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The Humor Code

A Global Search For What Makes Things Funny

By Peter McGraw

Two guys. 19 experiments. Five continents. 91,000 miles. And a book that will forever change the way you think about humor.

Part road-trip comedy and part social science experiment, a scientist and a journalist detail their epic quest to discover the secret behind what makes things funny.

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.




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Publish Date




Format: Book
Author: McGraw, Peter
Title: The humor code : a global search for what makes things funny / Peter McGraw, PhD and Joel Warner.
Publisher Date: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2014.
Subject: Wit and humor -- Psychological aspects.
Isbn: 9781451665413 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1451665415
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 2
System Items Total: 4
Call Number: 152.43 McG
Bib Id: 506408

Format: Book
Author: McGraw, Peter.
Title: The humor code : a global search for what makes things funny / Peter McGraw, PhD and Joel Warner.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Publisher, Date: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2014.
Description: xv, 239 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Subjects: Wit and humor -- Psychological aspects.
Other Author: Warner, Joel, author.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (pages 218-226) and index.
Contents: Introduction -- Colorado : set-up -- Los Angeles : who is funny? -- New York : how do you make funny? -- Tanzania : why do we laugh? -- Japan : when is comedy lost in translation? -- Scandinavia : does humor have a dark side? -- Palestine : can you find humor where you least expect it? -- The Amazon : is laughter the best medicine? -- Montreal : punch line -- Acknowledgements -- Notes.
LCCN: 2013031454
ISBN: 9781451665413 (hardcover : alk. paper)
ISBN: 1451665415
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 2
Total Copies: 4
Call Number: 152.43 McG