make-em-laugh-dvdThe excellent PBS documentary Make ‘Em Laugh – The Funny Business of America has been released on DVD and it’s among the best things I’ve watched in a good long while.

Each of the series’ six episodes covers a different type of comedy styling. With episodes that cover “The Wiseguys” and “The Groundbreakers” and other categories of comedy each one features an encyclopedic overview of the history of comedy in America. From Laurel and Hardy to the Marx Brothers to Steve Martin to Buster Keaton to Saturday Night Live and everything in-between, the series not only contains interviews with comedians and historians but a huge amount of archival footage as well.

Make ‘Em Laugh is a must-see if you have any sense of historical knowledge of American comedy or are looking to educate yourself in this field. If you know all these acts you’ll have a blast reliving some classic skits and film footage. If you don’t this is a fantastic primer on some of the all-time greatest comedic moments in the world of film, television, Vaudeville, radio and everything else.

This is the kind of series I can see watching again and again simply to enjoy the footage that is strewn throughout it. Own it, rent it, borrow it – do whatever you have to do to check it out again and again.