Kate Clinton, Marga Gomez, Karen Williams and Suzanne Westenhoeffer perform some of their funniest standup bits, then tell revealing stories about their often comic real lives.
The lives, onstage and off, of four charismatic lesbian stand-up comedians–Kate Clinton, Marga Gomez, Suzanne Westenhoefer, and Karen Williams–are captured in Laughing Matters. Through interviews, old photographs, and live performance footage, this documentary gives these four women the opportunity to sound off on sex, coming out, and the significance of Ellen DeGeneres, as well as airport security, Halloween, women in the military, reading in bed, and Catholicism. Through capsule histories of their careers, a narrow but valuable portrait of the progress of gay rights also takes shape. The political views are predictable but earned, as well as wittily phrased. Some of the extra footage–particularly a question-and-answer session at the festival premiere of Laughing Matters–is as funny as the stand-up routines. –Bret Fetzer