The Culture Movies

'The Last Laugh' doesn't provide penetrating answers

The documentary asks how far out comedy can go and still be funny, with interviews with personalities including Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, and Rob Reiner. The film is directed by Ferne Pearlstein.

Mel Brooks stars in 'The Last Laugh.'
Courtesy of The Film Collaborative
( Unrated )
  • Peter Rainer
    Film critic

How far out can comedy go and still be funny? That’s the question posed by Ferne Pearlstein’s documentary “The Last Laugh,” which focuses mostly on jokes about Hitler and the Holocaust and features interviews with the likes of Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, and Rob Reiner.

At a time when many of us look to comedy to keep us sane, the question is especially pertinent, although the answers here aren’t especially penetrating. Sometimes funny is not only funny. Reiner probably comes closest to reasonableness when he says, “Survival can be funny, but the Holocaust itself is not funny.” Grade: B- (This movie is not rated.)

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