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'Misery Loves Comedy' explores the deep fears of funny people

American actor and comedian Kevin Pollak on why so many of his fellow comics tap their darkness for a good laugh.
American actor and comedian Kevin Pollak on why so many of his fellow comics, like Amy Schumer, tap their darkness for a good laugh. (Kevin Pollak/Misery Loves Comedy)

Why do so many comedians mine humour from the dark side of human experience? Do you have to be miserable to be funny?

American actor and comedian Kevin Pollak poses such questions to fellow comics in his debut documentary Misery Loves Comedy. In it, he interviews comedians like Larry David, Amy Schumer, Martin Short and Maria Bamford to explore the fears comics often work through to deliver the funny. 

Pollak joins Shad to discuss the incredible, addictive high of taking the audience "on a ride of your choosing" and the gut-wrenching low of failing to please the crowd. 

"It is the one guarantee," he says of bombing. "You carry with you this sense memory of it not going well every time you take the stage. That might be one of the demons you're trying to slay."

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