Ah, science. That funniest of fields. Nothing better than explaining a joke scientifically for those too stupid to pick up on inferences and irony. By merging science and comedy, we can make jokes accessible to everyone. No more whispers of “what did that mean?” No more fake laughs because you want to appear to have understood it, but now the show is flying by and you can’t forget that puzzling punchline from five minutes ago that eluded you. YouTube star Greg Brown is here to spell it all out, and he’s got the data and theories to PROVE, ONCE AND FOR ALL, which joke is the funniest in the world:
So much to unpack here. Let’s start with this:
“A lot of straight white male comedians are coming under fire recently for saying jokes that they think are safe, but audiences are telling them now are offensive.”
Greg, I hate to tell you this, but it’s not just SWM comics getting in trouble for unsafe jokes; it’s every funny person. Chappelle gets attacked for making jokes about Michael Jackson’s accusers, the trans community, and just about everything else under the sun. Dina Hashem found herself receiving death threats after making a joke about XXXTentacion. Roseanne? Kathy Griffin? Michelle Wolf? Judy Gold has some thoughts. Say what you want about cancel culture, it’s nothing if not inclusive, representational, and diverse.
(For more on this, read this Judy Gold interview. She’s one of the funniest people doing it, and she explains it far better than I can.)
“Scientists have determined that there is a 17-day latency period between a national tragedy happening and you being able to make a good joke about it.”
17 days? You don’t say. How on EARTH did they come up with that number? Also, what qualifies as a national tragedy? Nobody was making 9/11 jokes in the first two weeks after it happened, but Louis had an incredible 9/11 joke in his special years later:
Ignoring the whole art-imitating-life irony of this joke, is this joke not funny if he tells it 16 days after 9/11, but totally hilarious if he waits until the 18th day?
That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.
If I had to guess, I’d say Greg is simply trying to make a goofy YouTube video in the vein of his ASAPScience channel. But he also professes to be a standup comic—albeit a green one. And the reality is, there is no such thing as the funniest joke in the world, just as there’s no greatest song in the world or most beautiful painting in the world.
The joke Greg cited as the “winner” of science’s funniest joke title is a perfect example. Because here’s the thing: I actually liked that hunter joke. Totally surprised me. Even with Greg reciting it like it was an airplane safety briefing. If someone tells me that joke in the right setting? Maybe a stranger on a chairlift out west, or in a bar in the south? I’m giggling like a goose.
Greg didn’t like it though. Too violent for his tastes. Guess what? That’s fine! I would never tell him he’s WRONG for disliking the joke. “The hell Greg? Scientists said this is the funniest joke ever.” No way. Greg has his tastes, I have mine, and science should stick to finding a vaccine.
Did I just tell scientists to shut up and dribble?
In sum, laugh at whatever you want. Who cares. Don’t try to make sense of it either.