No laughing matter: film advisory boards’ evaluations of award-considered comedies

Alon Lazar, Tal Litvak Hirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Humor research has not addressed the treatment of comedy movies by film advisory boards, the panels informing local moviegoers of the inappropriateness of contents in these comedies. This is especially true for films subsequently nominated for best comedy of the year by various organizations. The assigned age classifications and their justifications by the Motion Picture Association of America, the British Board of Film Classification and the Australian Classification Board (ACB) for films nominated by voters of the Teen Choice Award (TCA) and the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), as best comedy movies of the year were analyzed. Three findings stand out. First, there is very little agreement among the voters on these panels of films they consider prime examples of comedies. Second, the majority of TCA and BFCA chosen comedies are evaluated more leniently by the ACB in terms of age restrictions. Finally, the film boards consider profanity and sexual references, but hardly mention humor as a justification for their decisions, regardless of the type of award considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-125
Number of pages10
JournalComedy Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2017


  • Humor
  • comedies
  • film advisory boards
  • movie awards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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