Maybe more than most things, humour is a truly subjective matter — falling into the what-you-talkin’-about-Willis?-category, which, by the way, isn’t funny. For everyone who thinks that Sacha Baron-Cohen is the bomb, there is an unsmiling counterpart who thinks that the word bomb in his case is a verb.
What or who reliably decides what constitutes comedy? We all have our own personal standards of measurement.
According to The Telegraph, panel members selected by Lovefilm, a “movie subscription service,” think they know what’s humorous and they’ve even devised a formula for calculating comedy — a Vulcan-human hybrid of math and emotion. They record the number of laugh out-loud moments in a film and then divide the final number into the movie’s actual length.
They’re so confident in the fairness of their strategy that they used it to declare Airplane the funniest film ever, scoring on average three laughs per minute. The Hangover came in second with a score of 2.4, followed by The Naked Gun at 2.3, which suggests that Leslie Nielsen may just be the funniest man that ever lived.
Among the other nominated films were Borat, Bridesmaids, Shaun of the Dead and Life of Brian — the latter brought up the bottom of the top 10 list despite being voted the funniest film ever by Lovefilm subscribers, but that only reflects their aggregate opinion as to the movie’s comic value.
What counts in the end apparently is how often, and over what time, you laughed out loud during a film. Silent mirth, it seems, is not going to win any contests.
What’s the funniest movie you’ve ever seen?