It wasn't long after former Westword staffer Joel Warner wrote about "Humor Professor" Peter McGraw ("The Nutty Professor," August 26, 2010) that Warner went out for a pack of cigarettes and never came back. Since then, he and McGraw have been traveling the world, trying to crack what they call "the Humor Code" by using science to understand what makes funny, well, funny.
Tonight, Warner and McGraw will bring their somewhat unusual experiments home to the Denver Art Museum, as part of the DAM's ongoing Untitled series. Tonight's Untitled: LOL, which also features Westword cartoonist Kenny Be, will focus on what makes what comedians call a "good room."
"We basically wanted to make a mock comedy club in the museum to run experiments in so we can see if, by changing variables, we can change people's experience of the comedy," Warner explains. He won't say what those variables might be, as that knowledge might influence audience perceptions and compromise the integrity of the experiment, but he can tell you that "people might or might not get electrocuted. There will be consent forms."
LOL runs from 6 to 10 p.m. at the DAM, 100 West 14th Avenue; tickets are included in the price of admission ($5 to $13). For more information, call 720-865-5000 or visit collective.denverartmuseum.org.
Fri., May 25, 6-10 p.m., 2012