• In a new video by AsapSCIENCE, the science of comedy humor is discussed, including what is statistically the best joke ever.
  • Researchers have found the optimal amount of time between a tragedy and when people are generally able to joke around about it.
  • The structure and length of the joke also play a role in how funny people tend to think it is. 

Humor is, of course, a subjective thing. There are always going to be jokes that you think are funny but others don’t, and vice versa. Our comedy sensibilities are a combination of a lot of things, including life experiences that may make us more sensitive to certain subjects and less sensitive to others. With all that in mind, can there really be a “funniest joke”?

Based on the results of a survey taken by over 1.5 million people, the answer is apparently yes. YouTube channel AsapSCIENCE recently dove into the science of comedy, crawling through the data and offering it up in an easily digestible way.

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The survey that participants took asked them a bunch of questions about their sense of humor. It also had them rate jokes, asking them how much they liked each joke or how humorous they felt it was. Based on these responses, we’re left with the “funniest joke in the world,” according to the data.

Some of the more interesting pieces of information that came out of the survey include the ideal joke length. Based on the data, the most effective jokes are roughly 103 letters long. That’s quite brief, but perhaps that’s what makes them work so well? Additionally, jokes are funniest to any given individual at approximately 6:03 p.m. local time. It’s not clear exactly why that is, but perhaps it has something to do with the general sense of relaxation that comes at the end of the workday and the transition to the evening.

As far as what the funniest joke in the world is… well, go ahead and watch the video above and you’ll have it presented to you as a comedian might. Reading the joke probably won’t offer the same kind of impact, so it’s best to hear it out loud.

Now, I’m no comedian, but I know what I find funny. The joke deemed the funniest isn’t a bad joke by any means. It has a clear punchline and an easily-understood premise. It’s fine… but the funniest joke ever? Eh, I’m going to go ahead and say no. Perhaps I just need to listen to it again at 6:03 p.m.?

In any case, as I’ve already said, humor is subjective. Nobody is going to love every joke and there’s no joke that everyone will universally adore. Find what makes you laugh and stick with it because this is one case where the science falls well short of concrete.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech. Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.