Matthew Lickona 7 a.m., April 24
When Comedy Went to School
What did comic Alan King say after the Queen of England greeted him with, “Hello, Mr. King”? “Hello, Mrs. Queen!” That’s one of the hundreds of laughs to be had in this testament to what Mort Sahl calls the “Jews’ ability to always find the joke.” The sagging-head documentary gathers together the last of the first-generation of funnymen still standing, and, oh, the tales these legends have to tell about the equally storied comedians' proving ground, the Catskill Mountains. When first-time filmmakers Mevlut Akkaya and Ron Frank went to school, they sure as heck didn't major in film. In spite of the prosaic professors — their dramatic period reenactments make Happy Days look like documentary realism — this is one class you are going to want to audit. With Jerry Lewis, Sid Caesar, Jackie Mason, Dick Gregory, Robert Klein, unintentional laugh provider Larry King, and a flash reaction or two from Joe Franklin. 2013.
— Scott Marks