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The Funniest Movie Ever According To Science

Comedy is hard to get right. While some films know whatever magical formula creates a laugh or two, others are destined to fail before they even hit theaters. What makes the difference is even more difficult to explain. A combination of the right cast, director, and script made at an ideal time can create an instant classic. Which film seems to have captured it all? The answer could be "Superbad."

"Superbad" follows the lives of two high school students as they try to make one last party count before graduating. It's spurred a multitude of memes and gifs, not the least being McLovin's (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) terrible attempt at a fake ID (via NJ.Com). According to a recent study by OnBuy, the Michael Cera and Jonah Hill film takes the title of "funniest movie" when going by IMDb ratings and reviews (via The Washington Post). The company focused on the average rating as well as the number of times users referred to the film using "funny" or a similar adjective. 

Could Airplane! be funnier than Superbad?

Not all studies agree with OnBuy's results. Notably, UK-based service Lovefilm took a different approach to the topic — the company did viewing sessions where they counted the number of laughs per movie and compared those numbers to the runtime (via Forbes). Using this approach, the teens from "Superbad" went down to fourth place. Meanwhile, the company found that the 1980 movie "Airplane!" took the top slot. For the record, the film averaged three laughs per minute, while "Superbad" came in with 1.9 laughs per minute. In a nod to '80s and '90s comedies, "Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!" placed third. Notably, the film hails from the same team behind the list's top title (via WGN).

Lovefilm spokesperson Helen Cowley acknowledged a disparity between customers' votes and their results, as members went with the classic "Monty Python's Life of Brian" for the funniest film. To Cowley, it all comes down to their methods. "While Lovefilm members voted 'Life of Brian' as the funniest film, our research shows that for Laughs a Minute ... Airplane! beats the Monty Python epic hands-down" (via Joe).