This article is also available in: Italiano
One of the funniest and, at the same time, strongest shows on Netflix. The “Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy” shows us how comedy can live even in extreme environments, constantly giving a smile to the people. Among the various protagonist countries: Iraq, Liberia, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia
Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy
The show follows Larry Charles, director of Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat and Brüno, on an incredible journey around the world. His goal will be to show how comedy is experienced in places that have recently come to terms with terrible tragedies. To do so, he will interview showmen and ordinary people, discovering how the smile is an incredible weapon to overcome any tragedy. In the first episode you will stop in Iraq and Liberia, the following ones are dedicated to: USA, veterans, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. Each episode is focused on a particular theme, the one concerning the last two countries will be the relationship with sexuality, not to be missed.
A world beyond
What we really appreciated about this series is the goal it sets itself: to show a different face of these countries from that seen on the news. The mission, however difficult to maintain when dealing with comedy in extreme situations, resists and is constant over time, giving a lot of quality to the show. The risks were essentially two: transforming him into “The Larry Charles Show” and / or ridiculing too much dramatic situations; we are proud to say that it passes these two tests with flying colors.
On the contrary, there is an incredible sensitivity on the part of the crew and cast, managing to fully convey both their feelings as “foreigners” and those of the locals, without cannibalizing one. The protagonist, in fact, is the people, Larry is only a mere narrator, trying to provide us with a sort of anthology about the comedy of these areas. Wonderful message and that we could not help but appreciate immediately, very decidedly positive and innovative.
Furthermore, the part that the show dedicates to showing the situation experienced by local populations is really interesting, trying to fully put ourselves in a position to understand this literally extreme comedy. Two interviews, in particular, we found enlightening: the one with the Iraqi presenter Ahmad Al Basheer and the one with the former General Butt Naked, one of the most beastly living beings on earth. Al Basheer was thrown out of the house by his family in 2003, shortly after the start of the US invasion of Iraq; forced to fend for himself from the age of 19, he avoided severe torture thanks to his comic talent. He was in fact captured by a group of terrorists but, thanks to his ability to make people laugh, he became sympathetic to the jailers who avoided the heaviest torture on him. Once he got out of this situation he devoted himself full time to making people laugh at him, trying to “save” them from a world so cold and hard.
General Butt Naked was without a shadow of a doubt one of the most brutal men humanity has ever seen, killing over 20,000 people during the Liberian Civil War. Not only that, the general was known for his many human sacrifices (basically young children he killed himself) and for having been a cannibal for a long time. We could not fail to mention him both for the most sensitive viewers and for how much his story has struck and disturbed us. In fact, Larry chooses to interview him struck by the stories of the Liberians and curious to discover a comic side in him. When he asks him if they ever made jokes between soldiers, his answer will tell the character: “Yes, sure! When we captured the enemies and they begged for mercy, then before killing them we insulted them and made jokes”. I’m not satisfied, when he describes his “bravado” he also says that he used child soldiers to attract them. So, just so as not to miss anything. In 1996 he converted to Christianity and is today an evangelical priest.
To date we have only seen the first episode of the series but we are curious to continue it, we absolutely recommend it, but to see it a fairly strong stomach is required.
Follow me on facebook, Spotify, YouTube and Instagram, or on the Telegram channel; find all the links in one place: here. Any like, sharing or support is welcome and helps me to devote myself more and more to my passion: telling the Middle East