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The Humor Code

What Makes Us Laugh?

Kare Anderson | Posted 05.17.2014 | Books
Kare Anderson

Want people to laugh with you? Dark humor, done right, may be key according to The Humor Code co-authors, Peter McGraw and Joel Warner who travelle...

'Horror' = Comedy + Latex

Alf LaMont | Posted 01.23.2014 | Comedy
Alf LaMont

Over the weekend I visited a haunted house. The whole experience was great fun. See that? I said it was "FUN." In fact, all signs point to everyone having a great time, giggling and laughing between screams and squeals, which got me to thinking.

Understanding Unintentional Comedy

Peter McGraw and Joel Warner | Posted 11.17.2012 | Comedy
Peter McGraw and Joel Warner

While watching Roman Polanski's The Pianist, chances are we aren't expecting to find humor, much less to laugh. Take, for instance, the scene in which the German SS throw a disabled man out a window to his death.

Deconstructing Romney's 'Bullygate': The Science of Pranks

Peter McGraw and Joel Warner | Posted 07.14.2012 | Comedy
Peter McGraw and Joel Warner

How can you tell when a prank has gone too far and strayed into bullying territory? Are high jinks and teasing just a natural, innocuous part of life, or can poking fun at others do real, lasting harm?

The Humor Code: Comedians Versus Science at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival

Peter McGraw and Joel Warner | Posted 06.26.2012 | Comedy
Peter McGraw and Joel Warner

We managed to carry on a wide-ranging conversation on everything from comedians' drinking problems to the gender inequality to whether or not science has anything to offer stand-up comics.

Bridgetown Comedy Fest: Founder Andy Wood Dishes on Portland's Comedy Revival

Peter McGraw and Joel Warner | Posted 06.11.2012 | Comedy
Peter McGraw and Joel Warner

There's no question Portland is now firmly established on the national comedy map -- and the credit goes largely to Andy Wood, an electrical engineer turned comic who helped launch Bridgetown, running this week from April 12 to 15.

The Mad Men Experiment: Does Boozing Lead to Funnier Ads?

Peter McGraw and Joel Warner | Posted 04.01.2012 | Comedy
Peter McGraw and Joel Warner

2012-01-31-imagepull.jpgCan alcohol fuel humor creation? To investigate, we cooked up a little experiment involving advertising creatives, a funny marketing campaign and alcohol -- with an emphasis on the alcohol.