Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I felt a pang the moment I published that last post because, of course, January 18th isn't funny. It should have been 17th or, preferably, 19th. I had a conversation recently with a prominent comedian and he went for 37 as his funny number. I've always favoured 19, but I admit the joke is beginning to wear a little thin. What is striking about these numbers is they are all odd. So the weak version of my new Theory of Comedy Numbers is that even numbers are not funny. Okay, 6 can raise a mild titter, but that's it. The strong version is that only prime numbers are truly funny. Look at 21, total downer, but both 23 and 19 are real thigh-slappers. Non-divisibility is the soul of wit. Of course, this requires more work and possibly a few hours on a Cray supercomputer. I may have to leave that to others.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 9:18 am