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Chicago is America’s funniest city, according to researchers who are probably into improv

Ranking humor is about as ambiguous as ranking happiness, but that won’t stop science from trying. The University of Colorado even has a Humor Research Lab devoted to the academic study of humor—because nothing makes a joke funnier than annotating it and subjecting it to peer review. A research team from the HRL recently spent nine months devising an algorithm to determine America’s funniest city, based on surveys of residents on the importance of humor in their daily lives, comedy clubs per square mile, native-born comedians per capita, numbers of comedy websites and Twitter feeds, and something involving a whoopee cushion.

The results will be gratifying to anyone who ever spent $300 on an improv class: Chicago was declared America’s funniest city, thanks to its reputation as a comedy mecca and to the famous names like John Belushi, Bill Murray, and Harold Ramis (to name a few) who were born there. Boston came in second on the list, followed by  Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and Portland; New York City came in sixth, followed by Los Angeles.


[via The New York Times]

The research team concluded their findings by inviting everyone to come see their statistical improv troupe “Margin Of Hilarity,” which just started an eight-week run at The Funny Bone.


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