KIDDING: The Search for the World’s Funniest Joke
A man rings up the
fire department and yells out, “Help, help my house is on fire.”
“Calm down,” says the operator, “how do we get there?”
The man says, “Haven’t you got one of those big red trucks?”
Dr. Richard Wiseman,
a British psychologist, made international news when he launched the
Laughlab Project, a “scientific” search for the world’s
funniest joke. Through an internet site, people from around the world
were invited to submit their favorite joke or judge how funny other
people’s jokes were on a ‘laughometer” rating them
on a scale of one to five.
largest experiment into the psychology of humour, Dr. Wiseman’s
research was sponsored by the British Association for the Advancement
More than 40,000 jokes were submitted to the Laughlab web sit and judged
by over 100,000 people in 70 countries.
Canadian documentary director John Zaritsky has taken Dr. Wiseman and
his results on a round-the-world road trip – North America, Europe,
Asia, Australia – to field test the Laughlab findings on different
nationalities and cultures.
Kidding” is a funny, fast-paced international joke-fest,
and a fascinating exploration into the psychology of humour. Why do
we laugh at other people’s misfortune? Do men and women share
the same sense of humour? Do people in other countries laugh at the
same jokes we do? Which country has the best sense of humour? And –
what is the world’s funniest joke?