How to be funny: The scientific method

February 3, 2021 — by Nidhi Mathihalli
Scientific Method

The scientific method is often used to answer scientific questions in the form of an experiment, so what happens when it is applied to changing a characteristic?

The other day, I sent some of my friends a well-thought out joke. But instead of responding with the “HAHAHAHA” text that I was expecting, I got a measly “haha.” 

While having a brain fart trying to figure out what could have caused this monstrosity, I realized that my jokes and sense of humor have grown exponentially worse during quarantine. Since I’m a self-proclaimed comedian, this was my worst nightmare.

But I have learned two things throughout my life: One, always make sure that you are adding sugar instead of salt while baking, and two, never give up, unless people start throwing food at you. 

So with this second life lesson in my noggin, I embarked on a journey to recover my humor, using a method so sacred that every science teacher I have ever had has mentioned it at least a couple of times. If you don’t know what I’m talking about by now, you are living under a very big naturally occurring aggregate of minerals (i.e. rock, according to Wikipedia). Of course, I’m talking about the scientific method.


Step 1: Ask a question

The very first step of the scientific method is to pose the question for the experiment. It’s also my favorite part, because like most high schoolers, I prefer the parts that take the least amount of time.

So, after spending thousands and thousands of milliseconds trying to figure out how to properly word this question, I decided on: “How does Nidhi achieve the goal of having an impeccable sense of humor?”

Anyway, that was easy, so next step.


Step 2: Research and hypothesis

Research was by far my favorite part of the experiment. Anyone who saw my YouTube recommendation would see a bunch of Joana Ceddia, John Mulaney and The Kardashians, because we all know that the Kardashians are the funniest comedians of all time. 

So after watching hours of Joanna Ceddia talk about our lord and savior, Shrek, I was ready to proceed. I had all that I needed: jokes, puns and a mixed sense of humor from a 19-year-old Canadian, a dude from SNL, and some reality TV stars who are constantly trying to be relevant. It was time to move on to the next step: creating a hypothesis.

In the end, I came up with this beauty: If I use puns, memes and funny experiences, then I can muster a big and hopefully positive response from my amigos.


Step 3: Experiment and analysis

I decided to begin my experiment with a pun. After looking for a good pun for a while, by which I mean searching up “puns” and clicking on the first link that showed up, I was able to start my experiment.

I texted my friends, who are also my test subjects, the first pun: Never trust an atom, they make up everything! Exactly one minute later, the first person responded with, “I’ll keep that in mind.” Not the response I was looking for but nevertheless, I trudged on sending more puns. 

 I soon realized I might have sent a bit too many puns, because the responses went from “Nidhi is a bit crazy but that's normal” to “OMG NIDHI IS GOING CRAZY DO YOU THINK SHE WAS KIDNAPPED AND FORCED TO WRITE THESE???!?!?!?”

Next, I implemented Phase 2 of the experiment: memes. Similar to the puns, I gathered a couple of memes and as a big fan of  “Community,” a sitcom about a group of friends at community college, I chose to have all of my memes centered around it. If you have not watched “Community,” we cannot be friends, and that’s a fact. 

Anyway, after sending my friends the famous donut scene meme from “Community,” I patiently waited, but sadly, though, nobody responded. I guess “Community” memes are over.

The third and final part of the experiment was funny experiences. Now this I am a master at. I might not be super punny or be up-to-date with the best shows, but I for sure can make an experience funny. I told my friends about the infamous time that my traveling companions and I got lost in Texas, which garnered lots of discussion with my test subjects, who pondered about how they had gotten lost in Costco and Singapore airports. This was all obviously due to my funny retelling of my Texas tale.  

Finally, a win!


Step 4: Conclusion

After analyzing my various forms of humor, this experiment has proven that the best way to be funny, in a sense, is to be yourself. That being said, if you don’t think you are funny, I have a solution: Watch “Community” and “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.” No, I'm not sponsored by them, but Kim Kardashian is truly the best comedian you will ever see.

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