Can humor really be defined? Or is it one of those things that is too dependent on too many variables for us to really understand? Researchers at the Human Research Lab (HuRL) put their nerdy heads together in an attempt to create an algorithm that would allow them to find out what America’s 50 funniest cities were.
After HuRL created their “Humor Algorithm” (HA), they spent nine months collecting data and surveying respondents around the country. Objective measures included items such as how often residents visited sites like Cheezburger, Lolcats, and FAIL Blog; the number of comedy clubs per square city mile; number of famous comedians from each city; and more.
“We’re nerds,” said Peter McGraw, the University of Colorado professor who compiled the rankings. “We spent hours tossing about what are the right attributes to include in the humor algorithm. I think the fun part for readers will be debating whether we got it right.” McGraw and colleague Joel Warner also recently released the book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny.
Did your city make the cut for one of America’s Funniest Cities? Do you agree with the rankings? Take a look at the results, compiled below in a handy infographic below, then share your thoughts in the comments below: