Full disclosure, I didn’t need to see results of a study to tell me that The IT Crowd had the most ‘laughs per minute’ in a recent survey conducted by OnBuy.com. The U.K. online marketplace surveyed 2,325 fans and asked them to name the top 10 funniest British sitcoms of all time. That said, I will quietly wonder ‘what the heck were the 2,325 fans thinking’ as I ask myself and anyone that will listen why on Earth wasn’t Fawlty Towers included in list of the 10 funniest sitcoms studied.
A panel of 125 people then watched all the episodes from the ten shows selected, while having their laughter recorded. The following results were deduced, based on the total laughter duration for each show (measured by decibels) where a laugh was counted as one where the volume reached at least 60dB.
The duration measured the total time (seconds) that the laughter was sustained for across all viewings. According to EarQ, the average decibels of laughter is 60-65 dB. Graham Linehan’s brilliant sitcom, The IT Crowd, garnered the most laughs per minute which translated to a total of 1:44 minutes of laughter per hour.
Psychologist and wellbeing consultant Lee Chambers explains the reasons we love watching sitcoms and the benefits of laughter: “Given the underlying anxiety caused by a global pandemic, and the stress of uncertain futures, laughter is even more important.”
“Laughter can trigger the release of endorphins, improving your mood, and can diffuse anger and frustration, making it a healthy way to express the negative emotions we will all be feeling in this challenging time. It is infectious and like a hug in these times of decreased physical contact,” continued Chambers.
Top 5 IT Crowd moments —
While it makes perfect sense that The IT Crowd placed at the top of the programs identified in the study (I’ll never forget when Jen thought she was holding the entire Internet in her hands), the big question that remains is just how far ahead would Fawlty Towers have finished had it been included in the study….