TIME nation

Here Are the Funniest Cities in America

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Based on this particular ranking, Chicago is #1 while the least funny cities are mostly in the South and the Southwest.

Researchers say Chicago is the funniest city in America, according to an article in the New York Times‘s Sunday Review section. Below are the 10 funniest cities, according to the authors of The Humor Code, Peter McGraw, director of the University of Colorado’s Humor Research Lab, and Joel Warner:

1. Chicago
2. Boston
3. Atlanta
4. Washington, DC
5. Portland, Ore.
6. New York City
7. Los Angeles
8. Denver
9. San Francisco
10. Seattle

Based on interviews with experts in the funny business, the Times argues Chicago first secured its place at the top back in 1914, with Carl Sandburg’s humorous poem “Chicago”, while The Second City improv troupe (which launched Stephen Colbert) solidified it. Portland, Oregon, is on the list because of Fred Armisen’s IFC comedy Portlandia.

At the bottom of the ranking is Fort Worth, TX, followed by:

49. Jacksonville, FL
48. Miami, FL
47. San Antonio, TX
46. Arlington, TX
45. Tulsa, OK
44. Virginia Beach, VA
43. Las Vegas, NV
42. Tucson, AZ
41. El Paso, TX
40. Fresno, CA

Here’s the methodology for the “humor algorithm” that produced this lineup, according to the book’s website (which boasts the full list of the 50 funniest cities):

  • Frequency of visits to Cheezburger comedy websites, such as Lolcats and FAIL Blog
  • Number of comedy clubs per square mile in each city
  • Traveling comedians’ ratings of each city’s comedy-club audiences
  • Number of famous comedians born in each city, divided by city population
  • Number of famous funny tweeters living in each city, divided by city population
  • Number of comedy radio stations available in each city
  • Frequency of humor-related web searches originating in each city

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