Of course, your first reaction to the terrorist bombings of the Twin Towers in New York may be where were you at that instant and then an increasing disbelief at the horrific and deadly attack that claimed close to 3,000 lives and many more due to toxic fumes that felled many first responders many years after the attack. Toronto office buildings were evacuated. I remember having an unsettled lunch at a tony restaurant in the Royal Bank Plaza and an alarm sounded and diners headed out. Crowds were in the streets looking for Canadian office buildings to be attacked. The news that night presented an apocalypse starting in New York and spreading throughout North America. The terrorists accomplished their mission but backfiring making anti Muslim sentiment a rising tide in North America that continues until today. Was the attack a success or a never-ending curse on the Muslim population in North America?
The film is a complicated and compact view of the fate of comedy after 9/11 featuring late night television hosts and mostly American comedians. Comedy immediately after 9/11 was walking on eggshells but comedy and life in the American spirit exhibited defiance to an attack that threatened the American way of life. It could be saying a healing period was needed but Americans are not cowed by attackers looking for paradise with 97 virgins….a rich ground for initial recovery comics to pursue.
Several comedians fell prey for reacting with comedic barbs too soon after 9/11 but given time and the Iraq War more lampooning emerged that deviated from 9/11 and focused on terrorism and the Iraq War and gave comedians the space they needed to dance around social issues with a connection to 9/11 but delicately respecting the loss of life.
When is it too soon to laugh after 9/11 is under the comedic microscope and it is very dense, thick and introspective.
It is not solely a film about comedy after 9/11 but the role of comedy and society, As they say in comedy that timing is key. The film makes that abundantly clear, “Too Soon: Comedy After 9/11 Comedy” really is a film that expands beyond its title and explores the role of comedy in society.
The documentary premiered on September 8th on Vice TV. One hopes it will expand its presence throughout the globe.
You can catch the trailer here https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1mDA_14uwqTR_PL9OTQkn1Y-Foou3Pi-S
The film was directed by Nick Fituri Scown and Julie Seabaugh.