Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

For Madmen Only

Year: 2020
Run Time: 85 minutes

For Madmen Only
For Madmen Only
For Madmen Only
For Madmen Only
For Madmen Only

Even if you’ve never heard the name Del Close, you’ve undoubtedly seen the products of his teachings. The list of performers—including decades of SNL cast members from Belushi to Poehler—whom Del mentored in the ways of long-form improv is endless. Although he lives on through the generations of comedians inspired by his instruction at The Second City and iO, Del never got his moment in the spotlight. But Heather Ross’s lively documentary places the comedy guru front and center, chipping away at the myth to catch glimpses of the man. Always the eccentric, Del made clear he was more interested in “truth” than “fact.” His tall tales were the stuff of legend. Accenting Del’s life story with surreal cells from his semi-autobiographical DC comic series Wasteland, FOR MADMEN ONLY utilizes multiple modes—talking heads from those who knew him best, animated cutouts, archival recordings, and quirky reenactments—to paint a spirited portrait of a funnyman who reached both the heights of genius and depths of despair. — D.O.

CIFF45 Screenings

CIFF45 Streams On Demand

Thursday, April 08, 2021 at 11:00 AM -
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 11:59 PM

Streams Access: United States and US Territories
Accessibility (?)
Closed Captions: Yes
Audio Description: No
English Subtitles: No

Film is Art

Nesnadny + Schwartz Portrait Documentary Competition
Reel Women Direct Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman


Heather Ross

Jennifer Pike, Adam Samual Goldman, Helen Hood Scheer

Steven Poster

George Mandl, Tova Goodman, Sean Jarret

Film Contact

This film is presented in loving memory of

Community Partners

Cleveland Comedy Festival

Rocky River Public Library

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