Study ranks Chicago as funniest U.S. city; Seattle in top 10

A new study by the University of Colorado at Boulder ranks Chicago as America’s funniest city, beating out laugh riots Boston and Atlanta to claim the top spot. Researchers hailed Chicagoans for their witty banter and observational humor, specifically citing the local penchant for poking fun at the brutal weather and the Chicago Transit Authority.

“The jokes that Chicagoans do tend to tell often feature deadpan and quick-witted humor, much of it directed at the foibles and frustrations of living in Chicago,” according to the study, which was released Sunday.

Researchers created an algorithm to evaluate several data sets, including the number of comedy clubs in each city, the number of famous comedians born there, the number of well-known humorists who tweet from there and traveling comedians’ ratings of local audiences. They also considered how frequently residents visit comedy websites.

They then surveyed more than 900 people living in the top 10 cities as determined by the algorithm. Researchers asked residents about the kinds of funny entertainment they enjoyed, whether they considered humor an important quality in friends and lovers and subjected them to a personality test. They also had participants describe their city’s sense of humor and recount their favorite joke.

And, despite their funny ranking, it seems Chicagoans are lousy joke tellers.

“For a place that’s the funniest city in the country, Chicago doesn’t seem to boast a lot of jokes,” the study states. “Many Chicago residents surveyed noted that they could not think of any zingers, since they prefer to mine observational humor from the situations in which they find themselves. Such remarks seem to fit with the city’s professional comedy scene, since the city is known as a mecca for improv and stand-up.”

Other cities in the Top 10 were: Boston, Atlanta, Washington, Portland, Ore., New York, Los Angeles, Denver, San Francisco and Seattle.

The study was led by Peter McGraw, an associate professor of marketing and psychology at CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business.

“The result was a window into the humor profiles of each of the top 10 cities,” McGraw said in a statement provided by the university. “Boston residents balance high-brow intellectualism with drunken rowdiness while Washington, D.C., finds humor in the absurdities of political systems. Portlanders are just plain weird.”

More in Local News

Young woman missing from Mukilteo found safe

She called her parents and told them she was at a museum in Seattle.

Mom and brother turn in suspect in Stanwood robberies

The man is suspected of robbing the same gas station twice, and apologizing to the clerk afterward.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Navy to put filter in Coupeville’s contaminated water system

Chemicals from firefighting foam was found in the town’s drinking water.

Officials to test sanity of suspect in Everett crime spree

He allegedly tried to rob and clobber a transit worker, then fled and struggled with police.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
Everett’s brush with Katharine Graham, leader of ‘The Post’

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson recalls The Washington Post publisher’s visits.

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Families seek to change wrongful death law

A bill would allow or parents or siblings who wish to pursue a suit for an unmarried, childless adult.

Most Read