Sarah Silverman, Neal Brennan, and Rainn Wilson are just some of the names that star in ‘Laughing Matters’, a mini-documentary that has dozens of comedians opening up about their mental health.
The thirty minute film was uploaded to YouTube on Friday to coincide with World Mental Health Day. Developed by SoulPancake and Funny Or Die, its the type of intensely sincere watch that’ll have you thinking for hours after watching.
Sarah Silverman has already made headlines for her honestly in the film, opening up about the amount of prescription medication she took as a child to deal with anxiety.
“I was put on Xanax at 13,” she says. “They just upped the dose… until I was taking four Xanax four times a day.”
But that’s really only part of Silverman’s commentary in the documentary, and all of the comedians, from Chris Gethard to Rachel Bloom to Wayne Brady to Anna Akana, and on and on and on, offer some incredibly touching insight into the realities of anxiety, depression, and mental health.
‘Laughing Matters’ conveys as best it can that these feelings are universal.
It’s funny, too, in its own way, because it’s full of comedians. But comedians trade daily in honesty, and it’s the honest interviews throughout that really make an impact.
Rainn Wilson, who founded SoulPancake and helped organise the documentary, told Newsweek he turned to comedy as an outlet to help him deal with depression and anxiety.
“I grew up a pretty anxious and depressed kid. I had a family that looked normal on the outside but was completely dysfunctional. I was this odd, alienated child. My mom took off when I was 2-years-old. I was raised by a step mom and this was a petri dish for sadness. When I found that I could make people laugh. That was my solution.”
“We all have these kind of fucked up things that happen to us,” he says later.
“And we can get through it. And use it.”