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Documenting the creative brilliance and passion of three stand-up comedians working the comedy club circuit in the “flyover zones” of middle America, Road Comics: Big Work on Small Stages explores expectations of where and how comedy thrives today in the United States. Anthropologist and first-time filmmaker Susan Seizer follows comedians Stewart Huff, Tim Northern, and Kristin Key as they earn their living on the road, pausing along the way to discuss the business of being funny with regional club owners.

Road Comics  showcases the actual work that goes into developing jokes and telling stories. Stewart Huff spins lively tales about his adventures among amazingly ordinary people, the kind you might meet at Cracker Barrel or the Dairy Queen, in the process shaking up any sense of what did and didn’t, or could and couldn’t, really happen. Kristin Key commands the stage with bravura and a self-deprecating self-consciousness, strumming and plucking familiarity out of all-too-common human foibles, ours and her own. Tim Northern’s comic style is to swing at a ball and wait for it to land, and slowly roll along the green, until he hears the satisfying clunk of the audience getting his dry, witty word play. Crafting their nightly works out of our shared daily lives, these three comics connect with audiences who appreciate the humor they draw out of the slow quirkiness of lives not made for TV. Intercutting performance footage and interviews with the comics and club owners, Road Comics  shows us that being funny is not an exclusively coastal commodity.

Run time: 53 minutes​

Date of release: August 2012

Producer: Susan Seizer

Directors: Robert A. Clift & Hillary Demmon



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