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

 

Ranker Uses Big Data to Rank the World’s 25 Best Film Schools

NYU, USC, UCLA, Yale, Julliard, Columbia, and Harvard top the Rankings.

Does USC or NYU have a better film school?  “Big data” can provide an answer to this question by linking data about movies and the actors, directors, and producers who have worked on specific movies, to data about universities and the graduates of those universities.  As such, one can use semantic data from sources like Freebase, DBPedia, and IMDB to figure out which schools have produced the most working graduates.  However, what if you cared about the quality of the movies they worked on rather than just the quantity?  Educating a student who went on to work on The Godfather must certainly be worth more than producing a student who received a credit on Gigli.

Leveraging opinion data from Ranker’s Best Movies of All-Time list in addition to widely available semantic data, Ranker recently produced a ranked list of the world’s 25 best film schools, based on credits on movies within the top 500 movies of all-time.  USC produces the most film credits by graduates overall, but when film quality is taken into account, NYU (208 credits) actually produces more credits among the top 500 movies of all-time, compared to USC (186 credits).  UCLA, Yale, Julliard, Columbia, and Harvard take places 3 through 7 on the Ranker’s list.  Several professional schools that focus on the arts also place in the top 25 (e.g. London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) as well as some well-located high schools (New York’s Fiorello H. Laguardia High School & Beverly Hills High School).

The World’s Top 25 Film Schools

  1. New York University (208 credits)
  2. University of Southern California (186 credits)
  3. University of California – Los Angeles (165 credits)
  4. Yale University (110 credits)
  5. Julliard School (106 credits)
  6. Columbia University (100 credits)
  7. Harvard University (90 credits)
  8. Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (86 credits)
  9. Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art (64 credits)
  10. American Academy of Dramatic Arts (51 credits)
  11. London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (51 credits)
  12. Stanford University (50 credits)
  13. HB Studio (49 credits)
  14. Northwestern University (47 credits)
  15. The Actors Studio (44 credits)
  16. Brown University (43 credits)
  17. University of Texas – Austin (40 credits)
  18. Central School of Speech and Drama (39 credits)
  19. Cornell University (39 credits)
  20. Guildhall School of Music and Drama (38 credits)
  21. University of California – Berkeley (38 credits)
  22. California Institute of the Arts (38 credits)
  23. University of Michigan (37 credits)
  24. Beverly Hills High School (36 credits)
  25. Boston University (35 credits)

“Clearly, there is a huge effect of geography, as prominent New York and Los Angeles based high schools appear to produce more graduates who work on quality films compared to many colleges and universities,“ says Ravi Iyer, Ranker’s Principal Data Scientist, a graduate of the University of Southern California.

Ranker is able to combine factual semantic data with an opinion layer because Ranker is powered by a Virtuoso triple store with over 700 million triples of information that are processed into an entertaining list format for users on Ranker’s consumer facing website, Ranker.com.  Each month, over 7 million unique users interact with this data – ranking, listing and voting on various objects – effectively adding a layer of opinion data on top of the factual data from Ranker’s triple store. The result is a continually growing opinion graph that connects factual and opinion data.  As of January 2013, Ranker’s opinion graph included over 30,000 nodes with over 5 million edges connecting these nodes.

– Ravi Iyer

Predicting Box Office Success a Year in Advance from Ranker Data

A number of data scientists have attempted to predict movie box office success from various datasets.  For example, researchers at HP labs were able to use tweets around the release date plus the number of theaters that a movie was released in to predict 97.3% of movie box office revenue in the first weekend.  The Hollywood Stock Exchange, which lets participants bet on the box office revenues and infers a prediction, predicts 96.5% of box office revenue in the opening weekend.  Wikipedia activity predicts 77% of box office revenue according to a collaboration of European researchers.  Ranker runs lists of anticipated movies each year, often for more than a year in advance, and so the question I wanted to analyze in our data was how predictive is Ranker data of box office success.

However, since the above researchers have already shown that online activity at the time of the opening weekend predicts box office success during that weekend, I wanted to build upon that work and see if Ranker data could predict box office receipts well in advance of opening weekend.  Below is a simple scatterplot of results, showing that Ranker data from the previous year predicts 82% of variance in movie box office revenue for movies released in the next year.

Predicting Box Office Success from Ranker Data
Predicting Box Office Success from Ranker Data

The above graph uses votes cast in 2011 to predict revenues from our Most Anticipated 2012 Films list.  While our data is not as predictive as twitter data collected leading up to opening weekend, the remarkable thing about this result is that most votes (8,200 votes from 1,146 voters) were cast 7-13 months before the actual release date.  I look forward to doing the same analysis on our Most Anticipated 2013 Films list at the end of this year.

– Ravi Iyer

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Midnight Marathon Mega-Movie Madness of the Week

Rankers love movies. It’s the single most popular subject matter for new lists on our site. (Also popular? Window treatments!) With streaming services, DVD-by-mail offers, pay-per-view, iTunes and Redbox making it easier than ever to try out a wide range of movies, there’s a lot of interest in cataloging great films. Instead of throwing up their hands in despair, crying “There’s nothing good to watch on Netflix” just because the latest fighting-robots-from-space feature hasn’t been uploaded yet, Ranker gives movie fans a resource to find hundreds – nay thousands – of new titles in pretty much every genre, from Dinosaur Movies to Bank Robbery thrillers to movies in which adorable kids find even more adorable puppies and then have to start a hotel for them for some reason.

All of these dogs registered for the hotel under false names. That's not really "Buddy" at all!

Ranker lists aren’t just limited to just the traditional “Best Of” style like, say, “The Most Erotic Vampire Films” (though we have that one.) Here’s a VoteRanked collection of every feature-length Batman movie ever made, where visitors are voting for their favorites. Unsurprisingly, the Nolan films are in the lead thus far…

"Huh, Burton and Nolan both made good Batman films. I'm finding it hard to make up my mind for some reason...

Here, a Ranker regular kept track of her favorite “Body Switch” movies, and gave the rest of the community their say as well. (Apparently I’m not the only one who found “Prelude to a Kiss” unwatchably creepy. Good to know.)

And though it’s great for inviting votes and collaborating to determine the “best” of a genre, Ranker also has a lot of just straight-up helpful movie reference pages, useful in case you ever need a definitive list of all alien movies ever. (You know, for a class project or something.) And yes, I mean all movies about aliens, not all “Alien” movies. Cause there’s only 4 of those, 6 if you count the reprehensible “Alien vs. Predator” franchise and 7 if you could Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus,” which theoretically takes place in the same fictional universe.

The Alien creature is actually known as the "xenomorph" in stray dialogue from "Aliens" and "Alien 3." Or Pete to his friends.

Last up in our tour through Ranker’s movie category, here’s a quick rundown (with videos!) of some classic movie monologues. Note that this is an Open List, meaning you can enter in your own picks for the greatest monologue or speech in film history at the bottom if it’s not already on there.

[I myself had to add Alec Baldwin’s classic “God complex” rant from the awesomely terrible “Malice.” Enjoy!]

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Two Points for Gryffindor's List of the Day!

This weekend marks the end of one of the biggest film, book and pop culture phenomenons of the last decade. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 came out today, and with it, all the Muggles obsessed with the franchise are out in the streets, in full form. Waiting in line, in costumes and drinking butter beer.

And while most of them aren’t as crazy as this

or this (she creepily asks to touch his face — this entire video is gold)…

.. they(we) did manage to break some records. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 made more money in ticket sales at one midnight showing across the United States than most movies do in their entire opening weekend. $44 Million for a midnight screening, baby! (For more Crazy Harry Potter Fans check out Mark’s list of The 13 Craziest Harry Potter Fans Moments of All Time). 

But… ever since the rise in popularity of the Harry Potter franchise, fans have been trying to make the wizarding world of Harry Potter into something real. Like, really real. 

I mean, take this guy. In this world (California, of course), there’s a real human being who honestly believes in magic who went ahead and created a real school for wizards. Where he teaches magic. To kids.  

No, really. 

So with this and some other awe-inspiring stories, here’s the list of the day.

7 Strange Ways Harry Potter Has Become a Reality

And now that it’s all ended, we can all finally say goodbye to the franchise, and this guy (actually, coincidentally, named Harry Potter) can finally stop complaining. 

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This is the Worst Reviewed List of the Day Ever

Today (Friday)’s list of the day is a warning. It’s a friendly reminder from us to you, because we not only care about you, but care about the future of film. 

Zookeeper will be a crappy movie. 

Unless you have kids, or unless you’re looking to bring a flask with some friends to a kids movie (a practice that we here don’t condone by any stretch of the imagination, of course), this movie is going to suck. 

This movie features not only Kevin James asking animals for dating advice, but those animals giving it to him, and then laughing at him. This is about as funny as this movie gets. 

So, because this movie is such an absolute piece of… work (?), here are The 15 Most Hilariously Horrible Reviews of Zookeeper

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Stop the Presses! It's the List of the Day!

The new documentary “Page One” centers on the New York Times Media Desk over the course of a single year, looking at the lives of the people who make the news every day, as well as the changes that online competition has brought to newsrooms. Here at Ranker, we enjoyed the film AND watching it gave us a list idea! “The Most Intense Movie Newsrooms of all Time.” Yes, we think about lists even when we’re watching movies…

The newsroom is an ideal setting for a movie – the drama, the conflict, the fast pace, the yelling! We tried to cull together the best examples of exciting scenes set in the newspaper, magazine and TV news business, pulling in movies from a range of genres and styles.

This was a challenge to put together, as movies about journalists span so many different genres, they can be difficult to compare. Which is the more realistic 1970s newsroom setting – David Fincher’s meticulously crafted true-life procedural, “Zodiac,” or Will Ferrell’s satirical workplace comedy “Anchorman”? OK, maybe that’s a bad example. But you get what we mean.

Will Ferrell with milk in his beard isn’t hyper-clickable? Perhaps this photo was a bad choice…

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The Band Cameos List of the Day

No, no no, not the band Cameo’s list of the day, we mean band cameos in movies, as in, whenever a band makes a special guest appearance in a film. Like when Kiss was in Detroit Rock City, or when members of Aerosmith were in Wayne’s World.

Today’s list of the day celebrates the greatest moments in musicians gracing the silver screen. What are your favorite moments of bands randomly showing up in a film? You can vote for the ones you like the most on the list itself. Word up.

The Greatest Band Cameos in Movie History

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The List of the Day Was a Rolling Stone

Happy Father’s Day to all you paternal Rankers out there! Hope you got something other than ties for your special day! Or at least, if you got a tie, you didn’t already get a coffee stain on it.

Judging from the number of Dad-themed lists we’ve gotten in recently, the Ranker community really loves its Papas. Here are some of our favorite fatherly lists:

Video Game Characters with Daddy Issues

A perfect list to show anyone who thinks of video games as childish, superficial entertainments. These games get into the real issues, exploring the tension between fathers and sons/daughters at least as effectively as that movie where Kevin Costner wanders around a cornfield and plays catch with the Ghost of Ray Liotta.

(Also, let’s pause for some real talk for just a second here…Do Little Sisters really have “daddy issues”? I’d say their biggest problem is that dude who’s running around Rapture like a maniac injecting himself with plasmids and murdering them for more precious ADAM. Yeah, there, I said it.)

I have daddy issues, and also there’s clearly something weird going on with my retinas.

The Best Liquid Father’s Day Gifts

My Dad used to tell me that the best gift I could give him was a tall glass of Shut the Hell Up. But perhaps your father isn’t an abusive alcoholic, but just a guy who likes an occasional cocktail. You know, socially. If that’s the case, this list has some helpful tips. I doubt most fathers would say no to the gift of delicious bourbon…brownest of the brown liquors…

What’s that? You want me to drink you?

2011’s New Celebrity Dads

Using Father’s Day to honor your own father is so 2010. This year, celebrate all of the new celebrity fathers enjoying Father’s Day brunch in beautiful Hollywood, California. (I wouldn’t be too jealous; I’m sure wherever they’re eating, everything’s organic, vegan and gluten-free.)

Plus, Colin Hanks is on this list, making his dad Tom a…grandfather! I guess that means we’re probably never going to get that sequel to “Bachelor Party” after all…So much for my online petition…

Don’t worry, Adrian Zmed. Things are going to come together for you one of these days…

The Worst Movie Fathers

So we’ve talked about a lot of GOOD fathers so far (or, at least, famous fathers, which is pretty much the same as being good, right?) So for a nice change of pace, check out Ranker user SaintMort’s take on the WORST dads in cinematic history.

Granted, it’s hard to top Jerry Blake from the original film “The Stepfather,” who turns out to be a homicidal maniac. (20 year old spoiler alert!) Plus, he’s played by Terry O’Quinn, who would later play John Locke on “LOST,” a character who ALSO had an infamously terrible father. Coincidence? Yeah, probably, but still kind of cool…

Thanks again for the kidney, dumbass.

Levon P has also contributed an alternative take on the Worst Movie Fathers. Though I personally don’t think it’s fair to single out Wayne Szalinski just because he shrunk his kids. First off, he totally was honest with his wife about the situation, even going so far as to name the title of the movie after his confession. PLUS, he grew the kids back to the right size again in the end, right? Until the baby got huge for the sequel, at least. That counts for something…

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