University of Colorado psychology professor Peter McGraw and Denver-based journalist Joel Warner are trying to unlock the formula to funny -- what makes something universally funny? -- or as they're calling it, the Humor Code.
Earlier this month, they visited the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland, Ore., to sit a few comedians down and discuss the Humor Code. Of course, Myq Kaplan, Pete Holmes and Mary Mack didn't stick to the script. Because there was no script. McGraw and Warner noted afterward for Wired magazine: "Despite the hijinks, we managed to carry on a wide-ranging conversation last Saturday on everything from comedians’ drinking problems to gender inequality to whether science has anything to offer stand-up comics."