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The Humor Code Audiobook

The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny

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Publisher's Summary

Dr. Peter McGraw, founder of the Humor Research Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder, teamed up with journalist Joel Warner on a far-reaching search for the secret behind humor. Their journey spanned the globe, from New York to Japan, from Palestine to the Amazon. Meanwhile, the duo conducted their own humor experiments along the way-to wince-worthy, hilarious, and illuminating results. In their quixotic search, they questioned countless experts, from comedians like Louis C. K. to rat-tickling researchers, and answered pressing (and not-so-pressing) questions such as, "What's the secret to winning the New Yorker cartoon caption contest?"; "Who has the bigger funny bone - men or women, Democrats or Republicans?"; and "Is laughter really the best medicine?" As a final test, McGraw uses everything they learned to attempt stand-up-at the largest comedy festival in the world. Funny, surprising, and often touching, The Humor Code is a revealing exploration of humor, society, and an unusual friendship.

©2014 Peter McGraw and Joel Warner (P)2014 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"It's not often you can say a book about comedy can teach us some serious lessons. This one does-and entertains us in the process." (Booklist Starred Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (44 )
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3.7 (38 )
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3.6 (38 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Dubito Ergo Sum Vancouver BC 05-22-15
    Dubito Ergo Sum Vancouver BC 05-22-15 Member Since 2014

    Super skeptic, reality poet, mega geek, & science nerd extraordinaire.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Real research and a scientific theory of humor!"
    Where does The Humor Code rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Pretty far up there. A unique niche of science that yields a fascinating tool for understanding what makes us laugh..... the Benign Violation Theory.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How the author and researcher actually delved into the world of funny, not just in our culture, but many disparate cultures, even other species, like chimps and mice. This also included making a fool of himself on several occasions (like bombing at a comedy club)


    Which character – as performed by Peter Berkrot – was your favorite?

    The authors journalist friend, who more or less wrote the book in the first person as her accompanied Dr Peter McGraw


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Want to? I did.


    Any additional comments?

    Totally underrated book, could have been a best seller with a better title and cover.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert J. Herman Philadelphia, PA United States 10-21-15
    Robert J. Herman Philadelphia, PA United States 10-21-15

    I am a horrible book reader but audible has changed my life. I now feel like I have access to what the "smart people" know. I also have a new level of confidence based on my new knowledge.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I really wanted to like this book"
    What would have made The Humor Code better?

    There were some interesting things in this book such as when they went to Japan and discussed why Japanese comedy is so different. However, much of the book felt like a collection of stories that were documented on their journey to discover what makes something funny. It felt like the stories were included based on whether they happened rather than if they were interesting or insightful stories. The book dragged on. They did some nice things such as how current social events affect humor. However, they did so much of this that I felt like I was listening to someone providing social views instead of providing me insight into comedy. The book is tiring to get through.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M 08-23-16
    M 08-23-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Didn't grip me. Didnt give me personally good tips"
    What would have made The Humor Code better?

    More tips on how to be funny, less mediocre story of these guys doing research.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    No idea


    Would you be willing to try another one of Peter Berkrot’s performances?

    Sure


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dieter 12-12-15
    Dieter 12-12-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Should have been called "The Humor Journey""
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, I expected to learn a lot, but I didn't. The scientific facts get suppressed (not much elaboration on them) by the clear focus on the story which is their journey around the world. So it should have been called the "The Humor Journey" instead of "The Humor Code"


    How could the performance have been better?

    There are a lot of jokes in the book, but the narrator reads them in a way so that they often aren't funny


    Any additional comments?

    Objectively the story is certainly well written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zab 06-14-15
    Zab 06-14-15
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    "Interesting tidbits, too much filer."

    Interesting stories about humour around the world, but too much filler - and a bit of sensationalization about the author's adventures.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tam Hunt Santa Barbara 02-01-15
    Tam Hunt Santa Barbara 02-01-15 Member Since 2010

    Enjoying

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    "Excellent adventure story with great insights into"

    Really enjoyed this look at what makes the funny. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in what makes humor.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin 11-24-15
    Benjamin 11-24-15 Member Since 2009
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    "a rather non humorous reflection on humor"

    This book has some interesting concepts and research. However I struggled to get through this book. It was entertaining in places but it was really not that funny.. In truth, it was a serious discussion about comedy. It was hard to buy the concept that they had cracked the secret of comedy by writing a book that wasn't that funny. Instead, i think they found a bunch of interesting points about comedy. The narrator didn't help. A serious book deserved a serious narrator. Instead I got a reading that left me wondering where the next woopie cushion was going to come from.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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