Study: Gargoyle Writers Less Funny Than People Who Don’t Write Jokes At All
‘Horrible’ Latest Issue Deemed Vast Improvement
Writers for the Gargoyle “Humor” Magazine are less funny than virtually all other human beings, according to a study released Thursday by the International Institute of Actual Studies.
Researchers used brain-imaging technology along with survey responses to judge the reactions of 1000 individuals to material from the last five issues of the Gargoyle. They then compared the results with the participants’ reactions to control material generated specifically for the study.
Using proprietary software, IIAS researchers compiled random selections of text and imagery from a variety of sources, including the Michigan Daily, an introductory economics textbook, and Dane Cook monologues. It was then entered into a database, where it was converted into short stories, cartoons and various other formats often employed by the Gargoyle in its commendable but ultimately futile attempts at humor.
Lead researcher Richard Lu says that the findings were interesting, if not surprising. “What we discovered was that, in 98% of cases, the material produced at random by our program was judged to be far funnier than what the Gargoyle has been disingenuously passing off as comical for the last hundred or so years.”
Lu went on to offer a set of plausible explanations for the results, saying that “one possibility is that the source material used by our software was just so much funnier than what one typically sees in an issue of the Gargoyle, that it was bound to produce a funnier result.” He added, “I mean, have you read the Daily lately?” A secondary explanation offered was that the randomly-generated content, unlike the Gargoyle, lacked a strange, almost unhealthy fixation on the mating habits of early crustaceans.
Lu went on to acknowledge that the results were probably due to the Gargoyle’s emulation of the Daily’s content-creation method, which consists of clumsily smashing together bits of random text and images like a drunk toddler with a set of toy cars.
When reached by email for comment, Gargoyle spokesman Dave Snedeker’s only response was to send a crudely-drawn image of a bow tie-wearing turtle defecating in a mason jar.
Originally published: December 2012