Science! Real and Imagined
And You Call Yourself a Scientist! Home | Index


“It’s – odious! ODIOUS!!”

There are many strange conventions in the world of film. Perhaps the very strangest is the persistence of the “comic relief”, that is, the inclusion of a character in a dramatic or frightening film, intended to relieve the audience’s tension through verbal or visual humour.

The theory behind the comic relief is sound. In practice, it is doubtful whether there has ever been any aspect of film-making more guaranteed to provoke suffering in, and loathing from, the viewer. The oxymoronic nature of this most painful phenomenon is perhaps best illustrated by the term coined by my illustrious colleague, Dr Freex: the Odious Comic Relief©.

Just how odious the Odious Comic Relief© can be was painfully borne upon me at the beginning of this year, when I wrote consecutive reviews of Destination Moon and The Wild World Of Batwoman. These films illustrate the depth and breadth of the Odious Comic Relief©: Joe Sweeney, in the former, made me want to puncture my own eardrums with an icepick; while Heathcliffe, in the latter, made me want to gouge out my eyeballs with one of those little two-pronged forks you use for eating cocktail onions.

The agonising combination of Joe and Heathcliffe inspired me to invite my readers to send me their nominations for the title of the screen’s Most Odious Odious Comic Relief©. The consequence was an avalanche of sympathetic e-mails. Suddenly, I knew what it was to be Sybok the Vulcan.

Well, the nominations continued – and continue – to arrive; but I decided that I had enough material to post. So follow the links below, to find out just who are:

The Top Ten Most Odious Odious Comic Reliefs© Of All Time

The Odious Runners-Up

The Screen’s Most Generically Odious Actors

The Most Odious Non-Human Comic Reliefs© Of All Time

A Special Case….