On Jan. 14, 2009, PBS debuts a six-hour documentary look at the funny business in America called Make 'Em Laugh, hosted by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris. But you can get more than a live preview of the series this coming Sunday, Dec. 7, at the 92nd Street Y in New York CIty — Sedaris will join the documentary's writer/director/producer, Michael Kantor, co-writer Laurence Maslon, and comedian Richard Belzer for a discussion about what America laughs at and why and show clips from the upcoming series. Tickets for that panel are $27 (call 212-415-5500 or go to www.92y.org).

If you'd like to see why PBS news anchor Jim Lehrer is not hosting the documentary, watch this 30-second promo for the series (note: having talked to Lehrer before, I must add that the longtime newsman does have a sailor's salty way with language off-air that could lend itself to comedy, maybe, someday, or not).