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They Throw Pies, Don't They? (An Official List Project)

500<400, Favourite 1001 movies, Doubling the Canon, Film World Cup and many other votes
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They Throw Pies, Don't They? (An Official List Project)

#1

Post by kongs_speech »

Yesterday, for the first time, I read Geoff King's Film Comedy list in its entirety. By the time I got to the bottom, I was embarrassed. There are awful movies (Big Momma's House? Mickey Blue Eyes?), early racist shorts that have never surfaced online and porn parodies with names like Edward Penishands and The Erotic Witch Project. Making matters worse, the list is 18 years old and will never be updated. It is by fucking far the worst official list on ICM. The top comments on the list are about how much it sucks. "Why is there not a superior alternative?" I thought.

Inspired by mightysparks' superb work in compiling the TSZDT project, I decided that if there isn't a suitable replacement, I shall craft one. A little cartoon lightbulb appeared over my head. Behold -- They Throw Pies, Don't They?, or TTPDT. Much like horror, comedy is frowned upon by film snobs despite being a genre with some our most timeless and beloved classics. This list is meant to function as a definitive, diverse ranking of the top 1000 comedies of all time, encompassing everything from Chaplin to Broken Lizard to foreign obscurities. Just as Sparks did, I am trying to collect as many lists as possible from critics, entertainment sites, blogs and knowledgeable average joes. I want at least 1000 unique lists to create a true consensus. I'm currently conducting an exhaustive Bing search for any valid list of best comedies, but I expect I shall fall well short of reaching that number on my own. As such, I'm seeking your help. If you know of any great lists of comedies, let me know! Think you're an expert on the genre? Contribute your own list! Naturally, a forum member's picks won't be weighted as highly as the BBC list or 100 Years, 100 Laughs, but it all matters.

I hope to complete the project sometime in 2021. Unlike TSZDT, I will not be making a website, so I expect that will cut down on the time requirement. If you have any thoughts, suggestions or input that could make my task easier, by all means, fire away.

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#2

Post by mjf314 »

Here's the full list with ballots for the BBC poll: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... nt/pubhtml

There are also the ballots from the Time Out poll: https://www.timeout.com/london/film/100 ... tors-index

There was also an iCM Forum poll in 2016.
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#3

Post by kongs_speech »

mjf314 wrote: December 4th, 2020, 6:30 pm Here's the full list with ballots for the BBC poll: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... nt/pubhtml

There are also the ballots from the Time Out poll: https://www.timeout.com/london/film/100 ... tors-index

There was also an iCM Forum poll in 2016.
Thank you so much! I had already found the iCM poll, but these links are wonderful. :cheers:
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#4

Post by mjf314 »

There are some more comedy lists on my film lists spreadsheet (on the genres tab) in case you want to browse it:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/ ... dU3xC8/pub
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#5

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Awesome! I didn't have some of those.
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#6

Post by blueboybob »

AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs
Film School Rejects: The 50 Best Comedy Movies Ever
Empire's 50 Funniest Comedies Ever
FilmAffinity - Top Rated Black Comedy Movies
IMDb Top 50 Comedy
LaughDB The Funniest French Comedies
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#7

Post by mjf314 »

blueboybob wrote: December 4th, 2020, 8:30 pm FilmAffinity - Top Rated Black Comedy Movies
I don't think it's a good idea to use a top rated list, because we don't know if the voters actually consider the movie a comedy.

Maybe these lists would be better:
My Favorite Comedies
Funniest Movies Ever
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#8

Post by Cippenham »

https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/clas ... cippenham/

This is a personal list admittedly. But I am still highly ranked on ICM..and there some amazing under rated films on this list.
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#9

Post by kongs_speech »

blueboybob wrote: December 4th, 2020, 8:30 pm LaughDB The Funniest French Comedies
mjf314 wrote: December 4th, 2020, 9:07 pm My Favorite Comedies
Funniest Movies Ever
Cippenham wrote: December 4th, 2020, 10:18 pm https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/clas ... cippenham/

This is a personal list admittedly. But I am still highly ranked on ICM..and there some amazing under rated films on this list.
Added! Thanks, guys! I'm up to nearly 450 unique lists already. The Time Out and BBC ballots helped immensely.
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#11

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#12

Post by mjf314 »

There are also ballots from the RYM poll.

List: https://rateyourmusic.com/list/Iron_Dwa ... ng_to_rym/
Ballots: https://rateyourmusic.com/board_message ... 20&start=0
blueboybob wrote: December 4th, 2020, 8:30 pm LaughDB The Funniest French Comedies
LaughDB also has an overall list: https://www.laughdb.com/ (click the laughs button to sort by laughs)

There's also a SCFZ poll.

List: https://letterboxd.com/fliptrotsky/list ... scfz-poll/
Ballots: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/the_aut ... -t961.html
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#13

Post by Torgo »

mjf314 wrote: December 5th, 2020, 4:11 am LaughDB also has an overall list: https://www.laughdb.com/ (click the laughs button to sort by laughs)
This project is already so much amusing!
:D
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#14

Post by mjf314 »

There are also these lists from ranker in case you're interested. They're not static lists. Also the FilmAffinity lists that I linked earlier aren't static.
https://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list ... medy-films
https://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list ... f-all-time
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#15

Post by kongs_speech »

mjf314 wrote: December 5th, 2020, 4:11 am There are also ballots from the RYM poll.

List: https://rateyourmusic.com/list/Iron_Dwa ... ng_to_rym/
Ballots: https://rateyourmusic.com/board_message ... 20&start=0
blueboybob wrote: December 4th, 2020, 8:30 pm LaughDB The Funniest French Comedies
LaughDB also has an overall list: https://www.laughdb.com/ (click the laughs button to sort by laughs)

There's also a SCFZ poll.

List: https://letterboxd.com/fliptrotsky/list ... scfz-poll/
Ballots: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/the_aut ... -t961.html
Added all of the ballots. They'll have pretty low weightings, but it's nice to have a lot of input from regular film buffs. I'm going to count the ballots from the old iCM poll too.
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#16

Post by joachimt »

Please don't include personal lists like Cippenham's. Just use reputable sources. Being "highly ranked on ICM" is not enough.
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#17

Post by Prat »

For French comedies, there is a top 100 from a poll. The voters are just moviegoers and not professionnals. 2005 people responded to it and it's a poll for french comedies only : https://www.senscritique.com/top/result ... ses/436557

On this website, they also had a top 100 for comedies worldwide (with the same system of poll, 3045 votes) : https://www.senscritique.com/top/result ... ies/337551

Maybe it will help. ^^
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#18

Post by xianjiro »

One other thing, has anyone laid out how a list becomes official? I'd hate to see you go through all this work with an expectation. I've no idea how long Mighty worked on Zombies, but the thread certainly helped get momentum for the cause. Was TSZDT voted on by users in one of the "which should be official" polls? I don't recall.
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#19

Post by Cippenham »

My list came from Wikipedia I think. List of British Comedy Films. It’s not a list I compiled myself. Search and you will see.
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#21

Post by tommy_leazaq »

joachimt wrote: December 5th, 2020, 7:48 am Please don't include personal lists like Cippenham's. Just use reputable sources. Being "highly ranked on ICM" is not enough.
If Im not wrong, TSZDT includes personal lists, just with very low weightage. I guess of a person seems to be of reasonable film watching background, I dont see any problem in including with less weightage. Lot of the "critics" available in the net, might as well seen less films and less exposed than some of us here
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#22

Post by prodigalgodson »

Cippenham wrote: December 4th, 2020, 10:18 pm This is a personal list admittedly. But I am still highly ranked on ICM..and there some amazing under rated films on this list.
Cippenham wrote: December 5th, 2020, 9:33 am My list came from Wikipedia I think. List of British Comedy Films. It’s not a list I compiled myself. Search and you will see.
Wait what's the definition of a personal list then...and...wait why is your ICM ranking relevant in that case :think:

Haha anyway, groovy idea ks; look forward to the results and have my fingers crossed for Lebowski.
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#24

Post by tommy_leazaq »

Also, If I remember correctly, there was a similar project started by kas for Westerns, right? Whatever happened to that...
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#25

Post by Teproc »

Here's a top 50 by Julien Lada, a French critic for a French website called Cinématraque (not a super prestigious thing to be clear, but still): https://www.senscritique.com/liste/Les_ ... emps/54334

Generally, if you want to have a French perspective from random cinephiles, you can look at this page, but I don't know exactly what the criteria are for inclusion. Also, highest-rated comedies on the French equivalent to IMDB, Allocine.

Here's a list of the 15 best French comedies by the Buzzfeedesque website Topito: https://www.topito.com/top-meilleures-c ... -les-temps

And one of the 40 best romcoms by Les éclaireuses : https://www.leseclaireuses.com/divertis ... evoir.html
Another one on the same theme by French Vogue: https://www.vogue.fr/culture/a-voir/dia ... 0697d43545
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#26

Post by Cippenham »

That Western list was not followed through due to other priorities I guess.
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#27

Post by Cippenham »

At least Wikipedia has various contributions, it’s not my personal choice. Technically a personal list is chosen by an individual, but if chosen by an esteemed critic it is not taken as such. My ranking is not relevant I agree.
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#28

Post by kongs_speech »

joachimt wrote: December 5th, 2020, 7:48 am Please don't include personal lists like Cippenham's. Just use reputable sources. Being "highly ranked on ICM" is not enough.
I am including some personal lists, such as the RYM/SCFZ ballots that were linked earlier in the thread, but they will receive low weighting. The iCM Forum's 2016 ballots will also be used and perhaps weighted slightly higher than those, though still less than professional critics, organizations and journalistic sources such as Indiewire or Slashfilm. I'm also going to attempt to run a comedy poll very soon in a small (<200 members) private Facebook film group that I'm active in, and those ballots (including my own) will be weighted as low as the RYM and SCFZ ones, with possible exceptions for a handful of members who work in the film industry.
Prat wrote: December 5th, 2020, 8:57 am For French comedies, there is a top 100 from a poll. The voters are just moviegoers and not professionnals. 2005 people responded to it and it's a poll for french comedies only : https://www.senscritique.com/top/result ... ses/436557

On this website, they also had a top 100 for comedies worldwide (with the same system of poll, 3045 votes) : https://www.senscritique.com/top/result ... ies/337551

Maybe it will help. ^^
Thanks, I'll take a look at it! I'm looking for a lot of country-specific lists in order to ensure that international cinema receives a fair shake, so that could very well prove useful.
xianjiro wrote: December 5th, 2020, 9:03 am One other thing, has anyone laid out how a list becomes official? I'd hate to see you go through all this work with an expectation. I've no idea how long Mighty worked on Zombies, but the thread certainly helped get momentum for the cause. Was TSZDT voted on by users in one of the "which should be official" polls? I don't recall.
It's not a sure thing, but I guess I'm banking on it becoming official for several reasons. The biggest is that the list I'm aiming to replace is unpopular, outdated and unrepresentative of the whole medium of cinematic comedy. My list will be far more diverse and all-encompassing, with contemporary relevance. From chatting a bit with her, I know that Sparks worked her ass off to make TSZDT happen, and though I'm not making a website, I'm otherwise not going to allow myself to put in any less effort than she did. Judging from all the people sending me lists so far in this thread, there seems to be enthusiasm for TTPDT.
tommy_leazaq wrote: December 5th, 2020, 9:42 am
joachimt wrote: December 5th, 2020, 7:48 am Please don't include personal lists like Cippenham's. Just use reputable sources. Being "highly ranked on ICM" is not enough.
If Im not wrong, TSZDT includes personal lists, just with very low weightage. I guess of a person seems to be of reasonable film watching background, I dont see any problem in including with less weightage. Lot of the "critics" available in the net, might as well seen less films and less exposed than some of us here
This is correct and that's what I'm doing.
prodigalgodson wrote: December 5th, 2020, 9:44 am Haha anyway, groovy idea ks; look forward to the results and have my fingers crossed for Lebowski.
Thanks, friend. I'm quite certain that the Dude will make a strong showing.
Appreciated. I didn't have the Films Ranked list. Is Satantango really a comedy? I haven't seen it yet, but I always hear it talked about like it's in the same league as Salo.
Teproc wrote: December 5th, 2020, 9:57 am Here's a top 50 by Julien Lada, a French critic for a French website called Cinématraque (not a super prestigious thing to be clear, but still): https://www.senscritique.com/liste/Les_ ... emps/54334

Generally, if you want to have a French perspective from random cinephiles, you can look at this page, but I don't know exactly what the criteria are for inclusion. Also, highest-rated comedies on the French equivalent to IMDB, Allocine.

Here's a list of the 15 best French comedies by the Buzzfeedesque website Topito: https://www.topito.com/top-meilleures-c ... -les-temps

And one of the 40 best romcoms by Les éclaireuses : https://www.leseclaireuses.com/divertis ... evoir.html
Another one on the same theme by French Vogue: https://www.vogue.fr/culture/a-voir/dia ... 0697d43545
This is exactly what I'm looking for with country lists. Thank you!!! :cheers:
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#29

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kongs_speech wrote: December 5th, 2020, 2:21 pm Is Satantango really a comedy? I haven't seen it yet, but I always hear it talked about like it's in the same league as Salo.
Certainly not a comedy, nothing like Salo either. 8 hours of slow arthouse cinema, nicely shot though.

I guess that people who really don't like the film may think the director was giving them the middle finger, which could be considered a very cynical gesture? But a comedy? Nah.
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#30

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#31

Post by Fergenaprido »

So you're including the individual ballots of a poll as well as the results of that poll? That's double-counting and shouldn't be done.

Also, if you're following the mightysparks playbook for this, she used to included individual ballots like the ones for the icmforum horror poll, but then she decided to not include them (it's in a discussion thread on here somewhere).

And if you're expecting your list to be adopted as official, as a site moderator I can tell you already that I would not vote to adopt this list, based on your current methodology.

I do support the project on it's own, though, and think it will an interesting list once it's compiled.
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#32

Post by kongs_speech »

Fergenaprido wrote: December 5th, 2020, 7:06 pm So you're including the individual ballots of a poll as well as the results of that poll? That's double-counting and shouldn't be done.

Also, if you're following the mightysparks playbook for this, she used to included individual ballots like the ones for the icmforum horror poll, but then she decided to not include them (it's in a discussion thread on here somewhere).

And if you're expecting your list to be adopted as official, as a site moderator I can tell you already that I would not vote to adopt this list, based on your current methodology.

I do support the project on it's own, though, and think it will an interesting list once it's compiled.
Okay, so what would you change? I'm just doing what people are telling me to do here. I'd rather count individual ballots than the resulting list, as it's many more votes and represents many more films. But if I'm going to put this much work into it, I want it to be accepted for official status, so I guess I'm in a position where you decide what I do.
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#33

Post by Cippenham »

Are lists on Wikipedia personal lists, compiled by various contributions? What about lists from websites or newspapers. Can they count
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#34

Post by Fergenaprido »

kongs_speech wrote: December 5th, 2020, 7:09 pm
Fergenaprido wrote: December 5th, 2020, 7:06 pm So you're including the individual ballots of a poll as well as the results of that poll? That's double-counting and shouldn't be done.

Also, if you're following the mightysparks playbook for this, she used to included individual ballots like the ones for the icmforum horror poll, but then she decided to not include them (it's in a discussion thread on here somewhere).

And if you're expecting your list to be adopted as official, as a site moderator I can tell you already that I would not vote to adopt this list, based on your current methodology.

I do support the project on it's own, though, and think it will an interesting list once it's compiled.
Okay, so what would you change? I'm just doing what people are telling me to do here. I'd rather count individual ballots than the resulting list, as it's many more votes and represents many more films. But if I'm going to put this much work into it, I want it to be accepted for official status, so I guess I'm in a position where you decide what I do.
Well, keep in mind I'm just one moderator. I don't decide by myself which lists to adopt and which not. I mentioned it because I don't want to you to put in all this work thinking the end result is automatic adoption.

First off, I don't like these TSPDT-inspired lists in the first place. I think they're great as a list and informative, but I don't think they should be official, and if I had been a mod when TZPDT was debated, I would have voted "no" then. So even if you make changes, it may not change my mind. :D

Secondly, if I remember correctly, a big factor in the decision to adopt TSZDT was that Mighty set up a website for it, lending it some air of respectability/credibility. If you haven't already, I recommend reading the entirety of the TZSPT thread on this forum, as Mighty was asking a lot of questions, get a lot of input from other users on the methodology and which lists to use, and other helpful information. I think there's also discussion of the list in one of the official list threads, where people discussed their preferences of why/why not the list should be adopted. These may help you as well.

Thirdly, your methodology seems to be to accept every conceivable list out there, from Geoff King (I'm assuming you'll include his list in your megalist, unless you want to throw some serious shade :lol: ) down to random individual users with no influence, clout, or notoriety. That doesn't speak for having this be THE definitive comedy list that you're aiming for. Plus, this list will be primarily from English sources from what I've seen so far, which ignores a large chunk of comedy films. And without having a webpage to list all of your sources and methodology, the megalist will come across as simply a random internet project with some heavy personal bias (regardless of if that's true or not).

Lastly, from what I recall, Mighty was unhappy with the existing horror lists (on icm and elsewhere), so decided to make her own megalist so that she could continue to explore good horror films beyond the usual canon which she'd already seen. I'm sure she hoped it would be adopted as official, and maybe it was a goal of hers, but it wasn't the core reason to create the list. From what you've said, it sounds like your main motivation in creating this is simply to replace the Geoff King list because you don't like it. I don't see the same passion for the genre or desire to create a useful tool for the community, which is something I do see in TSZDT, even though I'm not a horror fan.

P.S. If I've misremembered or misstated anything about Mightysparks or the process that was used in creating/adopting TSZDT, it's unintentional - please correct me if I'm wrong as I don't want to be spreading false information.
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#35

Post by mjf314 »

If the ballots are available, I think you should use only the ballots, and not the final results.

I think it's ok to use ballots from forum polls, as long as they have low weight.

I can't say whether or not I would support the list for adoption, until I see the final list. If the list becomes popular on iCM, I would be more likely to support it. TSZDT's popularity was part of the reason why it became official.
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#36

Post by PeacefulAnarchy »

I don't think it's likely this gets adopted without a website and a strong following. And even then who knows what criteria for adoption will look like in 3 years, it may be stricter, it may be looser.

Regardless of ICM adoption, since you want to include personal lists, I think you should go all out. Go out and look for every personal list out there in every language you can find. Go to letterboxd, criticker, imdb, ICM, etc and use every comedy list. Give half the total weight to critics list and half to personal lists (within each you'd of course weight for notability and scope). Make something unique, that has a wide scope. Having personal lists with just small weight puts you in nowhere land, none of the trickle down authority of critical consensus, but without giving those personal lists an actual chance. Also get comedy lists from outside of film communities if you're going down this route, and see if you can go back and find old comedy lists from magazines and newspapers. Comedy seems a very transient genre, one that depends not only on personal tastes but communal tastes.

Note: Above is a personal opinion of what I think would result in an interesting and unique list. It has nothing to do with ICM adoption.
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#37

Post by kongs_speech »

Fergenaprido wrote: December 5th, 2020, 7:36 pm .
1) I will admit that I thought that, if I did a good job with the project, it would be a pretty easy path to replacing the King list as the ultimate ICM source. I mistook some initial enthusiasm from people I talked with privately for a sign that it was on easy street. I jumped the gun because I was so excited, and for that, I apologize.

2) Well, at least that's honest. Personally, I can't understand an argument for TSZDT not being worthy of official status. Sparks did such a thorough, exhaustive job with it. It really is representative of the whole of the genre, which is the same thing I'm striving for.

3) I will continue to consult her for advice on what to do or what not to do. I hadn't counted on creating an elaborate website, mostly because I don't want to pay for one. I'd rather not get into my financial situation on a public forum, but it leaves much to be desired. However, if having a site would make it easier to digest, I would consider the possibility.

4) King's was the first list I put in my document, and it will receive the maximum possible waiting. It's influential, and on its own, it's a very valuable document. I'm sure the book is a worthwhile read. However, as an official list, it seems highly questionable to me. Not only is it outdated, but if I interpret the write-up on the list correctly, it's not even King's list of which comedies are best or most important. It's just every film he mentioned in the book, which hardly strikes me as enough of a necessary resource to be one of approximately 208 official check lists on ICM.

The reason I started this thread was so my fellow ICM users could help me collect lists that I might have overlooked otherwise. Ballots from random forum users could be a divisive issue, I guess, but the RYM and SCFZ people do seem rather knowledgeable, and if I interpreted something Sparks told me correctly, she did include lists from regular people, she just weighted them very low. That is what I was planning to do. I would never consider taking lists from random blokes with 12 Letterboxd followers. If I'm mistaken and she did not ultimately count ballots from film forums at all, I'll find a suitable alternative.

It's difficult to take the implication of "heavy personal bias" as a good-faith argument. I won't lie, I don't much care for that. Rest assured, I was always planning to make 100% of my data publicly accessible to everyone. There is no bias whatsoever. I do not care at all if the films that I like place high, low or not at all. I was planning to give my own submitted ballot the lowest tier of weighting, as I am essentially no one.

"Primarily" from English sources? Yes, probably. However, I always intended to do my absolute best to find representation for every conceivable subgenre and nationality of comedy. The foreign lists I've been given in this thread are wonderful resources. In addition to using Bing (Google is garbage that turns up very few results) to browse lists of every kind of comedy listed in the "comedy film" Wiki article, I will also be going down the list of current ICM official lists and finding lists to represent each of them. The best martial arts comedies, best Pinoy comedies, best silent comedies, etc. Sparks told me that she ran searches in foreign languages as well, so that's something I'd like to do.

5) Okay, here's where I really take issue with your word choice. I feel as though perhaps you selectively read my initial post while overlooking key details. Yes, I hate Geoff King's Film Comedy being an official list. You're absolutely right about that. At no point in time was that a secret. However, if you think my goal here is to get my name on something, for the clout or whatever, you know neither me nor the aim of my project. The entire reasoning behind building a better comedy resource is because the King list does not accurately represent the genre. I have an immense lifelong fondness for comedy. My first favorite actors as a child were Adam Sandler, Robin Williams and Will Ferrell. I love screwball classics with Joan Blondell, I love intellectual Albert Brooks comedies and I love weird gonzo shit like Freddy Got Fingered. I think I made my intentions pretty clear in this excerpt from my post, which you have actively ignored: "Much like horror, comedy is frowned upon by film snobs despite being a genre with some our most timeless and beloved classics. This list is meant to function as a definitive, diverse ranking of the top 1000 comedies of all time, encompassing everything from Chaplin to Broken Lizard to foreign obscurities."

Hopefully we are now on the same page.
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#39

Post by kongs_speech »

AdamH wrote: December 6th, 2020, 12:11 am Seems like a great project :thumbsup:
Thanks for the support! I hope it will be. :cheers:
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#40

Post by mightysparks »

I'm supportive of this project (and any other They Shoot... lists people want to make), I think it's super fun. I don't think you should be discouraged about whether it becomes official or not, just make it the best list you can possibly make it so it's a useful resource for yourself and everyone else. I'm really excited to see how it turns out. Kong mentioned to me that they were going to having a public Google sheet which I think would have a space for sources and methodology in lieu of a website. And keep talking it about here, asking questions, promoting it, showing it off, polishing it.

From what I can remember, I think people are mostly accurate with the history of TSZDT. I don't include forum ballots, although I do include ballots from things like the Time Out list where you have people like Wes Craven, Simon Pegg etc and the final list too because there is so much variation from the final list and the ballots, and the weighting difference, that there is not really a problem of doubling up. I do include lists from 'average joe's' but not every single list I come across and I did mention this to Kong - nothing like 'best films on Netflix' for example - and I do some research on the authors to determine weighting/inclusion. But I don't agree that this makes the list less definitive. Critics are not the be all and end all, especially when it comes to genres that are somewhat 'defined' by their personal reaction potential - fear and laughter - so I don't think this is a really an issue. Everything can be tweaked later too.

PS I'll try to work out that program issue soon but I think I broke my toe yesterday and have been too sad to do anything lol
"I do not always know what I want, but I do know what I don't want." - Stanley Kubrick

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