A Funny Thing Happened...

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2DTV Ltd

George Michael in the cartoon video to his song Shoot the Dog

Monday, Jul. 15, 2002
In the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, irony was pronounced dead and an unofficial moratorium on joking declared in the U.S. It wasn't just late-night talkshow hosts Jay Leno and David Letterman who took time off; the Internet, the most efficient gag-spreading device ever invented, was also, for a while, a wisecrack-free zone. It doesn't take a student of humor to deduce that the closer you are to the butt of a joke, the unfunnier you'll find it. But to measure just how close, and to deconstruct some of the other mechanisms of laughter under...