How Many Republicans Does It Take To Screw In A Lightbulb?

Illustration for article titled How Many Republicans Does It Take To Screw In A Lightbulb?

Answer: None, they only screw the poor. You'd think that joke would only be funny to the left-leaning among us, but you'd be wrong! According to a study in the science section of today's New York Times, Republicans enjoy all kinds of humor more than Democrats do. The study involved telling 300 people in Boston 3 different jokes: one "traditional" joke about a golfing widower, one just plain silly joke, and one "absurdist" joke cribbed from Jack Handey's SNL mainstay "Deep Thoughts". The assumption going in was that conservatives would prefer the traditional joke, says the Times' John Tierney. And they did. But they also preferred the silly and absurdist jokes. But how come?Dr. Rod Martin, a psychologist who wrote The Psychology of Humor, says that conservatives are happier than liberals in general, and therefore more prone to a good chuckle. “A conservative outlook rationalizes social inequality, accepting the world as it is, and making it less of a threat to one’s well-being, whereas a liberal outlook leads to dissatisfaction with the world as it is, and a sense that things need to change before one can be really happy," Martin tells the Times. Or maybe, as Tierney posits, social scientists are a hugely liberal group and while they think they're noncomformists who are dissatisfied with the world, they're actually just as closed-minded as conservatives! "Maybe the stereotype of the dour, rigid conservative has more to do with social scientists’ groupthink and wariness of outsiders," Tierney says. Another explanation: the jokes that researchers told the study's participants were completely lame. I mean, has anyone been entertained by a joke about golfing since the Ford administration? Either way, Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives alike can giggle at the above picture of George W. molesting a bunny. Obama and McCain Walk Into a Bar… [NY Times]



I remain amazed that "_______________ since the Ford administration!" remains an effective joke. And yet, it works.