The Secret of Comedy Really Is Timing

Pacific Standard:

Did you hear the one about Hurricane Sandy? Did you find it hilarious? Tasteless? Or just lame?

Newly published research concludes the answer depends in part on exactly when the joke reached your ear, or inbox.

An analysis of responses to humorous quips referencing last year’s devastating storm suggests the adage that “comedy equals tragedy plus time” needs to be modified. A research team led by University of Colorado psychologist A. Peter McGraw concludes that, at some specific point in the days and weeks after a horrible event, there is a “sweet spot” when we’re particularly likely to find humor in the darkness.

Read the whole story: Pacific Standard

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