When Stand-Up Stood Out

You don’t need to be from Boston to appreciate When Stand Up Stood Out, the film by comedian Fran Solomita about the late 1970s and early 1980s, when Boston was, in fact, the Hub of the comedy world (or so it seemed). Think of Boston comedy in that era as something akin to Seattle music in the early 1990s. So, actually, this movie makes even more sense for outsiders, who probably don’t know or don’t appreciate what these locals with the funny accents and bitterly honest takes on society did for stand-up comedy. Sure, it’s quite nostalgic for those who, like Solomita, lived through the era. Simply put, though, this film is required viewing. Watch Comedian to see the mindset of stand-ups, then watch When Stand Up Stood Out for a history lesson on what it was (and still is) like to practice the art. The archival footage alone is priceless, capturing early sets by Lenny Clarke, Bobcat Goldthwait, Kevin Meaney, Steven Wright, Paula Poundstone and others. Solomita said they got more than 100 hours of similar magic from the Ding Ho, Stitches and the old Comedy Connection. That footage needs to be saved by someone, somewhere, so future generations can learn why comedy matters. The DVD also includes a seven-minute conversation with Dane Cook — who wasn’t part of this generation — about how the older guard inspired...

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