Solonor is asking us to List the five biggest influences on what it is that you find funny.
I’m a movie geek, through and through, as the list below will show. There’s no particular order to my list, either, although it’s a close one between numbers 2 and 5.
- Blake Edwards is a towering influence on me: how can the man who wrote and directed the Pink Panther movies not be? Just look at that list for his writing and directing credits, and you’ll see why. If I had to pick one movie of his, it would be one that will appear in the number two position as well: The Party. I still laugh whenever I think about Birdy num num!
- Mel Brooks should be plainly obvious to fans of cinema. As a writer-director, he’s been responsible for some of the all-time great comedies. Whether it’s The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, History of the World: Part I, High Anxiety, or others, Mel deserves to be on this list.
- Chuck Jones’ animation style set a mark of excellence that’s rarely been matched. In fact, only Animaniacs, The Simpsons, and The Family Guy come close in terms of consistency of humor. The classic Bugs Bunny cartoon, What’s Opera, Doc, is a Jones cartoon, as is Rabbit Seasoning and its classic play of words on the line “Shoot him now! Shoot him now!” Chuck also animated How The Grinch Stole Christmas, still one of the classic animated holiday tales.
- Of all comic actors, Peter Sellers reigns supreme for me. Look at that resume. From Dr. Strangelove to Being There, and everything in between (and before), no comedic actor could pull of both physical and dialogue like he could. His performance in The Party will forever remain imbedded in my mind, particularly the movie-set sequence where he’s supposed to be in a Gunga Din-like epic and keeps screwing it up. Glorious stuff.
- Monty Python is the last item on the list, and how can they not be? British humor at its best. The fact that everyone can recite entire passages of dialogue shows how profoundly they impacted the world. Their later solo careers have been just as good, with Terry Gilliam, in particular, getting a mention for his incredible work behind the camera as a director.
And there you have it, my top five influences on what I find funny.