Comedy Warriors

You know those jokes, the ones where you’re laughing, but you’re shaking your head thinking “I can’t believe he just said that?” Well, those are the kind of jokes you should be prepared for when you watch Comedy Warriors. (And you really should watch it!)

Comedy Warriors is about five veterans who had an opportunity to use humor to heal. The documentary, which recently received the Television Academy Honors Award, pairs these veterans with eight established comedians and comedy writers (Lewis Black, Zach Galifianakis, B.J. Novak, Bob Saget, Mark Brazill, Bob Nickman, Kevin Rooney, and Bernadette Luckett) to develop stand up material for a one night, live performance.

The documentary starts by giving you their backgrounds:

  • Joe Kashnow – Spent 6.5 years in the Army before being injured by an IED in Iraq and losing his leg.
  • Darisse Smith – An Army Captain with chronic back problems
  • Rob Jones – You may remember this Marine, double amputee, and Paralympian from my post about the Coalition to Support America’s Heroes. Or from his just completed cross-country bike ride.
  • Stephen Rice – An Army First Lieutenant who lost his leg after an explosion in Iraq.
  • Bobby Henline –An Army Staff Sergeant who initially served in Desert Storm era and then reenlisted Post-9/11, he has the most egregious injuries of the group, sustained during his fourth tour to Iraq.

Then it takes you through a behind-the-scenes style lead up to their performance. And, finally, to the night itself. It wraps with a short snippet on what has happened with each veteran since they finished taping.

It is a great documentary, one that will make you sad and proud. And, of course, it will absolutely make you laugh. From Joe’s “secret cookie compartment” to Stephen’s “young, stupid lieutenant” story, you’ll see how humor has helped these vets deal with their trauma. Most importantly, in my opinion, you’ll see what real courage is.

Comedy Warriors is currently set to show in Kenosha, WI, on 5/22 and in Eden Prairie, WI, on 5/29. Or you can purchase the DVD or Blu-Ray or stream it from the Comedy Warriors website (I rented mine on Amazon Instant Video for $3.99). If you happen to be in the Rancho Cordova area 22 to 25 May, you can catch all of the Comedy Warriors together again at Tommy T’s Comedy Club. More details about the upcoming performance, what all the warriors have been up to, and other news can be found on their Facebook page or Twitter feed.

© 2014, Sarah Maples. All rights reserved.

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