Today is World Laughter Day. What better day than this to hear the World’s Best Joke as certified by the LaughLab project at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom?
A couple of hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing, his eyes are rolled back in his head.
The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps to the operator: “Hello, hello. My friend is dead! What can I do?”
The operator, in a calm soothing voice says: “Just take it easy. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”
There is a silence, then a shot is heard. The guy’s voice comes back on the line.
He says: “OK, now what?”
According to Dr Richard Wiseman, the psychologist behind the project, there are three reasons why this joke narrated by psychiatrist Dr Gurpal Gossal works. One, because we feel superior to the hunter. Two, we realise the incongruity of him misunderstanding the telephone operator. And three, it helps us to laugh about our concerns about our own mortality.
What’s the best joke you have heard? Let’s hear it.