Culture

Finding Your Roots

For more than a decade, renowned Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has helped to expand America’s sense of itself, stimulating a national conversation about identity with humor, wisdom, and compassion. Professor Gates has explored the ancestry of dozens of influential people from diverse backgrounds, taking millions of viewers deep into the past to reveal the connections that bind us all.

Laughing on the Inside

52m 11s

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. provides comedians Lewis Black and Roy Wood, Jr. with accounts of hardship in their family trees which may have led them to each find humor in adversity.

Episodes

  • Laughing on the Inside: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Laughing on the Inside

    S7 E10 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. provides comedians Lewis Black and Roy Wood, Jr. with accounts of hardship in their family trees which may have led them to each find humor in adversity.

  • On Broadway: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    On Broadway

    S7 E9 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. investigates the family histories of Broadway stars Audra McDonald and Mandy Patinkin, discovering ancestors whose struggles laid the groundwork for their success.

  • Anchored to the Past: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Anchored to the Past

    S7 E8 - 52m 10s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. examines how journalists Gretchen Carlson and Don Lemon were able to overcome biases in their careers, drawing parallels to relatives who met profound challenges of their own.

  • Moving soon to WETA Passport

    The New World: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The New World

    S7 E7 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. traces ancestors of actor John Lithgow and journalist Maria Hinojosa who thrived in North America long before the birth of the United States.

  • Country Roots: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Country Roots

    S7 E6 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates Jr. uncovers the remarkably diverse backgrounds of country music icons Clint Black and Rosanne Cash.

  • Write My Name in the Book of Life: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Write My Name in the Book of Life

    S7 E5 - 52m 10s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps musician Pharrell Williams and filmmaker Kasi Lemmons uncover extraordinary rare first-person accounts of their enslaved.

  • The Shirts on Their Backs: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Shirts on their Backs

    S7 E4 - 52m 10s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. reveals the immigrant roots of actors Tony Shalhoub and Christopher Meloni, introducing ancestors who came to America to build a better life.

  • No Irish Need Apply: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    No Irish Need Apply

    S7 E3 - 52m 10s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of actor Jane Lynch and comedian Jim Gaffigan, revealing the Irish American experience through their families.

  • Against All Odds: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Against All Odds

    S7 E2 - 52m 10s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. introduces media personality Andy Cohen and radio journalist Nina Totenberg to ancestors who were determined to survive.

  • To the Manor Born: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    To the Manor Born

    S7 E1 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. discovers the privileged lineages that claim actor Glenn Close and director John Waters as descendants, introducing ancestors who are as bold and independent as they are.

Extras + Features

  • How the Catholic Church Impacted Jane Lynch’s Acting Career: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Irish Catholic Church

    S7 E3 - 48s

    Jane Lynch opens up about how her family attended Irish Catholic Church every Sunday to socialize.

  • No Irish Need Apply Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    No Irish Need Apply Preview

    S7 E3 - 33s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of actor Jane Lynch and comedian Jim Gaffigan, revealing the Irish American experience through their families.

  • Irish Need Not Apply: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Irish Need Not Apply

    S7 E3 - 1m 9s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. talks to Jane Lynch about the way the Irish were demonized in America.

  • Estate Controversy: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Estate Controversy

    S7 E2 - 1m 1s

    Nina Totenberg discovers that as a child, her grandmother fought for a share of the family estate.

  • Fleeing Europe: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Fleeing Europe

    S7 E2 - 1m 3s

    Nina Totenberg learns that her Jewish grandmother escaped Europe just as France had surrendered to the Nazis in WW2.

  • Fond Memories: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Fond Memories

    S7 E2 - 1m 9s

    Nina Totenberg’s grandmother overcame great struggles during her lifetime - surviving the Russian Revolution, the Nazi Terror, and life as a stateless refugee.

  • Against All Odds Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Against All Odds Preview

    S7 E2 - 31s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. introduces media personality Andy Cohen and radio journalist Nina Totenberg to ancestors who were determined to survive.

  • Andy Cohen Meets His Ancestors in a Newspaper Article: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Ancestors Newspaper

    S7 E2 - 1m 16s

    Andy Cohen discovers a newspaper article from 1889 about his great-great-grandfather's horse injury.

  • DNA Cousin: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    DNA Cousin

    S7 E2 - 34s

    Andy Cohen discovers that he is related to actress Scarlett Johansen.

  • Place of Worship: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Place of Worship

    S7 E2 - 1m 4s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. shows Andy Cohen an image of a wooden synagogue where his relatives may have worshipped in 1851.

  • Related to Royalty: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Related to Royalty

    S7 E1 - 54s

    Glenn Close discovers that she is eighth cousins with Princess Diana

  • The Howdy Doody Show Inspired John Waters: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Discovering a Dream

    S7 E1 - 44s

    John Waters discusses how, when he was a child, he attended a Howdy Doody show and, at that moment, knew he wanted a career in entertainment.

Schedule

  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Laughing on the Inside

    Monday
    May 10

    1 Hour

    Comics Lewis Black and Roy Wood Jr. learn about the hardships in their family trees which may have contributed to their ability to find humor in adversity.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Laughing on the Inside

    Monday
    May 10

    1 Hour

    Comics Lewis Black and Roy Wood Jr. learn about the hardships in their family trees which may have contributed to their ability to find humor in adversity.

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