A Ranker World of Comedy Opinion Graph: Who Connects the Funny Universe?

In the previous post, we showed how a Gephi layout algorithm was able to capture different domains in the world of comedy across all of the Ranker lists tagged with the word “funny”.  However, these algorithms also give us information about the roles that individuals play within clusters. The size of the node indicates that node’s ability to connect other nodes, so bigger nodes indicate individuals who serve as a gateway between different nodes and categories.  These are the nodes that you would want to target if you wanted to reach the broadest audience, as people who like these comedic individuals also like many others.  Sort of like having that one friend who knows everyone send out the event invite instead of having to send it to a smaller group of friends in your own social network and hoping it gets around. So who connects the comedic universe?

The short answer: Dave Chappelle (click to enlarge)

Chappelle

Dave Chappelle is the superconnector. He has both the largest number of direct connections and the largest number of overall connections. If you want to reach the most people, go to him. If you want to connect people between different kinds of comedy, go to him.  He is the center of the comedic universe. He’s not the only one with connections though.

Top 10 Overall Connectors

  1. Dave Chappelle 
  2. Eddie Izzard 
  3. John Cleese 
  4. Ricky Gervais
  5. Rowan Atkinson
  6. Eric Idle
  7. Billy Connolly
  8. Bill Hicks
  9. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
  10. Sarah Silverman

 

We can also look at who the biggest connectors are between different comedy domains.

  • Contemporary TV Shows: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, ALF, and The Daily Show are the strongest connectors. They provide bridges to all 6 other comedy domains.
  • Contemporary Comedians on American Television: Dave Chappelle, Eddie Izzard and Ricky Gervais are the strongest connectors. They provide bridges to all 6 other comedy domains.
  •  Classic Comedians: John Cleese and Eric Idle are the strongest connectors. They provide bridges to all 6 other comedy domains.
  • Classic TV Shows: The Muppet Show and Monty Python’s Flying Circus are the strongest connectors. They provide bridges to Classic TV Comedians, Animated TV shows, and Classic Comedy Movies.
  • British Comedians: Rowan Atkinson is the strongest connector. He serves as a bridge to all of the other 6 comedy domains.
  • Animated TV Shows: South Park is the strongest connector. It serves as a bridge to Classic Comedians, Classic TV Shows, and British Comedians.
  • Classic Comedy Movies: None of the nodes in this domain were strong connectors to other domains, though National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was the strongest node in this network.

 

 

A Ranker Opinion Graph of the Domains of the World of Comedy

One unique aspect of Ranker data is that people rank a wide variety of lists, allowing us to look at connections beyond the scope of any individual topic.  We compiled data from all of the lists on Ranker with the word “funny” to get a bigger picture of the interconnected world of comedy.  Using Gephi layout algorithms, we were able to create an Opinion Graph which categorizes comedy domains and identify points of intersection between them (click to make larger).

all3sm

In the following graphs, colors indicate different comedic categories that emerged from a cluster analysis, and the connecting lines indicate correlations between different nodes with thicker lines indicating stronger relationships.  Circles (or nodes) that are closest together are most similar.  The classification algorithm produced 7 comedy domains:

 

CurrentTVwAmerican TV Shows and Characters: 26% of comedy, central nodes =  It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, ALF, The Daily Show, Chappelle’s Show, and Friends.

NowComedianwContemporary Comedians on American Television: 25% of nodes, includes Dave Chappelle, Eddie Izzard, Ricky Gervais, Billy Connolly, and Bill Hicks.

 

ClassicComedianswClassic Comedians: 15% of comedy, central nodes = John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Charlie Chaplin, and George Carlin.

ClassicTVClassic TV Shows and Characters: 14% of comedy, central nodes = The Muppet Show, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, In Living Color, WKRP in Cincinnati, and The Carol Burnett Show.

BritComwBritish Comedians: 9% of comedy, central nodes = Rowan Atkinson, Jennifer Saunders, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, and Dawn French.

AnimwAnimated TV Shows and Characters: 9% of comedy, central nodes = South Park, Family Guy, Futurama, The Simpsons, and Moe Szyslak.

MovieswClassic Comedy Movies: 1.5% of comedy, central nodes = National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Ghostbusters, Airplane!, Vacation, and Caddyshack.

 

 

Clusters that are the most similar (most overlap/closest together):

  • Classic TV Shows and Contemporary TV Shows
  • British Comedians and Classic TV shows
  • British Comedians and Contemporary Comedians on American Television
  • Animated TV Shows and Contemporary TV Shows

Clusters that are the most distinct (lest overlap/furthest apart):

  • Classic Comedy Movies do not overlap with any other comedy domains
  • Animated TV Shows and British Comedians
  • Contemporary Comedians on American Television and Classic TV Shows

 

Take a look at our follow-up post on the individuals who connect the comedic universe.

– Kate Johnson

 

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Today's Earth-Shattering List of the Day

Sometimes, a natural disaster hits and it brings us all together. Nothing could be more true for the West Coast when on August 23, 2011, the East coast felt a 5.9 earthquake from Virginia to Toronto and went into a fit of panic. Since the West Coast usually sleeps through earthquakes of this size, the West Coast got together (San Francisco, LA, Portland, Seattle, all working in perfect harmony) to relentlessly make fun of the East Coast “Earthquake Virgins” for about 12 hours. Because nothing happened.

The Devastation Was Horrifying…

Twitter then erupted with a barrage of snarky Tweets from funny people…

and the rest of the internet, including Reddit, didn’t hold back either. 

Today’s list of the day is a round-up by the hilarious Ranker user Robert Wabash, chronicling the best of the West Coast making fun of the East Coast for being at all worried about an earthquake. 

So, here’s an earth-shatteringly hilarious list about something that shook up quite a bit of the East Coast. 

The Funniest Internet Reactions to the East Coast Earthquake of 2011

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Louis CK is Hilarious in Today's List of the Day

Have you heard of Louis CK yet? Over the last decade he’s been coming up as a prominent stand-up comedian. Like most comedians, he’s had failed television shows and an up-and-down career. But unlike most comedians, the man comes up with about an hour of new material once a year which, for a comedian, is absolutely insane. No falling back on old jokes, just ever-changing, apt, astute and hilarious comedy. 

Here are some great bits of his… 

On Being Broke

And here’s a good compilation by the DiggReel of his stuff on race, single people and the difference between men and women (some very NSFW language). 

So, inevitably, Louis CK is absolutely hilarious on television appearances. From Conan O’Brien, to The Daily Show, Louis CK has made memorable television out of almost every appearance he makes on any show (yes, even on Jay Leno’s “new” Tonight Show). 

So, today’s list of the day is a huge salute to Louis CK and his absolutely amazing television appearances. 

The Funniest Louis CK TV Talk Show Appearances

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Live from New York, It's the List of the Day

What’s your favorite Saturday Night Live era? A lot of people will go for the original cast, while some others prefer the Chris Farley, David Spade, Mike Meyers crew who ushered in the Will Ferrells of the world. No matter who you liked, there’s a list for you on the Ranker profile called The Best of SNL, including videos from some of the best eras in Saturday Night Live history. From great monologues to some of the most memorable bits of all time. 

So if you were into “we come from France” or a guy who “lives in a van down by the river”, today’s list of the day has the right round-up for you. 

The Best of Saturday Night Live, by Era