Joking With Robots

Friday, April 18, 2014


Myq Kaplan is a comedian known for his "robotic" delivery of jokes. That made him the perfect candidate to compete with Manatee, a joke-telling robot. Brooke talks with Kaplan about how robots might someday co-opt his comedic style.

Music: Dan Magnan - Robots. Special thanks to @jonaswoost (Jonas Woost) for the suggestion on Twitter!


Myq Kaplan

Hosted by:

Brooke Gladstone

Comments [3]

Marc from New York

Brooke might be wrong on this one, I think smart people might be sidetracked by the trick/problem of the Big Orange Head joke in that it can run afoul of the multiple punchline possibility. Is this a dirty joke gone awry, the depths of human stupidity joke, genies can't be trusted joke or one of those "you're not supposed to get it" jokes. When robots realize that "Because ice cream has no bones" is the all purpose answer, they might be able to master telling jokes.

Apr. 22 2014 05:45 AM
Vanessa D

Loved the joke section. For me, a big part of the "Big orange head" joke being so funny is the setup just before the punch line, when the joke teller has recounted the first two wishes and then says about the third wish, "And I think this is maybe where I went wrong..." That line makes the punch line hilarious, b/c the speaker isn't even absolutely certain that it was the wrong thing to wish for. A wonderful display of human dim-wittedness to the max.

Apr. 20 2014 01:08 PM
Frank De Canio from Union City, NJ

In your segment on jokes the reference to Freud by Ms. Gladstone glibly wrote Freud's profound analysis of jokes as having to do with sex before the conversation cavalierly moved on. Actually, Freud's discussion of jokes is more intricate and deals basically with the saving of psychic energy that is poised to be discharged. This thus gives a sense of relief. He relays the joke about the man who is about to be hanged on Monday remarking "It's a heck of a way to begin the week." It is unexpected and thus releases packets of stored up expectations. "...there is a pleasure to be obtained from the saving of psychic energy" These may include "hostility, aggression,cynicism" and yes, even sexuality. But to reduce all jokes to repressed sexuality is incorrect. As Freud may have remarked, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Apr. 20 2014 11:11 AM

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