The Washington Post

A study just named D.C. the fourth funniest city in America. Let’s figure out why.

Dave Chappelle is one of D.C.'s most famous comedians (Getty Images) Dave Chappelle is one of D.C.’s most famous comedians (Getty Images)

Here in D.C., we’re used to being the butt of jokes. (Blame Congress.)According to a new study by Colorado’s Humor Research Lab and the authors of the book “The Humor Code,” all that dysfunction breeds humor: Washington is the fourth funniest city in America, behind Chicago, Boston and Atlanta.

The study is based on info culled from 50 cities and surveys of residents. I wanted to pick apart some data points to see why D.C. ranked so high.

Famous comedians born per capita: D.C. produces one famous comic for every 158,000 residents, our most prominent comedic product being Dave Chappelle, above. Not all our born-in-D.C. luminaries have strong ties to the District (Stephen Colbert, Louis C.K.), but the data doesn’t lie.

Comedy clubs per square mile: Technically, we have just one major comedy club (a strike against us). But it’s a good one: Numerous comedians have told me the DC Improv is among their favorite clubs in the country.

Comedians’ ratings of audiences: Those same comedians agree that Washingtonians get jokes better than other cities’ residents. I see it whenever I watch live comedy. We show up, we pay attention and we laugh — often.

Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.



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