Telling a joke that gets the entire room laughing is the social equivalent of hitting a grand slam. Gazing around and seeing everyone’s brief joy feels so good that it bears repeating. Logically, if it’s funny once, it should at least be equally funny the second time. More is usually better, and more laughter is always better. Unfortunately, with every repeated attempt, the joke exponentially decays into the realm of pitiful comedy occupied by the likes of Dane Cook and Jeff Dunham.

There are few things more heartbreaking than witnessing someone ruin a perfectly good joke. The timing, context and delivery all felt so right before the overzealous jokester got carried away. This humiliating act is like watching a baseball player trip on home plate and break their femur after hitting the game-winning grand slam — it’s a tragicomedy.

Comedy ages the worst compared to all other movie genres. Its short shelf life is because of the fleeting nature of jokes; dated cultural references usually fail to align with newer audiences. It’s not that telling the same joke becomes repetitive and exhaustive. It’s that the jokes just aren’t as relevant to the modern world.

The cheesy and raunchy “There’s Something About Mary” was mostly well-received by audiences and critics after its 1998 release. AFI would even go on to rank it the 27th funniest movie of the last 100 years, ahead of comedy behemoths like “Ghostbusters” and “Animal House.” Peculiarly, this “classic” has aged quite poorly since its release. Although the famous pant-zipper gag is punchy and funny, the excessive amount of jokes that make fun of people with disabilities are lazy and offensive. Laughing at the pain of others is still the standard for comedy, but in 2016, we don’t really laugh at autism and paralysis. It’s shocking to think this was ever widely accepted.

Challenging the norm is what makes comedy so gripping. By contesting a sensitive subject, comedians and movies can often bring light to a controversial issue. How this is done and who’s at the tail end of the joke, however, determines everything. Movies that satirize systems of higher authorities tend to age better than those that bully traditionally marginalized groups. Throughout time, there will always be something inherently wrong in the world that can be critiqued, like bad leadership and useless bureaucracies.

“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” has aged as gracefully as David Lynch’s glorious mane of gray hair. Every joke and scene is still as hilarious and brilliant as it was in 1975. There will never be a day where this movie is not funny. What sets it apart from other flops of this time is its ability to takes risks in the genre and experiment with basic storytelling elements, like conclusive endings and tidy plotlines. Considering the movie was a standalone and unique work, time does nothing but solidify its masterful quality.

Movies that were never lauded by critics, but adored by a cult following, like “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” generally age beautifully. However, they seldom break out into more widespread appreciation as time progresses. Movies that are so idiosyncratic only appeal to a specific group of people that adore all aspects of the movie; it’s unusual that this changes over time. With “Tim and Eric,” it’s nearly impossible that larger audiences will eventually grow to love the movie’s surreal and often grotesque moments that attract such a cult following.

Whether or not a movie will age well to the modern world is impossible to predict. Although an ingenious script and innovative storytelling don’t hurt, people’s tastes change unpredictably. Many people may find the classic “Doctor Strangelove” a bit slow today when compared to “Sausage Party.”

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