Recently, a group of scientists and psychologists decided to try and find out what the funniest joke in the world was.

Magazine - The funniest jokes in the world


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The Funniest Jokes in the World

 by Chris Rose

Recently, a group of scientists and psychologists decided to try and find out what the funniest joke in the world was. This was obviously going to be a difficult task, as no two people ever really agree about what is funny and what is not – especially when they are from different countries.

In some ways, this is strange. Telling jokes, along with telling stories (which is a similar activity), is one of the most frequent and widespread activities around the world. All countries, all cultures, all languages have their jokes. Unlike telling stories, however, jokes are sometimes not funny or often completely incomprehensible to people who are not part of that culture.

Some things do remain the same – many jokes from around the world like to make fun of people who are stupid, or sometimes people in authority. A lot of jokes are about taboo subjects – jokes can be a way of talking about things that in normal “polite” society we are not allowed to mention. The problem is, of course, is that people in authority or taboo subjects, for example, change from country to country and from culture to culture.

Anyhow, after a year-long serious academic survey, here is the joke which the experts decided was the funniest joke in the world:

Two hunters are out in the woods. One of them falls to the ground. He doesn't seem to be breathing, his eyes are closed. The other hunter takes out his mobile phone and calls emergency services. “My friend is dead!” he cries to the operator, “What can I do?” The operator, in a calm voice says: “Don’t worry. I can help. First, make sure he's dead.” There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Bang! The hunter’s voice comes back on the line. He says: “OK, now what?"

Hmmmm. I don’t know about you, but I think this is perhaps mildly amusing rather than side-splitting. Culturally, it depends on us knowing that often hunters are not considered to be very intelligent people, and that often they are quite violent. But perhaps this is not so all over the world. It’s also quite a “black” joke – a joke about something which isn’t really a funny subject. The experts also found the second funniest joke in the world. Here it is:

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson go on a camping trip. After a good dinner and a bottle of wine, they retire for the night, and go to sleep.
Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and asks his faithful friend. "Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."
"I see millions and millions of stars, Holmes" replies Watson.
"And what do you deduce from that?"
Watson thinks for a minute.
"Well, astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe. What does it tell you, Holmes?"
Holmes is silent for a moment. "Watson, you idiot!" he says. "Someone has stolen our tent!"

I personally think this is better – perhaps not still exactly a side-splitter, but certainly a rib-tickler. Understanding this joke, however, depends on us knowing who Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are. It also has an unexpected ending – something that is essential for most jokes. Surprise can be funny.

Can scientists in the end decide what is funny? Some things are much too complicated, even for scientists.





Hmm... Personally, I think that everyone has their favourite joke, so nobody can make other people find every joke funny and side-splitter. I suggest that scientists can't find the best joke as they say 'so many people, so many minds'.
And the most important thing in every joke is the moment, I reckon. For example, if you talk about books and you friend starts joking about members of a femily, it won't be nice, will it?
So it is better to have a good laugh than try to smile when you don't want to.

I personally do not reckon, that scientists could be able to decide which joke is the funniest one, because it depends and varies from region to region, culture to culture and obviously it is very essential to comprehend the historical background of people those are employed in the joke for an amusement.
Moreover, this article infers an existence of small entertaining/funny tales of our societies, I'm afraid I couldn't presume when and from where did these sort of amusing activities commence! I would be pleased if someone impart.
It is concluded from my own opinion, that there are lot of people in our societies such as, jovial, rude, aggressive and many more.
Consequently, I presume this sort of an amazing activity merely belongs to those people of our societies who are naturally and purely jolly, cheerful, fun-loving and very social as well, I love them, they are really great people, in fact they always try to make us happy no matter what kind of misery we have inside.
Best Regards... Ghansham Bhatia

Hi, dear LearnEnglish members and admins. I want to learn English with your apps and web-page but it is very hard. Thanks from Turkey

Hello muslumtas,

I'd suggest you read the advice on our Help page and also that you take some time to explore the site using the menu at the top of the page (Home, Listen & Watch, etc.). If you still don't where to start after that, I'd recommend Elementary Podcasts Series 3 or 4, which are a bit easier than Series 1 and 2.

Good luck!

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

In my opinion, as to what I think whether scientists can decide what is funny, I guess they can determine if a joke has been well written and has an organized plot, but can they decide what is funny or not? absolutely not. I personally believe that what makes a joke funny is up to you personally. I liken jokes to my personal tastes, for example I may like the appearance of a girl while my friend may not find that girl attractive. A funny joke touches your brain and makes you happy, what makes me happy, might not make others happy.

British council >> i submitted to ielts test 6 months ago , and i book new test at 13th of June . actually i want to know if there is resources for reading test because i have seen many resources for listening test and writing but quite few about reading actual test ,, i would appreciate that if anyone of the tutors provide me some reading actual test ... by the way i like those article it is improve my vocabulary and my writing besides it expand my knowledge of other cultures

Hello zeyad147,

Thanks for your kind comment! I'd highly recommend you take a look at TakeIELTS, where you can find useful advice, information about the exam, as well as some free practice materials.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, i just cannot understand what is the meaning of anyhow. I can understand anyway, but anyhow is just like a bit strange in my ear. Thank you!!

Hi Aaronmatthew,

As you can see in the dictionary, 'anyhow' is most often used as an alternative to 'anyway' - it means the same thing. There is one other way it is used, which is explained in the second dictionary entry, but on this page, it means the same thing as 'anyway'.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi LearingEnglishTeam. I read this article and just found out I want to ask you a tiny question.
I just met my British friend this morning and he kept telling me about his sexual life. He told me about a Namese girl who went drunk last night and get laid with him. He spoke it so naturally and swearing a lot. I was at a bit of shock.
Is British like to talk about their sexual things and discussing about it? Is it part of British humour? 
That guy Wayne told me it was