A comedian is the tightrope artist of laughter. If his audience does not laugh, he falls, plunging into the terrifying void of collective silence. Yet the comedian's precarious venture does not end there. He may possess a commodious catalogue of jokes and tricky bits of business, but finally he has to put together some sort of theory as to why people laugh. This is a question that has puzzled minds of the caliber of Socrates' and Freud's, and Novelist George Meredith's and Philosopher Henri Bergson's, let alone your stand-up comic's....

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