Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America - Netflix

Melding performance, biography and history, Make 'Em Laugh features interviews with over 90 comedians, writers, producers, and historians including Judd Apatow, Roseanne Barr, Anne Beatts, the Smothers Brothers, Carol Burnett, Sid Caesar, George Carlin, Larry David, Will Ferrell, Leonard Maltin, Cheech Marin, Steve Martin, Chris Rock, Mort Sahl, Dick Van Dyke, and many, many more.

Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2009-01-14

Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America - Robin Williams - Netflix

Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an American actor and comedian. Born in Chicago, Williams started as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid-1970s. He is credited with leading San Francisco's comedy renaissance. After rising to fame as an alien called Mork in the TV sci-fi sitcom series Mork & Mindy, Williams established a career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting. He was known for his improvisational skills. After his first starring film role in Popeye (1980), Williams starred or co-starred in various films that achieved both critical acclaim and financial success, including Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Aladdin (1992), The Birdcage (1996), and Good Will Hunting (1997). He also starred in widely acclaimed films such as The World According to Garp (1982), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), Awakenings (1990), The Fisher King (1991), One Hour Photo (2002), and World's Greatest Dad (2009), as well as box office hits such as Hook (1991), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995) and Night at the Museum (2006). Williams won the 1997 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as psychologist Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting. He also received two Emmy Awards, seven Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Grammy Awards throughout his career. On August 11, 2014, Williams committed suicide at his home in Paradise Cay, California, at the age of 63. His wife attributed the reason for his suicide to Williams' struggle with Lewy body disease.

Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America - Philanthropy - Netflix

In 1986, Williams teamed up with Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal to found Comic Relief USA. This annual HBO television benefit devoted to the homeless has raised $80 million as of 2014. Bob Zmuda, creator of Comic Relief, explains that Williams felt blessed because he came from a wealthy home, but wanted to do something to help those less fortunate. Williams made benefit appearances to support literacy and women's rights, along with appearing at benefits for veterans. He was a regular on the USO circuit, where he traveled to 13 countries and performed to approximately 100,000 troops. After his death, the USO thanked him “for all he did for the men and women of our armed forces.” Williams and his second wife Marsha founded a philanthropic organization called the Windfall Foundation to raise money for many charities. In December 1999, he sang in French on the BBC-inspired music video of international celebrities doing a cover of The Rolling Stones single “It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)” for the charity Children's Promise. In response to the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, he donated all proceeds of his “Weapons of Self Destruction” Christchurch performance to help rebuild the New Zealand city. Half the proceeds were donated to the Red Cross and half to the mayoral building fund. Williams performed with the USO for U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For several years, Williams supported St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America - References - Netflix