All Joking Aside (2020)

Shannon Kohli has worked in TV, directing episodes of Riverdale and The Magicians. With a script from James Pickering (his first full-length film. although he did write a short version of this called Comedianne in 2014), she tackles the world of what it takes to be a stand-up.

Charlene Murray (Raylene Harewood, who has been in some small roles but really seizes her moment here) was inspired by her late father’s dream and wants to try comedy at an open mic night. However, she’s heckled by Bob Carpenter (Bruce Markinson, who has also been in several movies in small roles but really is great in this), a burned-out comedian who just may become her mentor.

I really enjoyed that Bob makes Charlene realize that she has to determine what is different — or even wrong — about who she is before she can create the kind of comedy that will win over the crowd. It’s not enough to be funny. She has to be different. She has to be herself.

All Joking Aside is available on demand. You can learn more at the official site.

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