Misery Loves Comedy: How Comedian Kevin Pollak Cut His Documentary in Premiere Pro

I interviewed comedian Kevin Pollak about taking the reigns on the edit for his new documentary, learning to use Premiere Pro after three easy lessons from Rob Legato.

Veteran comedian and actor Kevin Pollak is known for many things: a long career in stand-up comedy, dozens of performances in films like Casino, A Few Good Men, and The Usual Suspects, six years hosting his podcast Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show, and a killer Christopher Walken impression (among many others). With his feature film directorial debut Misery Loves Comedy, Pollak adds a new skill to his long resume: editing a film with Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

The documentary starts with a thesis – “do you have to be miserable to be funny?” – and explores the dark side of comedy through archival footage, day in the life sequences, and interviews with over 50 comedians, actors and filmmakers including Jimmy Fallon, Amy Schumer, Judd Apatow, Christopher Guest, Martin Short and Jon Favreau. There is a quantifiable link between creative people and mental illnesses like clinical depression, but why? Who chooses a life of making strangers laugh?

As Pollak told me, “America’s number one fear above death is public speaking. That’s not even getting a laugh, that’s just speaking in public alone! If you add trying to get a laugh – the single most difficult emotion to evoke – now you’re talking about a very special breed of cat.”

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