The Enduring Appeal of Comedy

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So we’ve considered our Favorite Movie Actors and Actresses for the upcoming January 5th Show (which still has, by the way, two remaining categories you can still vote on right now, should you wish to). Yesterday we lounged at the Spa of the Ridiculous But Oddly Compelling and looked at reality stars’ salaries. Today we begin with the comedians, that rarified breed of performer with the unique ability to make us forget almost everything that happened before we sat down in a movie theater or turned on the TV. Medical studies have shown that people who laugh more tend to get sick less; this makes perfect sense but it also makes you wonder whether say, the Pilgrims had any kind of humor at their disposal (I’m not aware of any & maybe this is why we don’t see too many of them around these days). I suspect that’s why they say Laughter is the Best Medicine although for all I know that was simply a slogan put forth by a primitive comedy club during Prohibition. Still, there’s no denying comedy’s curative powers. For example, yesterday I happened to be on the radio hosting a wine tasting program, and my guest was a man from an extremely fancy LA restaurant who’d brought with him some very highbrow wines. At one point during the broadcast he said something illuminating and I responded by gesturing emphatically, as I tend to do. And suddenly, with one ridiculous sweep of my hand I managed to knock an entire glass of one of France’s finest champagnes across my laptop computer —  frying its interior in a matter of seconds. This will, I am certain, seem funny to me someday but curiously, it didn’t at the time. Yet, last night, despite my staggeringly stupid mishap and the accompanying depression it prompted, as soon as I sat down and watched 22 minutes of Modern Family, everything automatically got better. Like clockwork. There’s a reason we crave comedy, and in today’s less-than-stellar economic climate we also know that one thing Americans are still spending money on is entertainment. And maybe a new computer or two. In times like these, escapism is the new black —  precisely why our Favorite Comedic Star nominees are Hollywood royalty. First up, in reverse alphabetical order, we have Adam Sandler. He started out on Saturday Night Live (as did two of our other nominees) and he made the leap from TV to film in what appeared to be one single goofy bound. By perfecting the man-child-with-borderline-rage-issues he’s established his own genre and he has the die-hard fans, massive weekend openings, and even more massive box-office receipts to prove it. Few are the actors who can have “The New” and “Film” written on either side of their name and moviegoers know instantly know what kind of movie they’re getting themselves into. He’s never been afraid to make fun of himself, and I’m sure that cultural scientists would say one of the reasons he’s so popular among men is his ability to tap into the most immature element of their subconscious.  Whatever it is, it works. Plus, he’s also smart enough to utilize his friends in various projects which broadens his appeal exponentially; as King of the Laugh Pack he’ll always be regarded as a Supremely Good (Every)guy who likes to goof around with his buddies in sixty-million dollar films. Now voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these Adam Sandler movies is your favorite:

1)   50 First Dates

2)   Grown Ups

3)   Happy Gilmore

4)  The Wedding Singer

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