‘When Comedy Went to School’: Bombing in the Borscht Belt

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The documentary “When Comedy Went to School” wishes to buckle and burnish the Borscht Belt. It certainly does that. Love is lavished upon the place like sour cream on blinis. Unfortunately, the documentary does something else, too. It answers that age-old question: What happens when a can’t-miss subject gets missed?

“When Comedy Went to School” has so much going for it. The material is so rich and yeasty and flavorful. Robert Klein, old enough to remember the Catskills’ comedy heyday and young enough to be hip and inconoclastic, is narrator and onscreen host. Among the talking heads are such giants—forget that hopelessly overused word icons—as Jerry Lewis and Sid Caesar.

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