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Sam Kinison: Why Did We Laugh (1997)

Carl LaBove , Rodney Dangerfield , Larry Carroll (IV)  |  NR |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Carl LaBove, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Kinison, Dennis Miller, Tim Matheson
  • Directors: Larry Carroll (IV)
  • Format: Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Winstar
  • DVD Release Date: March 31, 1998
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1572522402
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,490 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sam Kinison: Why Did We Laugh" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Containing rare, early footage of Sam preaching and performing stand-up, Why Did We Laugh? tells the story of a comedic genius who touched a deeper chord in people than most entertainers. Interviews with Jay Leno, Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor, Dennis Miller and many more.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sam Kinison - I knew why I laughed! September 8, 1998
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The late Sam Kinison has always been a maligned person due to his outrageous stage presence and performance. In this DVD, you can learn the way Sam REALLY died, see unseen footage of his standup start in Texas and see unseen footage of Sam when he was a preacher. Also included in this DVD are scenes with Dennis Miller, Larry King, Rodney Dangerfield, Jay Leno, Judy Tenuta and other famous faces.
Sam may have been outrageous, crazy, and many other adverbs and adjectives, but you'll know the real story when it's over. Get this and find out the REAL story. END
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Choppy May 16, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you really want to get into Sam's routine(s),don't buy this dvd. As soon as you start enjoying his material, it stops to interview someone else that knew him.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Only in America January 4, 2010
The first time I saw Sam Kinison was in the Rodney Dangerfield film Back to School. Sam just had a small bit as the unbalanced Professor Terguson, but he almost stole the show. I made a mental note to keep an eye out for this raving, original comedian. The next few years brought lots of laughs and surprises.

The strengths in this excellent film are its recounting of Sam's standup career and the interviews with a group of comedians on what made Sam different from everyone else in the comedy business. One gets a good sense of how Sam's originality contributed to his success in a difficult business. The film includes some great clips of Sam's act and his appearance in Dangerfield's Back to School. Why Did We Laugh also recounts Rodney Dangerfield's role in Sam's success.

If there is a missed opportunity in this film, I think it is that the filmmakers do not go quite far enough into Sam's dark side. The viewer gets an idea of the demons that drove Kinison's comedy, but there is not enough material on the experiences that motivated him. There is one clip from Sam's routine in which he says that, before his birth, he was happy, floating in a place where there was no pain. Then Sam begins to SCREAM at his parents for bringing him into this world. To me, that was a fascinating bit that revealed a lot.

I think that it is fair to say that Sam's career had cooled off a bit by the time that he died. Why Did We Laugh? recounts Kinison's excesses with drugs and alcohol. The film, however, does not recount the poor decisions that Sam made, in particular his disastrous fight with "super agent" Michael Ovitz when Kinison refused to do a movie that Ovitz wanted him to do. Kinison's prospects in the movies dimmed considerably after that fight.

Why did we laugh?
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7 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars the collection was not his best material. February 22, 1999
By A Customer
it just wasn't a good compliation
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