Humorous Main

1968 - 1985

1987 - 1997

Wild Wild West

Galaxy Quest

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


With Humorous Sci-Fi, science fiction is more or less just a premise to the prime directive of comedy. Light/humorous science fiction may occur within any of these subgenres, or (often) spoof a subgenre. As with comic fantasy, the type of humor varies from light entertainment to satire. In literature, this laugh-out-loud subgenre includes John Sladek's novel Mechasm, Rudy Rucker's novel Master of Space and Time, and many others.

Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (also a television series and feature film) is one of the best-known examples of humorous science fiction. Other humorous sci-fi films include Spaceballs, Tim Allen's Galaxy Quest, Back to the Future, and more. Some sci-fi films have elements of comedy like most other genre films, but it's only a minor role in it's plot. Then there are films like The Fifth Element, being mostly a Space Opera, but comedy plays a significant role throughout it's story.

Barbarella - 1968

Dark Star - 1974

Back to the Future Trilogy - 1985

Spaceballs - 1987

Mars Attacks! - 1996

The Fifth Element - 1997

Men in Black - 1997

Wild Wild West - 1999

Galaxy Quest - 1999

The Hitchhiker's Guide
to the Galaxy - 2005

WALL-E - 2008

Highlights on other Humorous Sci-Fi Film

Short Circuit - 1986

Protagonist Number 5 is part of a series of prototype U.S. military robots built for the Cold War by Nova Laboratories. The series' inventors are more interested in peaceful applications including music and social aid. Number 5 is hit by a lightning-induced power surge. Several incidents allow the robot to escape the facility accidentally, barely able to communicate and uncertain of its directive.

In Astoria, Oregon, animal-lover Stephanie Speck grants Number 5 access to books, television, and other stimuli, to satisfy his demand for 'input'; whereupon Number 5 develops a whimsical and curious personality. When Stephanie realizes Number 5 is a military invention, she contacts Nova who send out a team to recover him.

When Number 5 accidentally crushes a grasshopper and gains an understanding of mortality, he concludes that if Nova disassembles him he will cease to exist. Frightened, Number 5 steals Stephanie's van; but the pair are cornered by Nova. Number 5 is disabled and captured. From this, follow several adventurous escapes from the soldiers led by Nova's security chief Captain Skroeder (G. W. Bailey).

Stephanie and the robot convince Newton of the robot's sentience; but are cornered by Nova's security and the Army, who destroy a duplicate robot in mistake for their quarry, whereupon Nova's President Dr. Howard Marner fires Skroeder for disobeying orders to capture Number 5 intact.

Stephanie leaves with Newton, to emigrate to his family's estate in Montana. Having revealed himself to them, Number 5 (renaming himself "Johnny Five" after the song "Who's Johnny") accompanies Stephanie and Newton.

Men in Black Trilogy - 1999 to 2012

Men in Black (M.I.B.) is a secret non-government agency that polices extraterrestrial alien refugees. The agency operates from an underground base at a Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority ventilation station in Battery Park, New York City. MIB members use neuralyzers to erase witnesses' memories of alien sightings.

MIB is monitoring about 1500 aliens around the world, most of them in the vicinity of New York City. One night, Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and his partner, D (Richard Hamilton) intercept a truck containing illegal immigrants and Mikey, an extraterrestrial disguised as a human. Mikey starts to run and K is forced to destroy it when it tries to attack a border patrol officer.

D, feeling too old, asks K to neuralize him into "retirement". Later, the MIB leader, Agent Zed (Rip Torn), suggests that K should search for a new partner. Meanwhile, James Darrell Edwards III (Will Smith) is a New York police officer pursuing a man on foot. While chasing the incredibly fast and agile fugitive over the rooftops, Edwards sees the man's irises blink vertically, and realizes he is not human.

K arrives at the precinct station, questions Edwards before neuralyzing him, and leaves the cop an MIB business card. Later, Edwards goes to the secret headquarters and competes with several others to qualify to join the MIB. After the tests, K takes him aside (while the others are neuralyzed) and offers him the position. Edwards accepts and his identity is erased, becoming Agent J.

Suspicious of why extraterrestrials are suddenly leaving the planet, the M.I.B. investigate a farmer named Edgar (Vincent D'Onofrio), who has been acting strangely after an alien craft crashed on his farm. Edgar has been killed and his skin used as a disguise by a "Bug", a member of a giant cockroach-like species that are at war with several other alien races, including the Arquillians.

An Arquillian prince hiding in Brooklyn who is disguised as a human jewelry store owner named Rosenberg is attacked, and tells J as he dies that "the galaxy is on Orion's belt". M.I.B. informant Frank the Pug (Tim Blaney), a Remoolian disguised as a small lapdog, explains that the missing galaxy is a massive source of energy housed in a small jewel.

Edgar the Bug figures out the galaxy is hanging on the collar of Rosenberg's cat Orion, which refuses to leave the prince's body at the morgue. Orion has been taken care of by Dr. Laurel Weaver (Linda Fiorentino). J arrives at the morgue just as Edgar kidnaps Weaver and grabs the galaxy. The Arquillians deliver an ultimatum to M.I.B. to secure the galaxy within an hour, or they will destroy Earth.

Edgar the Bug arrives at the site of two disguised flying saucers, the observation towers of the New York State Pavilion at Flushing Meadows. K and J are close behind and destroy one saucer. The Bug sheds Edgar's skin and swallows J's and K's guns. K tells J to stop the Bug from getting onto the other ship, then taunts the Bug until K too is swallowed.

J infuriates the Bug by crushing cockroaches and saying they are his relatives. The Bug is blown open from the inside by K, who located his gun in the Bug's stomach. As J and K sit on the ground covered in slime, the insect tries to attack again, but is destroyed by Weaver, using J's gun. The three return to M.I.B. headquarters and K tells J that he has not been training him as a partner, but as a replacement.

J neuralyzes K, using a coma cover story to allow him to return to his civilian life and the young woman he left behind. A few days later, it is revealed that Weaver also joined M.I.B. and is now J's new partner, Agent L. The camera rapidly pulls back, showing that Earth and the Milky Way galaxy are also inside an alien marble being used in a cosmic game.

Idiocracy - 2006

Officer Collins has been spearheading one of the US Army's most secretive experiments to date: the Human Hibernation Project. If successful, the project would store its' subjects indefinitely until they are needed most. Their first test subject - Joe Bowers - was not chosen for his superiority.

Instead, he's chosen because he's the most average guy in the armed services. But scandal erupts after the experiment takes place, the base is closed, and the president disavows any knowledge of the project. Unfortunately Joe doesn't wake up in a year, he wakes up in 500 years. But during that time human evolution has taken a dramatic down turn.

After waking up, Joe takes a prison-assigned IQ test and finds that he's the smartest guy alive! Awaiting a full presidential pardon if he can solve one of the country's biggest problems - the dwindling plant population, Joe races against time to solve this problem. But in doing so he alienates half the country in the process! Can he make things right and escape a rather bizarre execution?

The film received generally favorable reviews. Praise focused on concept, casting, and humor; the bulk of the criticism was directed at the film's release issues or at special effects and plot problems. Los Angeles Times reviewer Carina Chocano described it as "spot on" satire and a "pitch-black, bleakly hilarious vision of an American future", although the "plot, naturally, is silly and not exactly bound by logic. But it's Judge's gimlet-eyed knack for nightmarish extrapolation that makes Idiocracy a cathartic delight."


Humorous Main

1968 - 1985

1987 - 1997

Wild Wild West

Galaxy Quest

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


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