Movie Review: Certifiably Jonathan - Certifiably Funny


Starring Sarah Silverman, Rob Reiner, Howie Mandel, Jimmy Kimmel, Nora Dunn, Ryan Stiles, Robert Klein, Kevin Dunn, Gary Owens, Tim Conway, Patricia Arquette, David Arquette, Robin Williams, and Jeffrey Tambor, this comedy/mockumentary weaves in and out of the fantasy/reality bipolar world of Jonathan Winters


Movie Review: Certifiably Jonathan - Sarah Silverman

In the early 60’s, talk show host Jack Parr declared that “Pound for pound, Jonathan Winters is the funniest man on earth.”  It was Jonathan who gave birth to many of the crazy characters we loved as Southern yokel, Elwood P. Suggins or the brash movie star, Lance Lovegard. 


The 85 year old comic genius, also a gifted painter, always dreamt of having his work hang in the Museum of Modern Art.  When the filmmakers show Jonathan’s work to a famous art critic, it’s announced that Jonathan is the “missing link” between Miro and Dali.  The critic convinces the Museum to give Jonathan a show.  They agree, but only if Jon gives them three new paintings. 

Movie Review: Certifiably Jonathan - Jeffrey Tambor and Jonathan Winters

The artist launches into a creative frenzy, but is crushed when a thief steals his favorite painting and his sense of humor.  Unable to paint without his humor, Jonathan fears he will lose the opportunity of a lifetime. He sets out on a hilarious quest, with the help of other stars, to get his mojo back. 


Movie Review: Certifiably Jonathan - Tim Conway and Jonathan Winters as Maude Frickert

The director, Jim Pasternak, had the stroke of luck to meet Jonathan coming out of coffee house in Montecito, and when thanking the star for his many hours of comic enjoyment, found himself privileged to talk with the real Jonathan Winters.  The star proceeded to entertain the director as he turned into his old lady character, Maudie Frickert. 


Within a few hours, Jim had decided to do a documentary on the star, but as they began shooting and talking about art, Jonathan’s improvisational craziness came out.    The story became a moment in Jonathan’s present life rather than a past biography.


Attributing his comic genius to his craziness, Jonathan began entertaining the crew and staff of the film. Jonathan was a shining example of someone who triumphed over a condition that crippled many and made the most of it.  As they filmed the journey, Jonathan insisted on performing at all the roadside restaurants (much to the delight of the patrons.) In the shooting, Jim becomes not only the director, but the straight man for Jonathan to direct his barbs against. 


Movie Review: Certifiably Jonathan - Howie Mandel and Jonathan Winters

Many of the stars participated because they felt Jonathan had been a mentor to them since before him comedy had been jokes and gags.  After Jonathan became successful at improvisation and crazy character monologues, it flourished. 


With his partner, Richard Marshall, to produce and direct photography, Jim made the mockumentary and brought on Buddy Judge to compose.  Robert Pergament co-edited along with Richard Marshall.   They were ably assisted by executive producers Matt Fortnow and co-executive producers Kathy Fields Lander, Corky Kessler and Thomas Hines.  Associate producers were Gary Polak and Wendy Popadynetz. 


Out in select theatres now, more can be learned by going to

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