The Tragic Side of Comedy (2009)
Why do those who make us laugh the hardest seem to have the most troubled souls? BIO Channel explores “The Tragic Side of Comedy,” with a 2-hour look at the fantastic rises and fatal descents of stars like John Belushi, Richard Pryor, Bernie Mac, Phil Hartman, Sam Kinison and others on Wednesday, June 24 at 9PM ET / 8 PM CT / 10 PM PT. Featuring the lives of John Belushi, Richard Pryor, Bernie Mac, Phil Hartman, Andy Kaufman, Sam Kinison, Freddie Prinze, Richard Jeni, Bill Hicks and Chris Farley, this definitive special turns a critical eye on the complex world of comedy world that brings us such laughter and joy, yet is rooted in such deep and potent darkness. We'll hear from friends, lovers and colleagues including Tim Allen, Andy Dick, Artie Lange and Jim Norton who go deep inside the troubled lives and hysterical work of some of the greatest comic minds of our time. From the unstoppable and intense John Belushi, who pushed himself to the limits in everything he did until he died at 33 from a lethal mix of heroin and cocaine, to the larger than life Chris Farley, who also died from an overdose at 33, after numerous failed attempts at rehab. And Sam Kinison, whose brazen onstage style never failed to grab audience's attention, tragically killed in a car accident at just 38. Also included are Freddie Prinze who, after a meteoric rise to fame, took his own life at age 22 and Richard Pryor, who always laughed through the pain and turned every tragedy in his life into brilliant and hilarious work. “The Tragic Side of Comedy” will explore the lives and deaths of those who, through all the laughter, failed to escape their own personal demons.