The Big Issue : Edition 536
34 THEBIGISSUE5–18MAY2017 SURE, HOT GUYS are sexy. But are they funny? It’s tempting to divide actors into broad categories – Hollywood does it for marketing purposes all the time. Leading men are classically handsome; action heroes are scruffy and sweaty; funny guys are funny looking. Which is a problem. We wanted to write a romantic comedy novel about a hot guy titled, funnily enough, The Hot Guy. Working largely as film critics, movies are what we know best. But would readers buy a funny book about the most attractive man in the world if movie-goers didn’t find hot guys funny? We knew it often doesn’t matter when a studly guy can’t act (cough, Taylor Lautner), because he’s enjoyable to look at. But the handsomest men aren’t usually the ones who make us laugh loudest. A good comedian builds a connection with the audience to make us feel “in on the joke” – but hot guys are objects of desire, not people we empathise with. And it’s hard to laugh with a hottie’s jokes when you’re busy staring at his, well, everything. We also knew status played a big part in comedy. Good comedy is all about “punching up” – someone of low status gets the upper hand over someone with high status by making them look ridiculous. Think of all the times a comedy has involved a regular-looking person making fun of a good-looking person. That’s because good looks convey social status and power, in the movies and (sadly) in real life. Plenty of celebrated MEL CAMPBELL AND ANTHONY MORRIS EXAMINE AN AGE-OLD QUESTION. PHOTOGRAPHSBYGETTY CAN HOT GUYS BE FUNNY?