The study documented regional differences in humour, as well as variations between the sexes. According to its results, men preferred more aggressive jokes, as well as sexual innuendo, while women preferred word play. Wiseman points out that this is the joke that the most people found reasonably funny, and that it would be unreasonable to expect any joke to be universally judged superior to all others.
The aim of the research was to shed some light on how the brain works.
The experiment was conducted in Britain, where researchers solicited people around the world to contribute jokes as well as judge them. At the conclusion of the experiment, the scientists had evaluated over 40,000 submitted jokes and tallied nearly 2 million votes.
|“||Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?". The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what?"||”|
The second place finisher and early leader was this joke, submitted by Geoff Anandappa of Blackpool:
|“||Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go on a camping trip. After a good dinner, they retire for the night, and go to sleep.
Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and nudges his faithful friend. "Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."
"I see millions and millions of stars, Holmes" exclaims Watson.
"And what do you deduce from that?"
Watson ponders for a minute.
"Well, astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe. What does it tell you, Holmes?"
And Holmes said: “Watson, you idiot, it means that somebody stole our tent.”
While this was the top joke in the UK:
|“||A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says: "That's the ugliest baby that I've ever seen. Ugh!" The woman goes to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: "The driver just insulted me!" The man says: "You go right up there and tell him off – go ahead, I'll hold your monkey for you."||”|
And in Australia the top joke was as follows:
|“||A woman rushed to see her doctor, looking very much worried and all strung out. She rattles off: "Doctor, take a look at me. When I woke up this morning, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw my hair all wiry and frazzled up, my skin was all wrinkled and pasty, my eyes were bloodshot and bugging out, and I had this corpse-like look on my face! What's WRONG with me, Doctor!?" |
The doctor looks her over for a couple of minutes, then calmly says: "Well, I can tell you that there ain't nothing wrong with your eyesight."