Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.
— Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

Listen to Season One, Episode #4 Now

Imagine a bet: you have to make the classroom laugh, or, you lose a million dollars. If most of us took that bet, we'd probably all be on the streets, in a box, crying softly to ourselves. But here's the question - can you become funny? Can you you go from "Knock-Knock-Joke Jeff" to "Above-Average-Joke Jeff"? On this episode, Mohnish, Kevin, and Armi cover:

- What was it like to be painfully unfunny growing up?

- How specifically can you become funny? 

- Why are people funny?

- From an evolutionary perspective, why do women and men value humor? 

- How is your identity tied in with humor?

- And more, all on this episode. 

P.S. Want to ask us a question and get it featured on the podcast? Do it, we double-dog dare you.


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Show Research, Fun Stuff, and More: 

- Here's two excellent papers, one on why humor is basically a mental fitness indicator (unconscious reads: oh, he's funny, he probably doesn't have paranoid schizophrenia!) and another on why humor signals intelligence and predicts mating success.

- Geoffrey Miller (professor, author of the Mating Mind also podcaster at The Mating Grounds) is insanely smart and brought to the forefront the idea (at least to me) that humor is an evolutionary, hard-to-fake signal of intelligence to women. He's done some beautiful work (his studies on penis size and strippers are especially note-worthy) and you should check him out.

- Charlie Hoehn's Pinterest has a ton of good stand-up on it - it's called "Anti-News" (which is hilarious), but it has media and content that'll make you feel good, rather than news that makes you want to jump off of the next available balcony. Charlie also talks about humor in this excellent interview

- The Element of Wit is a good book that dissects humor and, the take-home message, like Jay-Z, is that if you want "wit", you have to work for it. 

- Some excellent comedians (at least to me, completely subjective): Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari (his older stuff over his newer stuff), Jake and Amir ("If I Were You Podcast" is excellent), Bill Burr, Mike Birbiglia, Anthony Jeselnik

Credits and Special Thanks

Main Host: Mohnish Soundararajan

Co-Hosts: Kevin Sanji and Armi Legge

Research: Mohnish Soundararajan and Armi Legge

Content Ideation: Mohnish Soundararajan and Vysali Soundararajan

Editing: Mohnish Soundararajan and Kevin Sanji 

Music: CJ Beats