A FISH CALLED WANDA (1988)

The Unenthusiastic Critic Podcast - Episode 26

Released 30 years ago this week, A Fish Called Wanda is one of Michael's favorite comedies. But will Nakea think it's funny?

First, we're talking about the very essence of comedy, and discussing various universal theories of humor proposed by such irrepressibly funny guys as Sigmund Freud, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Hobbes, and Aristotle (who was not, as it turns out, Belgian).

Then, we're sitting down for Nakea's first viewing of Charles Crichton's A Fish Called Wanda, featuring John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Palin, and an Oscar-winning turn from Kevin Kline.

What was the middle part?

Program

0:00: Apologia
0:54: Preliminary Conversation: What is Comedy?
23.22: Original Trailer: A Fish Called Wanda
24.47: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion of A Fish Called Wanda
27.57: Interlude: A Scene from A Fish Called Wanda
29:12: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion of A Fish Called Wanda
1:01:12: Outro and Next Week's Movie

Notes and Links

—Film discussed: A Fish Called Wanda (dir. Charles Crichton, MGM, 1988)
—Reviews and Articles Mentioned: Roger Ebert's review, on rogerebert.com; Readers’ Poll: The 25 Funniest Movies of All Time, Rolling Stone; Just a Collection of Nonsense”: the Oral History of A Fish Called Wanda,Darryn King, Vanity Fair; "11 Fun Facts about A Fish Called Wanda," Anna Green, mentalfloss.com.
—Resources on Theories of Comedy: "Philosophy of Humor," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy; "A Quest to Understand What Makes Things Funny," Shane Snow, The New Yorker; "Is There a Scientific Formula for Funny?", Christen Conger, How Stuff Works; "Theories of Humor," Wikipedia.
—"Warm Duck Shuffle" by Arne Huseby is licensed under CC BY 3.0.
—Listen to additional episodes and read The Unenthusiastic Critic in prose form at unaffiliatedcritic.com.
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The Unaffiliated Critic

Michael G. McDunnah is a freelance writer, a recovering lit major, a pop-culture junkie, and an unaffiliated critic. He lives in Chicago.

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