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Researchers: Los Angeles is the Seventh Funniest City in the US

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Armed with a so-called humor algorithm and survey results, scholars at the Humor Research Lab at the University of Colorado have proclaimed Los Angeles the US's seventh funniest city (behind "weird" Portland and "dry high-brow and rowdy low-brow" Boston), says the New York Times. The ratings were based on surveys given to both lay residents and comedians that inquired about "the kinds of funny entertainment they enjoyed, asked whether they looked for humor in their friends and lovers, and subjected them to a 'need for levity' personality test." (Skeptics have already poked plenty of fun at the methodology and the study itself. "What's a plausible metric for funniest? ... [T]he annual tally of unintentionally hilarious news stories about state and city politics?" asked one critic.) The results yielded not just a ranking but a sampling of each city's "humor profile." A "representative" joke given by LA respondents to the survey? "Have you heard of the movie, Constipated? It's not out yet." Wow. Good one.

· So These Professors Walk Into a Comedy Club ... [NYT]