The Last Laugh

Air Date:April 18, 20, 21 & 24

Network:Tribeca Film Festival

Is the Holocaust funny? Director Ferne Pearlstein (Sumo East and West, Imelda) doesn’t shy away from the taboo topic of humor, delving deep into pop-culture to find out where to draw the line, and whether that is a desirable—or even possible—goal.

The Last Laugh pairs clips from films, performances, and interviews with top comedians and prominent Jewish leaders (including Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Joan Rivers, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, Abraham Foxman, and Shalom Auslander) with an intimate portrait of Auschwitz survivor Renee Firestone, and rare archival footage of cabarets in concentration camps. From this wealth of material, Pearlstein weaves together a complete and thoughtful exploration into the question of what is and is not off-limits in comedy. The answers are as diverse as the subjects she interviews. There is no consensus on which jokes work and which don’t, and the film doesn’t take a stance; instead, it invites you to think, to laugh, and to remember, all the while keeping its levity.

Click here to see the film guide.
Film Information
Section: Spotlight
Year: 2016
Length: 89 minutes
Language: English
Country: USA
Premiere: World
Cast & Credits
Director: Ferne Pearlstein
Screenwriter: Robert Edwards, Ferne Pearlstein
Producer: Ferne Pearlstein, Robert Edwards, Amy Hobby, Anne Hubbell, Jan Warner
Editor: Ferne Pearlstein
Associate Producer: Yelena Rachitsky, Adrienne Collatos
Director of Photography: Ferne Pearlstein
Cinematographer: Ferne Pearlstein, Anne Etheridge
Co-Producer: Anne Etheridge, Dori Stegman
Cast: Renee Firestone, Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Carl Reiner, Gilbert Gottfried, Judy Gold, Susie Essman, Alan Zweibel, Abraham Foxman, David Cross, Shalom Auslander, Deb Filler, Hanala Sagal, Roz Weinman, Jake Ehrenreich, Elly Gross