Because my previous doc list — the ten sexiest documentaries — garnered a good amount of interest (and a healthy dose of nastiness), I’ll return to the well for another top ten. Of course, I was tempted to call this my 10 Funniest Documentaries of All Time. But that just struck me as slightly inaccurate. In truth, the best documentaries that are funny are also seering portraits of humanity. And since real life isn’t brought to us by Pixar, it’s often replete with complexity and sadness. (And since there is at least some truth the notion that all happy families are alike, documentary filmmakers don’t make films about them.) And for that reason, the best docs are both sad and funny, so here is my 10 Most Lugubrious Documentaries of All Time. Before we get started, I will note that about a month ago, my old Premiere pal Glenn Kenny went on a screed against lists. If you agree with him, please read no more and instead bask in the buzzkill at his blog. If you do get a kick out of lists, let me know your thoughts on docs that make you giggle.

And let me just say one other thing about what you won’t find here — The Aristocrats. In my humble opinion, The Aristocrats is not funny, it’s not interesting, it’s not anything. Other than dull and repetitive.

Here’s what I do find funny:
10. Fast Cheap and Out of Control
9. My Best Fiend
8. American Movie
7. Roger & Me
6. Grey Gardens
5. Crumb
4. Anvil! The Story of Anvil*
3. Supersize Me
2. Fahrenheit 9/11
1. Grizzly Man
* If you haven’t caught this yet on the film festival circuit, look for it this fall in theaters.

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Tom Roston
Tom Roston is a guest columnist for POV's documentary blog. He is a former Premiere magazine senior editor, who graduated from Brown University and started his career in journalism at The Nation and then Vanity Fair. Tom's freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter and other publications. He has written several Kindle Singles, including the bestselling Kindle Singles Interview: Ken Burns. Tom's current list of favorite documentaries are: 1. Koyanisqaatsi by Godfrey Reggio; 2. Hoop Dreams by Steve James; 3.Stories We Tell by Sarah Polley; 4.Crumb by Terry Zwigoff; 5. Montage of Heck by Brett Morgen