A trailer promoting the documentary For Madmen Only
turns the lens toward Del Close, comedian and co-author of DC Comics' Wasteland
horror series, who is memorialized in the feature film.
The lively clip presents a who's-who of the comedy world, cutting from interviews with several comedians and Saturday Night Live alumni to footage of Close's countless appearances on stage and screen. Interviews of the subject himself see inclusion, offering a closer look at the unpredictable actor and teacher of improv comedy.
"There's something about improvisational theatre that attracts the deranged," Close reveals, "I'm impressed with it." A significant force behind the rise of improv comedy in the '80s and '90s, Close set up shop in Chicago where he joined The Second City soon after its inception. Close acted in big titles like The Untouchables
and Ferris Bueller's Day Off
, co-authoring Truth in Comedy: The Manual of Improvisation
with Charna Halpern and Kim Johnson.
Despite his notorious bouts with substance abuse, Close's legacy in the world of improvisation remains unshaken. In the wake of his passing in 1999, his former students from the Upright Citizens Brigade founded the annual Del Close marathon, a three-day stint of comedy involving hundreds of performers throughout New York City.
Close worked with John Ostrander
on the latter's Grimjack
comic series, published by First Comics, which preceded their famed collaboration on Wasteland