- The Washington Times - Monday, November 13, 2006

Every hack says it periodically, but hacks like me say it often: Man, I wish I had written that.

New York Times movie critic A.O. Scott took the honors this time with a piece about how, even in our snark-saturated age of relentless irony, sight gags and physical humor still elicit the most uproarious laughter.

Scott quotes critic James Agee’s ascending scale of laughs — “the titter, the yowl, the belly laugh and the boffo. … The boffo is the laugh that kills.” Immediately I knew where Scott was going with this. I knew the movie (“Borat“) and the scene (the nude-wrestling showdown between Borat and fat sidekick Azamat).

I don’t think I knew what a “boffo” was until I beheld the scene. It is extremely gross and tasteless, doubtless, but it reduced me to a helping, drooling fool for what seemed like a dangerous stretch of time during which is was impossible to inhale air.

Cheers to A.O. Scott for making stupidity sound so smart, and here’s to many more boffos to come.


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