Ridley Scott’s The Martian recently walked away with the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture—Comedy Or Musical. And since the sci-fi film starring Matt Damon was noticeably short on singing and dancing, lacking even an 11 o’clock number, that must make it a comedy. But where were the laughs, some purists wanted to know? Luckily, editor Dan Summerhayes has found all the chuckles, giggles, and guffaws hidden in this seemingly tense, serious film, and he presents them in a clever little short called “The Martian Is The Best Comedy Of 2015,” posted to the YouTube channel Paying For Movies. To transform The Martian into a nonstop comedy assault, Summerhayes merely needed to add a couple of elements: a chortling laugh track and the sax stylings of Boots Randolph.
On its face, a line like “OXYGEN LEVEL CRITICAL!” is really not all that funny, seeing as how the characters in the movie need oxygen to live and all. But in Summerhayes’ version of The Martian, it is treated as a real knee-slapper, the kind of zinger that office comedians will be reciting around the water cooler for years to come. Really, as this clip points out, The Martian has all the elements of a classic comedy, from zippy repartee (like Matt Damon saying, “Surprise!”) to out-and-out slapstick, with the actors falling all over each other like Ringling clowns. It just takes a shift in perspective to see the absurdity at the heart of this story. With her red hair and propensity for pratfalls, Jessica Chastain could well be this generation’s Lucille Ball. And Damon’s central predicament, finding himself stranded on Mars, is exactly the kind of thing that might happen to the Three Stooges or Abbott & Costello. Maybe the Golden Globes people knew what they were doing all along.