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
"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)
Super skeptic, reality poet, mega geek, & science nerd extraordinaire.
Pretty far up there. A unique niche of science that yields a fascinating tool for understanding what makes us laugh..... the Benign Violation Theory.
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)
The authors journalist friend, who more or less wrote the book in the first person as her accompanied Dr Peter McGraw
Want to? I did.
Totally underrated book, could have been a best seller with a better title and cover.
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.
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.
More tips on how to be funny, less mediocre story of these guys doing research.
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"
There are a lot of jokes in the book, but the narrator reads them in a way so that they often aren't funny
Objectively the story is certainly well written.
Really enjoyed this look at what makes the funny. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in what makes 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.
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