The History of Comedy debuts on CNN Thursday, Feb. 9, following its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The eight-part original series is executive produced by Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner (Hazy Mills) and Mark Herzog and Christopher G. Cowen (Herzog & Company).
Using archival footage complemented by interviews with comedy legends and scholars, the series “explores what makes people laugh and how comedy has affected the social and political landscape throughout history,” according to CNN.
The History of Comedy features interviews with Judd Apatow, Sarah Silverman, Sen. Al Franken, Margaret Cho, Samantha Bee, Jimmy Kimmel, Kathy Griffin, George Lopez, Keegan-Michael Key, Conan O’Brien, Patton Oswalt and Dick Cavett, among others.
The premiere episode, “Going Blue,” looks at groundbreaking comedians like George Carlin, Dick Gregory and Lenny Bruce. Additional episodes look at women in comedy, political humor, parody and satire, comedy ripped from the headlines, the dark side of comedy, comedy found in race and culture, and in everyday life.
Tied to the new series, CNN Original Series and the National Comedy Center present the comedy showcase “Stand-Up Live!” at clubs in New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles.