The Laugh Track: Loathe It or Love It
The use of a laugh track began with radio, and was taken up by the new medium of television in 1950. Both viewers and critics have loathed it ever since.
The Offensive Joke Trap
The audience for a joke has options. They can “support” a joke—for example by laughing at it—or they can respond with “unlaughter."
The Dubious Art of the Dad Joke
Is it really only dads who can tell dad jokes? And is this corny humor universal? Our linguist takes a deep dive.
How Mad Magazine Informed America’s Cultural Critique
When Tales Calculated to Drive You MAD—Humor in a Jugular Vein first erupted onto the streets in 1952, it was like nothing ever seen before.
P.G. Wodehouse, Great American Humorist?
Should P.G. Wodehouse, creator of the ditzy Wooster and inimitable Jeeves, be considered an American humorist as well as a master of British farce?
The One Thing Parents Really Need
The prologue of Catherine Newman’s new parenting memoir Catastrophic Happiness: Finding Joy in Childhood’s Messy Years, evocatively called ...
Escapist Humor in East and West Berlin
Humor in East and West Berlin before the wall came down.