Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Witz DOESN'T Pick: The "Comedy Movie" Trailers Font

Sorry for being so negative recently and DOESN'T picking things, but I've reached my boiling point recently on a number of different things. The most recent has been The Comedy Font from all those bad comedy trailers.

You know the one I'm talking about-- Red, pseudo bubble letters that take over the screen and have single-handedly allowed for the making of thousands of terrible movies. I think it began with The Nutty Professor, and has since continued onward through Cheaper By the Dozen, Bruce Almighty and more recently with Norbit, Wild Hogs, and Are We Done Yet? (a whole other issue altogether). The font falls from the sky most of the time and inexplicably bounces-- you know, because the comedy is bouncy and harmless. Only for me, it has become a sign that the movie is going to be TERRIBLE.

Has another font so singlehandedly dominated our culture? When some dude invented Times New Roman, did he KNOW that he was the shit? That he would become the gold standard for the typed word? Did ancient Greek theatre feature Arial font for their crappy comedy productions? And who did Wing Dings have to blow to get into the mix? The last time I can remember a font being so noticeable and foreboding was when I was introduced to cursive, which incidentally was the most overhyped "font" of the last three generations. Cursive is to handwriting what tech companies were to the stock market. It's like an extra security measure for credit cards, because if I ever stole anyone's credit card and used it, there's no way I'd be able to steal their money if their name started with an I, a Z, or an H. And my last name begins with an "H"-- I've been fakin' it for YEARS. It baffles me when I'm at work and receive a note written in cursive. It's like somebody handed me a piece of paper and said, "here, ignore this." I like to hand them back a note with every 3rd letter removed and when they can't read it I say, "Ha! I had to break your code, now you break mine." The joke's on them though, because I never actually removed every 3rd letter-- I just wrote a bunch of letters down that don't spell shit.

What I'm trying to say is that the red-bubble-crap-movie-bouncing font has made its way into our culture and our subconscious without most of us noticing. All of a sudden every marketing company in Hollywood decided that it's friendly and alluring and now we have to see it every time Eddie Murphy decides he doesn't want to win an Oscar and wants to remind us all that Bowfinger was actually a movie. I can't remember all the movies the Comedy Font was in, but I'm certain that if you go back and do some research, you'll find a long, winding string of comedy bombs. Not to mention a horrible mixed metaphor. So be warned. Do what you gotta do, but remember the Comedy Font before making that decision of whether to see Wild Hogs or 300. There's only one comedy font worth anything, and that's Comic Sans MS. We all know that.

Witz (Witz)

1 comment:

Thomas J. Brown said...

Wow, you're right! I hadn't noticed, but now that you mention it...

The font that I see everywhere is Papyrus (and, to a slightly lesser extent, Ancient Script, which a Papyrus knock-off). Everyone uses Papyrus for everything, even if it's not at all appropriate. Exotic? Papyrus. Old? Papyrus. Technological? Fucking Papyrus. NO! Papyrus should ONLY be used if there's some connection to Egypt, or the ancient Middle East, or the fucking Bible (even then, I'd call it a stretch).

All I can say is Hel-Fucking-Vetica.

By the way, I started to wonder who invented Times New Roman and found this Wikipedia entry about it. It's pretty fascinating (then again, I'm a total fontophile).