CNN goes on a 'Quest' for comedy

MUMBAI: CNN’s Richard Quest lines up the biggest names in international comedy and satire to find out the secrets of their success. He swaps the television news anchor chair for an unforgiving live audience in a New York comedy club. In this hour-long special Quest, Richard goes in search of answers and advice from the brightest sparks in contemporary humour in their own environment, as he prepares to go ‘live’ at Caroline’s Comedy Club.

Dispensing with the usual sofa and Q&A format, Richard uses his unconventional and unique interviewing style to gain an insight into what makes political satirists and comedians tick. At the culmination of this hour-long special, Richard decides to take all the advice, knowledge and experience from his guests; Jon Stewart, Ricky Gervais and Billy Connolly and make his comedy club debut.

British comedian, actor and writer Ricky Gervais who created The Office tells Richard that sometimes charisma can be more important than the jokes you tell, “…'ve got to have something but I think you can probably get away with bad material if you've got charisma and a great delivery.”

Richard also tracks down renowned and larger than life Scottish comedian Billy Connolly on one of his legendary global stand up tours. Conolly tells Quest that he does not script his material for his stand up routine, like he does for TV, “I have a skeleton. I have stories and situations around which I work every night and I invent every night and the good stuff stays and the old stuff slides off the edge and disappears.”

To help him on his week-long comedy exploration, Richard attends the Manhattan Comedy School where great careers have been launched, and the next big star could be in training. He joins the cops, chefs and actors trying to break the tough world of stand up comedy.

Then finally, after hearing and learning from the great and the good of international comedy, Richard truly throws himself into the deep end by being thrust into the limelight of New York’s Caroline’s Comedy Club in front of a live and potentially unforgiving audience. But the question remains to be answered, will he sink or swim?

Quest airs on 30 April at 6:30 pm and on 1 May at 4:30 pm.

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