Or, to be more precise, is not a funny one. It strikes me of all that “gang” mentioned last week when I talked about Anchorman, he is the only one who is not really a comedian. Or at least did not start that way (the Wilson brothers may be exceptions too). But what Ben Stiller and latterly Will Ferrell have been able to do is surround themselves with amiable straight men. And if there is one word which describes Vaughn in Dodgeball, or indeed any of his other good roles, it is aimiable.

The opening of Dodgeball is instructive to see how he the works. Film opens with an ad for Stiller’s gym, with Stiller doing a butch, nasty version of Derek Zoolander. It is nothing but pure parody, which cuts to Vaughn, the slob, waking up, getting in his rundown car and driving to his gym. There we meet a number of his clients, all strange (including “Steve The Pirate” a great idea unfortunately undethe rused). All Vaughn does is react to their madness, and in the process sucks us in. The role of the everyman is a difficult one in a stupid comedy (Steve Guttenberg played it in the early Police Academy films) and Vaughn can do it well. But he is not a comedian.

Nor for that matter is Christine Taylor whose main ability seems to be to keep a straight face. That is not altogether fair, but then nor would saying that she got her role by being Ben Stiller’s wife. Truth is she plays the female lead as well as anyone could, even if it is basically the same role as the one in Zoolander. But nepotism is okay in a film like this, which coasts by on the good humour from the set more than anything else. A laxier comedy than Anchorman, it is still thoroughly entertaining, all of which describes Vaughn’s character. You kinda like him, so its nice he is doing so well now.