All Joking Aside: Review

All Joking Aside

Charlene (Raylene Harewood) is an aspiring stand-up comic, after her father dies, she realises that she wants to make his dream a reality, so she goes to New York in order to stand up on the stage in front of a group of people who have had too much to drink and make them laugh, sounds easy doesn’t it?

Bob (Brian Markinson) is a seasoned comedian whose best days are behind him. Bob retired from comedy years ago due to personal reasons and has never looked back. However, he still hangs around the comedy clubs, heckling the newcomers to see who can take it.

One day Charlene is that newcomer that feels the whip of Bob’s cynical tongue and after a humiliating moment, Charlene decides that she wants to learn how to be one of the best, and Bob will be her teacher.

All Joking Aside is the feature debut from director Shannon Kohli and writer, James Pickering. Setting the stage in New York shows the audience just how tough it can be in a city where so many comics made it big such as Jerry Seinfeld and Whoopi Goldberg. All Joking Aside is a slice of that life, showing that comedy isn’t just an art, but a science.

Written by what seems to be from a person with experience, All Joking Aside knows all the beats, all the put downs and all the things that make the perfect routine. However, those expecting a laugh a minute comedy may be disappointed as the movie takes the form of a feel-good father/daughter movie. Bob says early on that he’s seen this movie before and to an extent he’s right.

Saying that though, Harewood plays the part of the budding comedienne well, she sells the stand-up comic routines like they were her own and as her comedy gets better, the audience will understand what it takes to make it. Similarly, Markinson feels like a man who has been there and done that and there is a good chemistry between the pair. Not a particularly original routine, but the performances outshine the material.

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Joel found out that he had a talent for absorbing film trivia at a young age. Ever since then he has probably watched more films than the average human being, not because he has no filter but because it’s one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and enriching experiences that a person can have. He also has a weak spot for bad sci-fi/horror movies because he is a huge geek and doesn’t care who knows it.


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