CU Boulder study: Denver is 8th funniest city in nation

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Downtown Denver

Downtown Denver

DENVER — Denver is the eighth funniest city in the United States, according to a recent University of Colorado-Boulder study released Sunday.

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

Using an algorithm invented at McGraw’s Humor Research Lab, a CU Boulder facility dedicated to the scientific analysis of humor, McGraw and his team examined which U.S. cities really got people laughing.

McGraw said the study is an extension of his new book titled “The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny,” which he co-authored with journalist Joel Warner.

Over the course of nine months, McGraw and his team of humor analysts surveyed the 50 biggest U.S. metropolises to record how often locals visited comedy websites, the number of comedy clubs per square miles, how touring comedians ranked the cities, the number of native comedians, the number of witty local tweeters, the number of local comedy radio stations and the amount of comedy Internet searches stemming from the cities.

“We found humor often has a local flavor,” said McGraw. “The jokes that get laughs at comedy clubs in Denver seem unlikely to fly with a cartoon editor at The New Yorker, for example.”

According to the study, the top ten funniest cities in the nation are:

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

Co-authors of the research included Warner, Leeds School of Business senior research associate Adrian Ward and Caleb Warren, a Texas A&M University assistant professor of marketing.

To view the complete study, visit