Is Alaska inherently funny? Hard to say, but one thing is most definitely true. A number of funny movies have been set in America's 50th state. Okay, okay, I know it's not really number 50, but isn't there something about Alaska that makes it seem a more natural conclusion to America's Manifest Destiny than those islands halfway around the world?
North to Alaska
"North to Alaska" was an attempt to create a genre that might have become known as a "Northern." That is to say that "North in Alaska" has all the elements of a Western but is set in Alaska in the wake of the Gold Rush. There must have been some sort of resistance to making a "Northern" that contains the dramatic gravitas associated with the traditional Western. In essence, "North to Alaska" belongs more to the comedy genre than anything else. It is a load of great fun and if you have not managed to catch it, it is highly recommended that you do so.
Lost in Alaska
Not to be confused with the similarly named "North to Alaska" is the Abbott and Costello pure comedy called "Lost in Alaska." Both films mind for laughs in the mining of gold in Alaska. While "Lost in Alaska" is not exactly the greatest Abbott and Costello movie of all time, it provides plenty of laughs. The sequence at the beginning involving a drowning victim who is saved is very humorous. If Alaska is not inherently funny, it must be admitted that there is something inherently funny about sled dogs, especially when Lou Costello is put in charge of them.
The Simpsons Movie
A remarkably large section of "The Simpsons Movie" is set in Alaska. The Simpsons have made it to a startling number of states on the show, but only when they have reached Alaska in their big screen film has the show managed to reach the full potential of pathos associated with comedy. The scene where Marge Simpson says goodbye to Homer is, paradoxically, an example of great comedy based on pathos because it sets up an emotional wallop that can only be redeemed by humor. If you don't know how hard that is, then watch any scene in a comedy where Robin Williams tries to be dramatic.
For more from Timothy Sexton, check out: