How do you funny?
We welcome this first episode back of season six with a journey to HuRL, University of Colorado’s Humor Research Laboratory. We’re both graduates of University of Colorado and, just so we’re clear, no one ever introduced us to the Humor Research Laboratory, or this show might be funnier. How funny? Check out this passage from the team’s website:
The Humor Research Lab (aka HuRL) at the University of Colorado Boulder is dedicated to the scientific study of humor, its antecedents, and its consequences. The lab’s theoretical and methodological base is in the interdisciplinary fields of emotion and judgment and decision making, with an emphasis in social and cognitive psychology.
BWAHAHHAHHAHHAHHAHAaaaa… We’re ROLLING over here. That just SCREAMS that these people know how to funny, and they funny hard.
We walk through the Humor Styles Questionnaire created by University of Western Ontario psychology researcher Rod Martin which proposes to help us figure out how Tom funnys, and while we’re at it learn that he believes if you don’t talk about your funny that you don’t have to feel any shame when you admit that you funny good. Wow… this paragraph sure came off the rails. Anyhow, you can check out a demo of the Humor Styles Questionnaire yourself here.
Fear of the Absent Handies
Tom is struggling with the handies. No, you pervs, it’s actually rooted deep in highschool shop class and manifests today in his inability to be handy around the house. And thanks to advertising and images of traditional masculinity, there’s a heavy dose of immasculation in this bit as we regale one another with stories of household destruction.
Along the way, Pete makes a joke about the catalog scene in Fight Club that might be a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it podcast moment. But that does a disservice to a great film so go watch the scene here.
If you want to see what handyman Andy Hinds has to say, check out his piece in The Atlantic, “What Being a Handyman Has Taught Me About Male Insecurity.”
The Sharpest Tip
Olesja Schemjakowa gave an extraordinary tip on a $23 bill in a coffee shop in Switzerland. You don’t have to be so extravigant when you become a What’s That Smell? Panic Pal.
Pete takes on a listener submission that hits us where we live: fear of restaurant server authority. Along the way, Dr. Dodge gives us a tour of big “T”/little “t” trauma, a way to frame significant traumatic experiences in our lives against the smaller traumatic experiences that can manifest in fear, rage, and anxiety over time.
Want to hear YOUR anxiety on the show? Submit it here!