Thinking about Funny Robot
a bit more, I think the examples could use expansion in terms of the type of comic relief each robot is. B.E.N. serves as comic relief in a very different way than Marvin, who in turn is funny in a very different way than MO. Though, really, the trope could use a tighter definition—right now, it's just "There's a robot! And it's funny!", when the humor is not a distinguishing feature of the robot character within that work. Compare and contrast the following.
- Treasure Planet: B.E.N. plays wacky sidekick in every scene he's in before the climax, and is one of the three mostly comedic characters out of the nine mains. He's even doing comedy in the scene where Jim is being hunted by Scroop—which is otherwise one of the most tense scenes due to many of the shots being framed as though they were in a horror movie.
- The Empire Strikes Back: Prissy protocol droid C-3PO comically over-reacts to situations that most of the other characters take seriously.
- Futurama: Bender is comically sociopathic, but isn't any sillier than Farnsworth, Zoidberg, Hermes, Zapp Brannigan, Amy, Nixon's Head...really anyone other than Leela and Kif.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Like Bender in the above example, Marvin hardly stands out for being a comedic character in a story this ridiculous, but whereas characters like Ford and Zaphod are busy with over-the-top antics, Marvin sees all of the weird and wondrous things everyone else does...and is depressed about it. Constantly. The funny characters may be in the majority, but Marvin is funny in a way that's completely unlike any of the other major characters (whose types of comedy generally overlap a lot).
One of these does not belong. Also, I think this shows how we should expand upon the entries. (Obviously not this text exactly, since it was constructed to make a point.)
edited 16th Mar '12 3:52:43 AM by Ironeye
I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.