“Make ‘Em Laugh” Premiers Tonight

Did you hear the one about PBS airing a comedy series? It’s no joke, but it is funny. Tonight, KLRU will present the first episode in the series MAKE ’EM LAUGH: The Funny Business of America, (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/makeemlaugh/) a six-hour comedy epic showcasing the most hilarious men, women, and moments in American entertainment and why they made us laugh. Hosted by Billy Crystal, the documentary series explores the currents of American comedy throughout a century of social and political change, illuminating how comedy has tackled and poked fun at our political system, race relations, gender issues, and the prevailing American standards and taboos in everyday life.

The series premieres tonight at 7 p.m. on KLRU.

Melding performance, biography and history, MAKE ’EM LAUGH features interviews with over 90 comedians, writers, producers, and historians including Judd Apatow, Roseanne Barr, Anne Beatts, the Smothers Brothers, Carol Burnett, Sid Caesar, George Carlin, Larry David, Will Ferrell, Leonard Maltin, Cheech Marin, Steve Martin, Chris Rock, Mort Sahl, Dick Van Dyke, and many, many more.

Each one-hour episode focuses on a distinct genre of American comedy – from the most ingenious physical schtick, to those fast-talking wiseguys, to the most incisive satire and parody – re-acquainting viewers with some of their favorite classics. Billy Crystal will introduce each episode and Amy Sedaris (Strangers With Candy) will narrate throughout.