It’s not funny. And it seems as if every comedy maker uses it at some point. As I said, it’s become a cliché.
I spotted the latest rearing off its ugly head in an ad for the comedy film ‘Date Night’. ‘Date Night’ is probably already out of the theaters, it didn’t get the best reviews, but it was in them long enough for me to see the ad on TV. The film stars Tina Fey and Steve Carell, both of whom I like, and from what I understand they do the best they can with substandard comedic material. I’m not surprised to hear that the material wasn’t very good, having seen that tired and lame airbag popping and staying inflated while Steve and Tina try to get out of their car. Hahahahaha! That’s hilarious! It’s so funny, because…
It’s not funny.
Airbags do not work the way they are depicted on those comedies. They deploy too slow, too late, for no reason (other than a lazy attempt at getting laughs), and they stay inflated! If they worked that way in the real world, people would be severely injured or die. And that’s not funny.
When airbags deploy it is instantaneous and explosive, and they are deflating at practically the same instant they inflate. That way the airbag catches and cushions the passenger, minimizing injury from an accident. And they don’t just deploy on their own. The vehicle has to be moving at a certain speed, or hit by another vehicle traveling at a certain speed, when involved in a crash for the airbag to be engaged. When a vehicle crashes while traveling at least 14 mph or when a stationary vehicle is hit at about 28 mph, the airbag pops. (I got these numbers from Wikipedia, so they may not be entirely accurate.) The impact also needs to be head on or near head on in cars with front airbags only to get deployment.
I’m not always so literal when it comes to comedy, after all I’m a huge fan of Monty Python, but this airbag thing makes me angry. It doesn’t make me laugh, it never has. It’s time for Hollywood to dump this lame, stupid, overused, lazy, comedic crutch.
And if you think it’s funny, go buy another copy of ‘Wild Hogs’ and leave me alone.