ego, Sir Les Patterson. Seriously Funny: An Argument for Comedy was presented by the BBC in 1996.