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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.

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