October 3, 2002

From an article on abcnews.com:

In a project described as the largest-ever scientific study into humor, the British Association for the Advancement of Science asked Internet users around the world to submit their favorite jokes and rate the funniness of other people’s offerings.

More than 40,000 jokes from 70 countries and 2 million critiques later, this is it:

“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 man pulls out his phone and calls emergency services.

He gasps to the operator: “My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator in a calm, soothing voice replies: “Take it easy. 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 hunter says, “OK, now what?”

Of the countries rating the highest number of jokes, Germans, perhaps surprisingly, laughed the most. Canadians laughed least.

If you want to tell a funny animal joke, make it a duck.

The most frequently submitted joke, at 300 times, was: “What’s brown and sticky? A stick.” Researchers said no one ever found it funny.

The findings can be read at www.laughlab.co.uk

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