Earlier this week I read an NBC News blog post that cited a Telegraph (UK) post concerning the funniest movies ever. The British article involved a study by a movie subscription service. The study attempted to rank the funniest films ever based on laughs per minute. The NBC article added their own informal staff picks to the mix.
What tickled me is that the Brits named Airplane! as the funniest movie ever. I’m not sure I have a definite all-time #1 pick, but Airplane! is unquestionably in the top three. A while back, I wrote about my funniest films, and Airplane! was my first pick (of four—third place had a tie).
So the Brits and I share a funniest movie pick, but we diverge from there.
An earlier Sideband references the, “These go to eleven,” bit from This is Spinal Tap. As I mentioned, some people I know consider it one of the funniest bits in all of film, but the phrasing I just used should clue you in that it’s not mine.
Make no mistake, I do consider it a classic moment, a very funny moment, and a moment that has become a cultural icon. But it didn’t make me laugh until I hurt too much to laugh anymore. And that begs the question, “So what are those funniest moments?”
“These go to eleven.“
I know people who feel the funniest moment in all of film is the bit in This is Spinal Tap about the volume knobs that go to 11. It does seem clear that the bit has become a well-known cultural meme. Just about everyone (who’s anyone) knows exactly what you mean when you refer to turning it up to eleven. For those of you just exiting the cave (Plato’s or otherwise), here’s the bit: