SOURCE: Rhino Entertainment

November 24, 2008 17:30 ET

"Make 'Em Laugh" Explores America's Funny Business

Rhino Entertainment Offers the Six-Hour PBS Documentary About the History of Comedy in America as a Three-DVD Collection That Includes Exclusive Bonus Footage; Available From Rhino January 13; Series Premieres January 14 on PBS

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - November 24, 2008) - Hosted by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris, "Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America" is a documentary series chronicling more than a century of the funniest moments in American entertainment. On January 13, Rhino Entertainment ( will release the six-hour series as a three-DVD collection available for a suggested list price of $34.95. Recorded in high definition, the set also includes exclusive bonus footage. The following day, January 14, and for the following two Wednesdays, the series will premiere on PBS; check local listings for exact broadcast times.

Produced by Thirteen/WNET and Ghost Light Films, in association with Rhino Entertainment and BBC, "Make 'Em Laugh" is produced and directed by Michael Kantor and cowritten by Kantor and Laurence Maslon. It melds performances, biographical portraits, and American history to illustrate how comedy has mirrored the political and social changes in American society. Each hour-long episode focuses on a different genre of comedy, from slapstick and satire to stand-up and sitcoms.

"Make 'Em Laugh" compiles the most popular routines, the most ingenious physical shtick, the snappiest wisecracks, and the most incisive, biting satirical jokes to have come out of American culture. The list of influential comedic talent featured and/or interviewed for the series includes: Charlie Chaplin, Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Sid Caesar, Judd Apatow, Woody Allen, Larry Wilmore, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Richard Lewis, Jon Stewart, and many others.

Episode titles include: "Would Ya Hit A Guy With Glasses?: Nerds, Jerks & Oddballs"; "Slip On A Banana Peel: The Knockabouts"; "Sock it to Me?: Satire and Parody"; "When I'm Bad, I'm Better: The Groundbreakers"; "Never Give A Sucker An Even Break: The Wiseguys" and "Honey, I'm Home!: Breadwinners and Homemakers." The DVD extras feature interviews with comedians discussing comedy, including Roseanne Barr on sitcoms versus stand-up; James L. Brooks on "The Simpsons"; Carol Burnett on Lucille Ball; Joan Rivers on Bill Cosby; Cheech Marin on Lenny Bruce; as well as appearances by George Carlin, Richard Lewis, and more.

For further information regarding "Make 'Em Laugh" DVD, please contact Christoph Buerger in the Rhino Records Media Relations Department at (818) 238-6248 or

DVD 1:
Episode One: Would Ya Hit A Guy With Glasses?  Nerds, Jerks & Oddballs
*Includes Bonus Content
Episode Two: Honey I'm Home! Breadwinners and Homemakers
*Includes Bonus Content

DVD 2:
Episode Three: Slip On A Banana Peel -- The Knockabouts
*Includes Bonus Content
Episode Four: When I'm Bad, I'm Better -- The Groundbreakers
*Includes Bonus Content

DVD 3:
Episode Five: Never Give A Sucker An Even Break -- The Wiseguys
*Includes Bonus Content
Episode Six: Sock It To Me? -- Satire and Parody
*Includes Bonus Content

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