Moviegoers have diverse senses of humor, and different people find different things funny. A regular comedy may contain just one type of comedy throughout. A great comedy movie appeals to the greatest number of people and often has the most elements, or the most extreme examples of these elements, that elicit laughs from its audience.
Quirky mannerisms or eccentric and extreme behavior are often behind the funniest, most memorable characters in great comedies. Even before he launches himself on the plot's quest for a missing dolphin in "Ace Ventura," from 1994, the title character's manic, animal-obsessed personality, coupled with his famous slick-sided, front-raised hairdo generated audience laughs. Both the still-trying-to-be-hip Austin Powers character, as well as the pinkie-finger-kissing Dr. Evil, from "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery," released in 1997, can make audiences giggle, just by looking at them.
A great comedy movie usually has funny, memorable lines that viewers laughingly quote when they leave the theater, and even years later. An often-quoted back-and-forth between two characters from 1980s "Airplane" goes: "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious...I am serious, and don't call me Shirley." Rodney Dangerfield's obnoxious, wisecracking character in 1980's "Caddyshack" had plenty of hysterical lines, such as "Oh, this is your wife? Oh, a lovely lady. Hey baby, you're alright -- you must've been something before electricity, huh?"
A short, naked, crowbar-wielding Asian guy springing out of a car, onto the shoulders of another character, beating him with the crowbar, and then proceeding to beat down his two friends is the type of physical comedy that audiences find ultra funny. That scene is from the hugely successful "The Hangover" of 2009. Physical scenes, such as a deadbeat character tumbling down a staircase to get out of paying his rent in "Coming to America," from 1988, often bring enjoyably funny action to a great comedy, much like a furious, screeching car chase brings thrills in an action flick.
Outlaw cowboys sitting around a crackling campfire, releasing a symphony of farts that fill the air and annoy their leader in Mel Brooks' 1974 comedy, "Blazing Saddles," is a prime example of a politically-incorrect, exaggerated situation that provokes laughter in great comedies. These situations usually abound in the same movie. Later in "Blazing Saddles," that same group of cowboys furiously rides galloping horses across a barren desert, and encounters a lone, dime-taking toll booth -- and none of them have dimes. They have to sit and wait while somebody goes back and retrieves a load of dimes.
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