Anorak | The Gag-O-Meter

The Gag-O-Meter

by | 14th, June 2004

‘QUESTION: Why did the rooster cross the road? ANSWER: To prove he wasn’t a chicken.

What happend next scored a rib-cracking 200 in Scotland but a zero in England

Okay, so it’s not very funny – but just how not very funny is it?

To find out we put the joke through a new “humour rating” calculator devised by two scientists for the Science Museum’s comedy research project.

The formula, outlined by Helen Pilcher and Timandra Harkness, suggests that the funniness of a particular joke is dependent on the length of the build-up and the absence of puns.

It states that X (the humour rating) = (fl+n to the power of o)/p, where f = funniness of punchline, l = length of build-up, n = slapstick factor, o = ouch factor and p = number of puns.

Thus, if we feed our rooster joke into the system, we learn that its humour rating is (8 x 5 + (9 to the power of 2))/1. In other words, 121 out of a possible 200.

We can therefore tell conclusively that it is not as funny as the joke the Sun uses to test the formula this morning.

It goes as follows: A woman slips on a cow-pat. She gets up only to see a man slip on the same cow-pat. “I did that,” she says. “Well, next time clear it up,” he replies.

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Posted: 14th, June 2004 | In: Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink