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Free screening of the documentary film "The Last Laugh"

Sponsored by the Jewish Studies Graduate Student Association. Introductory remarks by Professor Mark Roseman, IU History and Jewish Studies

Monday, April 1, 2019
7:15 pm
Shreve Auditorium, Global & International Studies Building 0001

Watch Trailer

Are we allowed to make jokes about the Holocaust? In this outrageously funny and thought-provoking film, director Ferne Pearlstein puts the question about comedy’s ultimate taboo to legends including Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Sarah Silverman, Gilbert Gottfried, Alan Zweibel, Harry Shearer, Jeff Ross, Judy Gold, Susie Essman, Larry Charles, Jake Ehrenreich, and many other critical thinkers, as well as Holocaust survivors themselves.

These interviews are woven together with a vast array of material ranging from “The Producers” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” to clips of comics such as Louis CK, Joan Rivers, and Chris Rock, to newly discovered footage of Jerry Lewis’ never-released film Holocaust comedy “The Day the Clown Cried,” to rare footage of cabarets inside the concentration camps themselves. In so doing, THE LAST LAUGH offers fresh insights into the Holocaust, our own psyches, and what else—9/11, AIDS, racism—is or isn’t off-limits in a society that prizes freedom of speech.

THE LAST LAUGH also disproves the idea that there is nothing left to say about the Holocaust and opens a fresh avenue for approaching this epochal tragedy. Star-studded, provocative and thoroughly entertaining, THE LAST LAUGH dares to ask uncomfortable questions about just how free speech can really be, with unexpected and hilarious results that will leave you both laughing and appreciating the importance of humor even in the face of events that make you want to cry.

Created by the award-winning team of Ferne Pearlstein (“Sumo East and West” and "Imelda"), Amy Hobby (Academy Award nominee for “What Happened, Miss Simone?”), Anne Hubbell (“Gayby”), Robert Edwards (“One More Time” aka “When I Live My Life Over Again”) and Jan Warner (“Poetry of Resilience”).