HBO Documentary About Albert Brooks Directed by Rob Reiner Coming Soon

Albert Brooks stars in and directs his comedy,
Pete Tangen 1999 October Films/Getty Images
Pete Tangen 1999 October Films/Getty Images

Albert Brooks is certainly on the list of beloved comedians, as proved by the new HBO Original documentary called Albert Brooks: Defending My Life. Directed by Rob Reiner, the documentary dives into Brooks’ creative impact on Hollywood, starting in the late ’60s. He’s done stand-up comedy as well as acted, worked on Saturday Night Live, and written and directed short films and original motion pictures. Younger audiences probably recognize his voice in movies such as Finding Nemo and The Secret Life of Pets.

Others know him from Taxi Driver (1976), Modern Romance (1981), Lost in America (1985), and more. In the documentary, Reiner and Brooks go over Brooks’ long career, and the film is sprinkled with testimonials from fellow actors including Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes, Larry David, and Sharon Stone.

Albert Brooks and Rob Reiner, director during "Alex and Emma" - World Premiere, Hollywood - Red Carpet at Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States

L. Cohen/WireImage

Reiner and Brooks have been friends and collaborators since they were both students at Beverly Hills High School, bonding over being children of famous stars. For the documentary, they sit down at the Italian restaurant Matteo’s and offer some lively discussion, rich with laughter and funny stories of the past. Some footage from Brooks’ younger years is also included to help fans remember his Hollywood beginnings.

MOTHER, director and star Albert Brooks, on-set, 1996

Paramount/Everett Collection

The official synopsis reads, “Since the late 1960s, Albert Brooks has been a major force in American comedy with his smart, sometimes absurdist, and truly unique sense of humor. From stand-up, to acting, to writing and directing short films, to his seven, iconic, original motion pictures, including ‘Modern Romance,’ ‘Lost in America,’ ‘Mother,’ and more, Brooks has paved the way for future generations and remains a comedic force in a league of his own. With testimonials from some of the brightest comedy talents and serious thinkers, as well as family and friends, ALBERT BROOKS: DEFENDING MY LIFE chronicles Brooks’ very early work all the way to present day. In this deep and personal conversation, Reiner and Brooks explore the origins and evolution of Brooks’ career, the impetus for his creativity, and the impact he has had on the world of comedy.”

You can watch the documentary on Saturday, November 11 at 8 p.m. ET on HBO and it will be available to stream on Max.

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Classic Comedy Duos

March 2021

Chuckle at television & films funniest comic duos.

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