• by Scott Weems
  • Narrated by Kalen Allmandinger
  • 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Humor, like pornography, is famously difficult to define. We know it when we see it, but is there a way to figure out what we really find funnyand why? In this fascinating investigation into the science of humor and laughter, cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems uncovers what’s happening in our heads when we giggle, guffaw, or double over with laughter. While we typically think of humor in terms of jokes or comic timing, in Ha! Weems proposes a provocative new model. Humor arises from inner conflict in the brain, he argues, and is part of a larger desire to comprehend a complex world. Showing that the delight that comes with getting” a punchline is closely related to the joy that accompanies the insight to solve a difficult problem, Weems explores why surprise is such an important element in humor, why computers are terrible at recognizing what’s funny, and why it takes so long for a tragedy to become acceptable comedic fodder. From the role of insult jokes to the benefit of laughing for our immune system, Ha! reveals why humor is so idiosyncratic, and why how-to books alone will never help us become funnier people.
Packed with the latest research, illuminating anecdotes, and even a few jokes, Ha! lifts the curtain on this most human of qualities. From the origins of humor in our brains to its life on the standup comedy circuit, this book offers a delightful tour of why humor is so important to our daily lives.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very well structured exploration of humor

This book covers humor in great detail and does so in a very engaging way. The narration is flawless.

My only disappointment is that laughter gets very little attention by comparison to humor. They are related, but distinct and the book title does suggest that the main focus is laughter. It is not.

After all, we can find something humorous, but not laugh and we can laugh, despite a lack of humor.
Despite this disappointment, I found it to be an educational, engaging and entertaining book overall.
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- Peter Piper

Book Details

  • Release Date: 14-04-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios