We're Not Laughing

Is Texas the unfunniest place in America?

Is Texas the unfunniest place in America?

Well, this isn't very funny. Researchers at the University of Colorado's Humor Research Lab (yes, it's a real thing) analyzed the 50 biggest cities in the United States to determine where the funniest — and least funny — people live. Let's just say Texas wasn't in on the joke.

Although Austin ranked a respectable No. 14, the rest of the big Lone Star cities fell in the bottom half of the list. In fact, of the top 10 least funny cities, four are in Texas, including the No. 1 most humorless city in America: Fort Worth.

 Of the top 10 least funny cities, four are in Texas, including the No. 1 most humorless city in America: Fort Worth.

Also in the least-funny camp are San Antonio at (No. 4), Arlington (No. 5) and El Paso (No. 10).

Researchers created the Humor Algorithm (with the appropriate acronym "HA") to determine where the funny folks live. Over a nine-month period, analysts looked at factors like number of comedy clubs per square mile, visits by residents to humor websites, percentage of native-born comedians, the number of comedy radio stations and audience ratings from traveling comedians.

However, numbers alone didn't determine the rankings; input from local residents was also included. “A city’s humor score isn’t just a measure of historic reputation or big-name productions,” said research associate Adrian Ward. “A city’s sense of humor is a living, breathing thing, created by everything from coffee shop conversations to Web videos shared between friends to the laughter that erupts at comedy clubs.”

So what is the funniest city in America? That would be Chicago. Boston and Atlanta round out the top three.

Also in the top 10: Washington, D.C.; Portland, Oregon; New York City; Los Angeles; Denver; San Francisco; and Seattle.

Trinity River Parkway protesters in turkey costumes
Texas had four of the top 10 unfunniest cities in the U.S. Photo by Teresa Gubbins