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What’s so funny? Lessons from the Laugh Factory’s The Funniest Person In The World contest

Finnish comedian Ismo Leikola was crowned The Funniest Person In the World during a worldwide competition at The Laugh Factory in Hollywood October 27, 2014.
Scott Beale/Flickr
Finnish comedian Ismo Leikola was crowned The Funniest Person In the World during a worldwide competition at The Laugh Factory in Hollywood October 27, 2014.

Who decides if a joke is funny or not?

Who decides if a joke is funny or not? Who is right when one person thinks a joke is funny but someone else doesn't? Maybe you've cracked a joke in front of your friends that you thought was hilarious but didn't sit well with someone else in the group. Awkward, right?

The The Laugh Factory comedy club just wrapped up finals for The Funniest Person In The World, a comedy competition that pitted comedians from countries around the world against one another to gather the most online votes and be declared the world's funniest person. With the club right here in our backyard it got us thinking: how do we decide what is funny and what isn't, and who gets to decide?

Humor is often seen as a bridge between cultures. Laughter is a language that is spoken around the world, but humor is often considered subjective. Something that you think is really funny might not be funny at all to someone else, or it might even offend him or her. So is there ever a situation or subject that everyone, regardless of who they are or where they're from, will find funny?

What do you think about the subjectivity (or objectivity) of humor? What has your experience been with sharing jokes or humor across cultural or ethnic lines?

Guest:

Jamie Masada, Owner & Founder of The Laugh Factory

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