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World's funniest joke

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The "world's funniest joke" is a term used by Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire in 2002 to summarize one of the results of his research. For his experiment, named LaughLab, he created a website where people could rate and submit jokes.[1] Purposes of the research included discovering the joke that had the widest appeal and understanding among different cultures, demographics and countries.[citation needed]

The History Channel eventually hosted a special on the subject.[2]

Winning joke

The winning joke, which was later found to be based on a 1951 Goon Show sketch by Spike Milligan,[3] was submitted by Gurpal Gosal of Manchester:

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 gun shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says, "OK, now what?"[4]

Other findings

Researchers also included five computer-generated jokes, four of which fared rather poorly, but one was rated higher than one third of the human jokes:[5]

What kind of murderer has moral fiber? A cereal killer.

The joke that was submitted to LaughLab the most times was:[6]

What's brown and sticky? A stick.


  1. ^ LaughLab official site
  2. ^ "New History Channel special a big joke". Reuters. 14 February 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  3. ^ BBC: Spike 'wrote world's best joke'
  4. ^ World's funniest joke - official source
  5. ^ "Computer crack funnier than many human jokes", December 20, 2001, New Scientist
  6. ^ Dickerson, Kelly. "Here's the funniest joke in the world". Business Insider. Retrieved 2021-12-03.

Further reading

External links