via press release:
SEINFELD COMES IN FIRST, JUST AHEAD OF THE HONEYMOONERS AS THE GREATEST SITCOM
BOTH MEN AND WOMEN AGREE MEN ARE FUNNIER THAN WOMEN
SEXUAL ASSAULT IS THE TOPIC MOST AMERICANS SAY JOKESTERS SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM
MOST AMERICANS DON’T KNOW WHO JUDD APATOW IS
New York, N.Y.—“Seinfeld” is chosen just slightly ahead of “The Honeymooners” as the greatest sitcom of all time. Women agree with men that men are the funnier sex, while all agree that sexual assault is a topic that should be most off-limits to comedians. Who is Judd Apatow? Most Americans say they don’t know. That’s what Americans are saying in the latest VF Comedy-issue inspired 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll, the results of which can be found on 60Minutes.com and VF.com.
The survey also gauged Americans’ thoughts on the funniest letter of the alphabet, if being funny is innate or can be developed over time, and which types of employees have the least sense of humor.
Twenty-two percent of Americans say that “Seinfeld” is the greatest sitcom, just beating out “The Honeymooners,” with 20 percent of the vote. “Friends” and “Cheers” follow closely behind, with 16 and 14 percent of the vote respectively, while “Arrested Development” receives just seven percent, “Mary Tyler Moore” six percent, and “30 Rock” five percent.
Sixty percent of Americans—including most women—think men are the funnier sex, while just 22 percent think women are funnier and 15 percent say there is no difference.
When asked which topics should be off-limits to comedians—September 11th, sexual assault, religious figures, or sick and disabled people—men (38 percent) and women (32 percent) agree that sexual assault is not fodder for jokes. Women (28 percent) are twice as likely as men (14 percent) to think that all of these topics should be off-limits.
Only 14 percent of Americans know who Judd Apatow is, correctly identifying him as a director, writer, and producer. (He’s also guest editor of the January comedy issue of Vanity Fair.) Of the vast majority who don’t know who he is, 15 percent guessed that he was a former Clinton speechwriter, five percent said that he was a creator of “South Park,” three percent thought Apatow was a 70s country-music star, and the rest couldn’t give an answer.
Elsewhere in the poll, 22 percent of those questioned say Q is the funniest letter of the alphabet, most Americans (56 percent) say being funny is something you can develop over time, and D.M.V. employees are selected as the least likely to crack a smile (over airport workers, toll collectors, and nightclub bouncers).
The 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll is a monthly measure of the American conversation on a range of topics rather than one specific subject. Geared to offer a wide-angle view of the country every 30 days, the poll explores attitudes on culture, lifestyle, current events, and politics to create a national survey. 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair work together to formulate topics and questions; the poll is conducted by the CBS News Election and Survey Unit, a high-profile source of American opinion since 1969.
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