Review: Dying Laughing

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Review: Dying Laughing

Tackling the isolated world of the stand-up comic, Dying Laughing is an intimate documentary that breaks the barrier between comic and audience. Dying Laughing lets us into their very private world of writing,  bombing, success and depression.

Filmed over two years, and thousands of miles, Dying Laughing is an impressive achievement. It manages to bring together a host of huge stars including Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx and Jerry Seinfeld into one small and very amusing package. Directors Paull Toogood & Lloyd Stanton clearly respect comedy as an art-form and are obsessed with the creative process, which leads to an incredibly interesting look at the parts of a process we rarely see. Unfortunately, their obsession with these very factors forces them to create what often comes across as a disappointingly pompous and pretentious approach. I remain unsure the requirement that interviews be conducted void of colour, as if that somehow makes their statements more profound. Toogood’s back catalogue including the ‘Songbook’ series which explores the creative process in music helps to explain this, but I couldn’t help but feel that this approach restricts Dying Laughing’s audience to those interested in the creative process rather than comedy.

Dying Laughing

Dying Laughing will be released in UK cinemas from the 16th June 2017

Dying Laughing is funny, and the character and personality of its stars genuine and entertaining. I was interested myself to see a clear divide in approach and reaction between British and North American stars to their own lifestyle, with Oceanic stars having their own unique approach as well. The pace of Dying Laughing was good, keeping attention throughout, though I felt a lull about 60 minutes in suggesting the length could had been reduced a touch. Fortunately for the directors I don’t feel audiences will be bored by the documentary as I’m sure they have by many others.



Dying Laughing brings the comedy world alive, and lets the audiences see past the stage and into the person. Although pretentious at times, it you’re into comedy and want to know more about the industry and the people in it, you won’t find a better insight than Dying Laughing.


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Films, games, Godzilla and Scott Pilgrim; these are the things that Alex loves. As he tries to make use of the fact he’s always staring at a screen or in a book, you’ll hopefully be treated to some good reviews along the way (though he doesn’t promise anything).

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