America's Funniest City Is...

Chicago, according to new study

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 21, 2014 3:33 PM CDT

(Newser) – Need a laugh? Head to Chicago. A new study finds the Windy City is also the funniest one in the US, according to the Chicago Tribune. "We found humor often has a local flavor," the lead researcher says. "The jokes that get laughs at comedy clubs in Denver seem unlikely to fly with a cartoon editor at the New Yorker." Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder's Humor Research Lab created an algorithm that looked at, among other things, a city's:

  • number of comedy clubs and comedy radio stations
  • number of famous comedians born there
  • number of "funny tweeters" living there
  • ratings of local audiences by traveling comedians
  • frequency of visits to comedy websites and comedy-related web searches by residents

When researchers determined a top 10, they surveyed 900 residents per city, asking them about their feelings on humor and comedic entertainment, their take on the city's sense of humor, and their favorite joke. "The jokes that Chicagoans do tend to tell often feature deadpan and quick-witted humor, much of it directed at the foibles and frustrations of living in Chicago," such as the weather and the transit system, researchers found. "They prefer to mine observational humor from the situations in which they find themselves. Such remarks seem to fit with the city’s professional comedy scene, since the city is known as a mecca for improv and stand-up." The rest of the top 5: Boston, Atlanta, Washington, and Portland. Click for the full top 10 and their complete humor profiles.

The Chicago Skyline sits as a backdrop as fog drifts across Monroe Harbor with temperatures well below zero and wind chills expected to reach 40 to 50 below, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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