Dubious Data

Funny business: Texas mocked for its lack of a sense of humor, Houston deemed a very unfunny city

Funny business: Houston mocked for supposed lack of a sense of humor

Well this isn't very funny. Researchers at the University of Colorado's Humor Research Lab analyzed the 50 biggest cities in the United States to determine where the funniest — and least funny — people live.

Let's just say Texas wasn't in on the joke.

 Houston finished a middling 37th out of the 50 funniest cities, a tad less funny than even Dallas at No. 36. 

Though Austin ranked a respectable No. 14 (it is, after all, the home to Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival), the rest of the big cities in Texas fell in the bottom half of the list. In fact, of the Top 10 least funny cities, four are in Texas, including the No. 1 least funny city in America: Fort Worth. Also in the bottom 10 are San Antonio, Arlington and El Paso.

Houston finished a middling 37th out of the 50 funniest cities, a tad less funny than even Dallas at No. 36.

Researchers at Humor Research Lab (it's a real thing), created the Humor Algorithm (with the appropriate acronym "HA") to determine where the funny folks live. Over a nine-month period, analysts researched the 50 largest cities and analyzed factors like number of comedy clubs per square mile, visits by residents to humor websites, percentage of native-born comedians, the number of comedy radio stations and audience ratings from traveling comedians.

But it wasn't just numbers that determined where cities ranked, input from local residents was also included. “A city’s humor score isn’t just a measure of historic reputation or big-name productions,” research associate Adrian Ward noted. “A city’s sense of humor is a living, breathing thing, created by everything from coffee shop conversations to Web videos shared between friends to the laughter that erupts at comedy clubs.”

So what is the No.1 funniest city in America? That would be Chicago. Rounding out the top three are Boston and Atlanta.

Also in the Top ten: Washington, D.C. at No. 4; Portland at No. 5; New York City at No. 6; Los Angeles at No. 7; Denver at No. 8; San Francisco at No. 9 and Seattle closes out the top cities at No. 10.

Trinity River Parkway protesters in turkey costumes
Texas had four of the top 10 unfunniest cities in the U.S. Photo by Teresa Gubbins
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