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  • You know what? We're done with crying.

  • We spent the last few episodes on some heavy emotional (Bleep).

  • Tugging hearts, jerking tears, but now we think it's time to slap some knees.

  • These are our picks for the top ten funniest movie moments of all time.

  • (Music)

  • How do you break down humor?

  • It's something we all experience,

  • but most of us probably couldn't explain it if our life depended on it.

  • I mean give it a try.

  • What makes something funny?

  • E.B. White probably put it best when he said that analyzing humour is

  • like dissecting a frog.

  • Few people are interested and the frog dies.

  • But we're in the business of frog murder here at Cinefix,

  • so get your lab gloves on.

  • Because we're going in.

  • The first of three prominent theories of humor is called relief theory, and

  • it comes to us mostly by way of our favorite phallic symbol smoking German

  • psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud.

  • In it he slots humor into his existing theories of repression and

  • psychic energy as a release valve.

  • According to Freud and his ilk we've got all this pent up energy from clenching out

  • buttholes, repressing our sexual and aggressive urges, and humor lets us

  • blow off some much needed steam about it without letting go of those defenses.

  • A joke then is something that looks like it's going to take even more

  • energy to repress our urges, maintaining our emotional or cognitive stasis.

  • But it veers away at the last second and we laugh at the relief.

  • Think 'Blazing Saddles'' sheriffs Self hostage situation.

  • - The next man makes a move, the (Sound) gets it.

  • - Where a clever back dooring theoretically allows us to revel

  • in racial aggression in a scenario where the actual social stakes are rendered

  • artificially low.

  • Or Dr. Strangelove's famous outburst,

  • where the psychological tension involved with having to explain why the Doctor has

  • suddenly stood up out of his chair is instead quickly waved off as a miracle.

  • - What a relief, we don't have to

  • resolve that conflict it's Buster Keaton and Steamboat Bill Jr. miracousley

  • threading the needle through a window as the house falls sparing him from harm.

  • And our emotional shock that might have had to go with it.

  • And it's little Ms. Sunshine when Olive's family get's on the stage with her and

  • spares us the immense discomfort of her embarrassment.

  • But for our first pick,

  • we're going with the infamous diner scene reveal from 'When Harry Met Sally'.

  • - Most women, at one time or another, have faked it.

  • - Well, they haven't faked it with me.

  • - How do you know? - Because I know.

  • - It's just that all men are sure it never happened to them.

  • And most women, at one time or another have done it, so you do the math.

  • - You don't think that I could tell the difference?

  • - No.

  • - Get out of here.

  • - Are you okay?

  • - (Sound) God.

  • (Sound) God.

  • - Now the most famous part of this scene is obviously the end.

  • - I'll have what she's having.

  • - And that seems to function as a social awkwardness relief too.

  • But we want to talk about the moment when Harry first realizes what's going on,

  • because it's pretty perfectly Freudian.

  • We're already laughing and having a good time from Harry and

  • Sally's fake orgasm banter, where there's clearly some awkwardness and

  • repression that goes unreleased.

  • - How do you know that they're really - And released.

  • - What are you saying that they fake orgasm.

  • - When "Sally" starts acting strange.

  • And here he is first concerned about her health.

  • Is she okay, is she choking?

  • He doesn't quite know what's going on and we don't either.

  • But then it becomes clear, no, she's not choking.

  • She's faking an orgasm.

  • It's a near miss.

  • It looks like we're heading towards danger until we veer off towards sex land.

  • And this back doors Harry and us into a sexual experience.

  • In this context, the whole scene is really a release valve for their sexual tension.

  • They get to use humor to express the feelings they're repressing without

  • committing to them.

  • It's funny because it allows us to get our metaphorical rocks off without the actual

  • stakes, which sounds a whole a whole lot like flirting to me.

  • Of course, the relief theory isn't exactly perfect.

  • It's pretty obvious that everything relieving doesn't end in laughter, and

  • it doesn't seem like it's capable of explaining all jokes either.

  • Enter 'Superiority Theory', the idea behind the 'Superiority Theory' of humor

  • originating all the way back with "Plato" and "Aristotle" is that we laugh because

  • we get an opportunity to experience our own superiority over another.

  • This is the classic pratfall, why tripping can be funny.

  • Our superiority can be physical, intellectual, certainly social or

  • even emotional.

  • We see someone else behaving like a fool, and

  • our laughter is joy at our own not foolness.

  • Think the can scene from The Jerk.

  • - Stay away from the cans!

  • - The cinema line from Annie Hall.

  • - What I wouldn't give for a large sock with horse manure in it.

  • - Most of the discreet charm of The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.

  • - (Foreign) - It's schadenfreude on screen like

  • Jackass' golf course 'Pineapple Express'" chase and 'Something About Mary's' zipper.

  • A superiority theorist would say 'When Harry Met Sally' is actually funny because

  • we know what's happening before Harry does and we're identifying with Sally by

  • the time she proves she's more orgasmically knowledgable than he is.

  • But for our number nine pick, we think that The Princess Bride's

  • battle of the wits is an example as perfect and hilarious as they come.

  • - You've beaten my giant, which means you're exceptionally strong.

  • So, you could've put the poison in your own goblet,

  • trusting on your strength to save you.

  • So, I could clearly not choose the wine in front of you.

  • But you've also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied.

  • And in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so

  • you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible.

  • So I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

  • - Your trying to trick me into giving away something.

  • It won't work.

  • - It has worked, you've given everything away.

  • I know where the poison is.

  • - Then make your choice.

  • - I will, and I choose, what in the world could that be?

  • - What? Where?

  • I don't see anything - I could have sworn I saw something.

  • No matter.

  • - What's so funny?

  • - I'll tell you in a minute.

  • First, let's drink.

  • Me from my glass and you from yours.

  • (Music)

  • - You guessed wrong.

  • - You only think I guessed wrong.

  • That's what's so funny.

  • I switched glasses when your back was turned.

  • (Laugh) - So

  • the big punchline is pretty obvious here.

  • Vizzini is convinced he's outsmarted Westley, our hero,

  • until he falls over dead.

  • Pretty obviously wrong.

  • And who doesn't want to feel superior to the blithering, bragging,

  • boasting, self-proclaimed genius?

  • We just want Westley to shove his own words back down his smug throat.

  • So when he does boy, is that a big kick of superiority humor.

  • And sure, it's also a relief.

  • But it gets even better for superiority.

  • What is he doing right before he croaks?

  • Laughing, and why is he laughing?

  • Because he think he's bested "Wesley".

  • That's right, we got some meta superiority humor up in this (Bleep), classic.

  • (Music)

  • Superiority isn't quite a catch all, either.

  • Who were we feeling superior to with this joke?

  • - The Supremes were to hit the top of the charts with this really

  • big one in the 60's.

  • - we're not sure.

  • And why are we laughing at this poor, sad sap?

  • Not sure either.

  • So next up we got incongruity theory, the reigning humor theory king,

  • championed by those famous comedians Kant, Schopenhauer, and Hagel.

  • It suggests that humor comes from the realization of incongruity,

  • a mismatch between our expectations and reality.

  • In comic terms,

  • the setup creates in us an expectation while the punchline subverts it.

  • And the humor lies in the moment of realization.

  • The instant of collapse between the imagined and the actual.

  • This is Young Frankenstein's, "Putting on the Ritz."

  • - If you're blue and

  • you don't know where to go to, why don't you go to where fashion sits?

  • - Putting on the Ritz.

  • - Or in "Glorious Bastards," Italian where the infiltrating bastards are far worse

  • than the german they are trying to fool.

  • (Foreign).

  • - It's puppet sex, or an accidental "Hitler" speech.

  • Or an awkward skinny, dorky boy named "Mclovin".

  • Incongruity theory would tell you that 'The Princess Bride' moment is funny

  • more because of "Vissini's" proclamations of his own intelligence are so wildly out

  • of whack with reality, than because we like how smart he makes us feel.

  • It's almost every single joke that you'd look at and call ridiculous or absurd.

  • However, for our number eight pick,

  • there's no incongruity more delightful than the 'Black Knight's' refusal to

  • acknowledge his obvious defeat from 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail'.

  • - (Sound) - "Victory is mine"!

  • "We thank thee Lord that in thy-" - (Sound)

  • - "Come on, then".

  • - "What"?

  • - "Have at you".

  • - "You are indeed brave, sir knight, but the fight is mine".

  • - " had enough, ey"?

  • - "Look, you stupid bastard, you've got no arms left".

  • - "Yes, I have, look, just a flesh wound".

  • - (Sound) As the duel proceeds,

  • we are continuously confronted with the 'Black Knight's' denial.

  • Each time he gets a limb chopped off, he downplays its importance.

  • But each time he has one less limb, so the incongruence is much worse and

  • the laughs much better.

  • So it heightens and it heightens the absurdity of the bit,

  • turning what was a possible comeback into a hilarious farce.

  • And yet he persists, and

  • we love it all the more because it's such a human kind of denial with machismo and

  • pride so tragically misplaced as to be hysterical rather than grating.

  • It's a brilliant, shameless inconsistency between his reality and his proclamations.

  • And for that very reason, it's impossible not to love him.

  • (Sound) But we're a bit in the weeds here with the theory.

  • We've got seven more slots and we want to spend them looking more at

  • the technique of humor than the philosophy of it.

  • And the good news is that cinema has a ton of different ways to tell a joke.

  • And probably the best one to start off with is dialogue.

  • In a nutshell, it's word play where the text, itself, contains the humor.

  • The relief, the superiority, the incongruity,

  • they're imbedded in the language.

  • Think 'Life of Brian's- Biggus Dickus'.

  • - Wait till "Biggus Dickus" hears of this.

  • - Or 'Ghostbusters' dickless.

  • - Yes, it's true.

  • This man has no dick.

  • - 'Airplane's' jive.

  • - "What it is big momma, my momma didn't raise no dummies.

  • I dug her rap".

  • - 'Blazing Saddle's' harumph, 'Naked Gun's' fireworks, and

  • how could we not mention the all time class, 'Who's on First'.

  • But, if it's clever verbal banter you want our preference goes to the now and

  • then insanity of 'Spaceballs' video review.

  • - What the hell am I looking at?

  • When does this happen in the movie?

  • - Now, you're looking at now,

  • sir everything that happens now is happening now.

  • - What happened to then?

  • - We passed it.

  • - When? - Just now.

  • We're at now, now.

  • - Go back to then.

  • - When? - Now.

  • - Now? - Now.

  • - I can't. - Why?

  • - We missed it. - When?

  • - Just now.

  • - And the same way that a pun is funny because it's a word used for

  • an incongruous meaning, with the language choice conflicts with normal expectations,

  • here, they're doing something similar with the words now and then.

  • They use each word to mean multiple different things.

  • Sometimes now means at this moment on the tape, and

  • at other times it means at this moment in reality.

  • And then, they never use them in the same way at the same time,

  • such that their use is always incongruous.

  • And then, they repeat it over and over and over rapid fire like 80 times in a row,

  • constantly shifting the meanings back and forth, never on the same page,

  • until everyone's in stitches and no one knows what time it is.

  • (Sound) Of course, sometimes it's not about the words they're saying so

  • much as the underlying silliness behind it.