In his new Netflix series, Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy, the Seinfeld writer and Borat director travels the world in search of humor in unlikely places. A trailer for the four-part series, which launches on February 15th, shows examples of comedy in Iraq and Somalia, as well as some in the U.S. “We live our lives,” says a Middle Eastern woman whose face is covered. “We like doing our nails too.” One comedian, who is a veteran that looks like he was a burn victim, says, “I don’t think you girls know this, but once you go cooked, you’re hooked.”
The series also examines the culture around comedy in places like Russia, China, India, Nigeria and Turkey. The first episode focuses on the Middle East, with Charles visiting war-torn areas to learn how humor has helped people cope. In the second, he speaks with veterans. In the third he examines race with African-American and Native American comics; Trevor Noah contributes to this episode. And in the final installment, he speaks with female comics in Saudi Arabia.
“I am grateful to Netflix for giving me the opportunity to tell this honest and harrowing and heartbreaking story of comedy in the face of war and violence and death,” Charles said in a statement. “Comedy as a tool of rebuilding, as an instrument of healing and as a weapon of truth. From Somalia to Iraq to right here in the United States, comedy is essential to our survival.”