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An inside look at the business of being funny

Finding The Funny is the documentary film directed by John Bizarre and stars award-winning comedian Don Barnhart, explores the process of becoming a comedian and whether it must always be an organic and accidental affair or if one can actually teach a person to be funny.

Barnhart and Bizzare knew each other from working together over the years at comedy clubs and entertaining the troops overseas and this is the first collaboration between the two. It is a documentary exploring the merits of teaching a person how to become a stand-up comedian and a candid behind-the-scenes look at the process involved in supplying students with the tools they will need before they walk out onto the stage for the first time.

The film follows a group of students taking Barnhart's comedy class in Las Vegas as they work on material, technique and style leading to a final showcase in front of a live Las Vegas crowd. If you have ever wondered what it takes to stand in the spotlight and try to make a group of strangers, laugh this is the film for you.

In addition to following the comedy class, the film features candid and honest interviews about the plusses and minuses of comedy classes with Brad Garrett, Louie Anderson, Marty Allen, Wendy Leibman, Andy Kindler and many other comedians both famous and not so famous who share their thoughts on the arduous task of becoming a stand-up.  

Barnhart, who continues to headline the top comedy clubs nationally, got his start at The Comedy & Magic Club where he both managed and booked talent while pursuing his own stand up career. He has been teaching stand-up comedy in Las Vegas for many years and is consider by his peers as one of America’s premier comedy coaches.

“If you want to learn to play tennis you get a coach,” Barnhart said in a recent interview.  “Comedy is the same.  I’m not so sure you can teach someone to be funny but you can work on an individual’s technique and help develop his or her style.  Even famous actors continue to study and hone their craft throughout their careers.  And many great comedians have taken all kinds of classes to better themselves, so anyone who tells you that you shouldn’t work on, or improve your game has an ulterior motive and doesn’t want you to succeed.”