The Six Laugh Test

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In order for a comedy film to actually qualify as a comedy, it should pass the six laugh test by inducing at least six laughs from the viewer within its duration.

Mark's unreliable memory recalled that the test was first established around the time of Norbit, which secured no laughs at all - but in fact it had been in use since at least 2005 when, reviewing Mr And Mrs Smith, Mark said he had laughed seven times, all of them at Vince Vaughn - and had then been taken to task by an enraged taxi driver who thought that such a review was far too kind. When Wallace And Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit was released, a listener joking referred to it passing the "17-laugh test."

Mark laughed six times at the trailer for Alien Autopsy. There is a benchmark.

By the time of the release of Hot Fuzz in January 2007, when it was a five laugh test - a test the film had passed within the first 10 minutes, primarily thanks to an extended gag where Simon Pegg's policeman continually asks to have his transfer reviewed by a superior officer. Mark asked that cinemagoers (they weren't Wittertainees yet - the name had yet to take) stand up during the film and shout "12 minutes!" or whatever the duration of time it had been once they had themselves laughed five times - behaviour that would of course later be outlawed by the Code of Conduct.

Mark does admit to having a "Tin Ear for Comedy" and so his six laughs should probably be factored up for the "normal" cinema goer to a significantly higher number, spread over the duration of the film.