PICK OF THE WEEK
Inside Jokes Amazon Prime Video
Think about every stand-up comedian you’ve ever seen perform on TV. The very fact they’re on TV at all means they have achieved a level of success most stand-up comedians can only dream of. It makes them the cream of the crop, the tip of the iceberg, the 1 per cent.
The comedians on the Amazon Prime Video documentary series Inside Jokes are part of the other 99 per cent. They would give anything just to do a minute on a late-night talk show, never mind get their own special. For the time being, their shared goal is to perform in the New Faces showcase at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal.
Just For Laughs is Kind Of A Big Deal in stand-up comedy, and New Faces is where all sorts of now-famous stand-ups got their big breaks, as the likes of Amy Schumer and Hannibal Buress attest in the first episode. Getting there and making a good impression is The Dream.
This series follows a handful of hopefuls from Los Angeles and another handful from New York giving it everything to get to Montreal. At the start, it looks a pretty bleak scene — two dudes sharing a messy LA apartment, another guy who seems to spend 50 weeks a year on the road, sadly Skyping his young family from a motel room every night. The taxi driver, the furniture salesman, everybody waiting around for their big break.
We join them all at what is effectively the final audition stage, where some of them bomb harder than you’ve ever seen a comedian bomb on TV before. It’s painful to watch at times but the more you share in their pain the more you become invested in their journeys. You’d be surprised just how gut-wrenching, nail-biting stand-up comedy can be.