Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business Of America

The Knockabouts: Slip On A Banana Peel/The Groundb

Season 1, Episode 3 of 6

Slip on a Banana Peel: The Knockabouts - Physical comedy and slapstick have always found rich soil in America. From the mastery of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton to the computer-generated antics that helped transform Jim Carrey into a human cartoon, slapstick has evolved into a sophisticated art, stretching the boundaries of time and space. This episode explores the comic genius of teams like Laurel and Hardy, the Three Stooges, Martin and Lewis and the Marx Brothers, and the one and only Lucille Ball. When I'm Bad, I'm Better: The Groundbreakers - In the ongoing war against hypocrisy, conservatism, political correctness, prejudice, prudery, censorship, sentimentality, liberalism, extremism and complacency, it was always the comedian who led the first wave of attack. Rather than using risque jokes and four letter words simply to get a rise out of an audience, the most audacious comedians - from pioneers like Mae West and Moms Mabley to 60s and 70s bad boys like Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and George Carlin - invoked what the First Amendment to the American Constitution calls "freedom of speech" to bring the biggest and most dangerous laughs to the American public.

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