It's no surprise that CU prof Peter McGraw and longtime Westword writer Joel Warner, authors of a new book called The Humor Code, would rank the funniest American cities. After all, just such a list spurred the entire book project.
"I got one of the endless 'Top 10 city list' press releases," notes Warner, who also penned "Humor helped this captive crew on the USS Pueblo," a recent Westword feature, "and I e-mailed Peter McGraw, who I had already written about for Westword and with whom I was discussing ideas for a book. I wrote, 'Wouldn't it be cool if we came up with the country's funniest cities?' I meant it more or less as a joke, but when you have a guy who has a university-sanctioned humor research lab, even the silliest jokes can lead to hardcore scientific analysis."
Look below to count down McGraw and Warner's top ten, which includes Denver; we've added photos and HumorCode.com jokes intended to represent the humor in each place. Count them down here, and click for even more Humor Code city rankings.
"What does one computer say to the other? 01010010101010101."
"Why does California have all the lawyers and New Jersey have all the hazardous waste dumps? New Jersey got first choice."
San Francisco, California
Liberal Zany Meets Smart Techy
"What does a guy horse eat? Heyyyyyy."
"An electron and a positron walk into a bar. The positron says, "This round's on me." The electron says, "Are you sure?" The positron says, "I'm positive."
Laid-back & High...on Life?
"A piece of string walks into a bar. Bartender says, "We don't serve string." String leaves, ruffles his cut end, and returns to the bar. Bartender says, "ren't you the string that was just in here?" The string replies, "No, I'm a frayed knot."
Los Angeles, California
Have you heard of the movie Constipated? It's not out yet."
"How do you wake up Lady Gaga? Poker face."
New York, New York
High Speed & High Stress
"I was at the library today. The guy at the desk was very rude. I said, "I'd like a card." He said, "You have to prove you're a citizen of New York." So I stabbed him.
Quirky, Absurd and Just Plain Weird
"If God dwells inside us like some people say, I sure hope He likes enchiladas, because that's what He's getting."
Politicians & Cynics
"Knock, knock. Who's there? KGB. KGB who? (Knocker smacks the responder) We will ask the questions!"
Where (Racial) Worlds Collide
"What do you call a black pilot? A pilot, you racist."
Balancing Brains & Booze
"Two fish swim into a bar. The first fish says, "I'll have some H20. The second fish says, "I'll have some H20, too." The second fish died."
The Home of Improv
"Favorite joke? I don't have one. But let's go look for funny situations."
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More from our Lists & Weirdness archive: "Photos: Top ten U.S. cities for douchebags -- including two in Colorado."