Director Ferne Pearlstein on her Holocaust humor documentary The Last Laugh.

Ferne Pearlstein on Holocaust Jokes and Her New Documentary The Last Laugh

Ferne Pearlstein on Holocaust Jokes and Her New Documentary The Last Laugh

Shining light on the overshadowed in TV and film.
March 10 2017 12:51 PM

The Last Laugh Director Ferne Pearlstein

Exploring the history of Holocaust humor and the tricky art of telling taboo jokes.

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Sarah Silverman in The Last Laugh.

Photo illustration by Slate. Still via Tangerine Entertainment/Journeyman Pictures.

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This week on Represent, Aisha Harris talks to director and cinematographer Ferne Pearlstein about her new documentary The Last Laugh, which explores the history of Holocaust humor. We discuss who’s allowed to tell Holocaust jokes, how survivors feel about them, and how to find comedy in taboo subjects. Also in this episode, Slate culture intern David Canfield comes on the show to discuss ABC’s four-part gay rights miniseries When We Rise.

The Last Laugh is currently in theaters. Check for a theater near you.

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The Plusses and Deltas for this week:

( + ) Aisha celebrates black audiences watching Get Out. David picks the Showtime series Billions for introducing the first gender-nonconforming character on an American prime-time series, played by Asia Kate Dillon.

( ∆ ) Aisha is not a fan of Armond White’s review of Get Out in the National Review but encourages others to read it to exit their “bubble.” David laments the recent cancelations of USA’s Eyewitness and CBS’s Doubt, which both included strong LGBTQ characters.

Represent is brought to you by Unpacked, a new Spotify Original podcast that explores some of the planet’s hottest events. First up? Austin, Texas, for South by Southwest. Listen to Unpacked and all your favorite music on the Spotify mobile app for free now.

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You can email us at represent@slate.com.

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This podcast was produced by Veralyn Williams. Marissa Martinelli runs our Facebook page.

*Correction, March 10: Due to a production error, this page originally misstated that the episode was sponsored by Blue Apron.

Aisha Harris is a Slate culture writer and host of the Slate podcast Represent.