Let’s Talk About ‘The Joker,’ ‘The Twilight Zone,’ and Why Jokes Are Like Tigers

Laughter kills pain, but not getting laughs hurts

Last Updated: April 6, 2019 @ 9:33 AM

We all know laughter eases pain, but we don’t talk so much about the acute pain of failing to get laughs. Jordan Peele’s “The Twilight Zone” and Todd Phillips’ “The Joker” may finally change that, as we talk about on our latest “Low Key” podcast. You can listen on Apple¬†or right here:

The first episode of Peele’s revived “The Twilight Zone,” starring Kumail Nanjiani as a struggling standup comic, captures the agony of telling jokes to a silent crowd. And the new¬†teaser for “The Joker” shows Joaquin Phoenix as a clown by day and comedian by night who isn’t doing well in either job.

On every episode of “Low Key,” we talk about pop culture moments we think deserve more attention. This week, we look at the links between comedy and tragedy, light and dark, and killing and dying. We also talk about how telling dark jokes is like getting very close to a tiger at the zoo — thrilling up to a point, but then very messy.

We also talk about whether “The Twilight Zone” lost something when CBS All Access doubled the half-hour running time of the original show, and whether the Joker will lose some of his menacing mystery when we learn his his life story.

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