Something funny about this mag list


In his column at TV Week, Alex Ben Block rips Entertainment Weekly's ranking of the "25.5 funniest people in America." In fact, he calls it "one of the worst power lists ever published by a major magazine." On the list: Augusten Burroughs, Scot Armstrong, Demetri Martin and Kelly Ripa. Not mentioned are any of Robin Williams, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, Ray Romano, Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno or Jerry Seinfeld.

Being the editor of a magazine, Block phoned up EW and got writer Josh Wolk on the line.

"You should see the people screaming about this," Mr. Wolk chuckled. "We're getting tons of mail. This is one of those topics everybody has really strong opinions about."

It may say on the cover next to a picture of No. 1 pick Chris Rock that the list is of the 25 funniest people in America, but there should be a footnote that tells the truth: This is the list of the funniest people who are not excessively popular or, god forbid, mainstream...

Of course, humor is not easy to quantify. But that is not a license to be stupid. If this were a list by some blogger sitting in his bedroom dazed by too much TV, too many Twinkies and an overload of DVD extras, it would be one thing. However, this is a mainstream magazine that purports to know who is hot and who is not.

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