Scientists in Britain unveiled the world’s funniest joke yesterday at the end of the largest study of humour ever.
For the past year, people around the globe were invited to judge jokes using a five-point “Giggleometer” on the internet, as well as to contribute quips of their own.
The LaughLab experiment conducted by psychologist Richard Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire, attracted more than 40,000 jokes and almost two million ratings.
As well as identifying the joke that appealed most to people around the world, the experiment – not surprisingly – revealed wide humour differences between nations.
Scans conducted on people being told jokes also identified the brain’s laughter centre – a region near the back of the frontal lobes.
“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 man then replies: ‘Yeah, well, we were married 35 years.'”