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The World's Funniest Joke, sez They


Since there are no diseases to cure in the UK, The British Association for the Advancement of Science conducted a massive Internet poll to study the Science of Humor. They asked people from around the world to send in what they considered to be the funniest joke. They got more than 400,000 of them from 70 countries. After counting the per-joke submission totals and running over 2 million evaluations on them, it is with great pleasure that they present to us the World's Funniest joke:

''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 cell 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?''

HAHahahahahahahahahaha Big Laffs! (Actually, that is pretty damn funny, but when I heard it, it was two guys from Wisconsin...Wisconsin being the Stupid Stunt capital of the US). The team found that there are significant differences between nations and cultures as to the the types of jokes they found funny. Americans and Canadians liked jokes where people were made to look stupid.

TEXAN: ''Where are you from?''
SNOTTY HARVARD GRAD: ''I come from a place where we do not end our sentences with prepositions.''
TEXAN: ''OK - where are you from, asshole?''

People in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Australia and New Zealand preferred gags involving word play, such as:

PATIENT: ''Doctor, I've got a strawberry stuck up my bum.''
DOCTOR: ''I've got some cream for that.''

(That wasn't even a bit funny. Maybe in 4th grade it is) Meanwhile, many Europeans liked gags that were surreal or made light of serious subjects such as illness, death and marriage:

A patient says, ''Doctor, last night I made a Freudian slip, I was having dinner with my mother-in-law
and wanted to say: 'Could you please pass the butter? But instead I said: 'You silly cow, you have completely ruined my life.'''

Marriage-mocking also featured in the top American joke:

''A man and a friend are playing golf one day. One of the guys is about to chip onto the green when he sees a long funeral procession on the road next to the course. 'He stops in mid-swing, takes off his golf cap, closes his eyes, and bows down in prayer. His friend says, "'Wow that is the most thoughtful and touching thing I have ever seen. You are truly a kind man.' 'The friend replies: 'Yeah, well, we were married 35 years.'''

Death earned big laffs in Scotland:

''I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather. Not screaming in terror like his passengers.''

I'm puzzled by that last one. I've seen it on those "funny one liner" lists for years, and I was sure a US comedian said it.

The number one joke in England:

Two weasels are sitting on a bar stool. One starts to insult the other one. He screams, 'I slept with your mother!' The bar gets quiet as everyone listens to see what the other weasel will do. The first again yells, 'I SLEPT WITH YOUR MOTHER!' The other weasel says: 'Go home dad, you're drunk.''

Some have said the survey wasn't all that accurate, as the only people who could submit entries were those on the Internet, and that possibly wasn't a fair slice of "All of humanity". The survey also showed: Of the countries rating the highest number of jokes, Germans, perhaps surprisingly, laughed the most. Canadians laughed least. It was also found that if you use an animal in a joke, it's funniest if it's a duck. The most frequently submitted joke (300 times) was: ''What's brown and sticky? A stick.'' Researchers said no one ever found it funny. Most likely because it's not.

Just a bit of my own trivia for you here - the most common name for stick insect pets in the US is "Sticky". I thought you'd want to know that.

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