When we joke with our friends, our coworkers and our family, it’s not just about hearing them laugh. More often than not we’re looking for something beyond laughter. We’re after acceptance, bonding, release, shaming… and sometimes even more. This week on State of the Human we’re investigating how people use joking to create new realities for themselves and the people around them.
We have six stories, exploring the way jokes, pranks, and even puns can change our lives. We’ll hear stories from stand up comedian Tig Notaro and humor theorist Marvin Diogenes, and we’ll travel from Stanford’s cafeterias to the presidential suite on Air Force One. We’ll hear stories about how jokes can help us and synchronize our minds, stare cancer in the face and make us question our humanity along with everything we take for granted. And also, we’ll laugh a lot.
Producers: Natacha Ruck and Nina Foushee
Featuring: Rosie La Puma, Jackson Roach, Nina Foushee, Miles S., Justine Beed, Charlie Mintz, Ken Grobe, Lora Kelley, Marvin Diogenes, David Demarest, Sam Roach, Jay Roach, the La Puma family, Claire Slattery, Nathaniel Nelson, Reggie Watts, and Tig Notaro.
Release Date: 8 April 2014
image via flickr
Intro story: The Joking Revolution
Marvin Diogenes explores how some comedians use jokes to change the world.
Featuring: Marvin Diogenes
Music: Podington bear (Pretty Build, Fantasy and Movin On Up)
Image via Neebo
Story 1: Joking Material
Justine Beed interviews comedian Tig Notaro about how turning hardships into joking material changed her life.
Image via flickr
Story 2: The Android Among Us
A bizarre running joke makes Sam Roach worry that he might not be a human. Jackson Roach, his older brother, investigates.
Producer: Jackson Roach
Featuring: Sam Roach and Jay Roach
Image via flickr
Story 3: A Strange Kind of Love
Nina Foushee knows why she fell in love with comedian Reggie Watts: He saved her from her world. But falling for an absurdist is like finger painting on a jellyfish: confusing, messy, and a little painful.
Producer: Nina Foushee
Featuring: Reggie Watts
Image via flickr
Story 4: All Puns Intended
Join Rosie La Puma as she scours historical humor to try and find a “good” pun. Along the way, she discovers that these joking underdogs may have a hidden ability.
Producer: Rosie La Puma
Featuring: Julia, Cece, Debbie, Chris, Phil and Cyndy La Puma
and Sheila, Karen, Addison, Tynan, Gerardo, Bianca, Jackson and Connor
Music: Kevin McLeod (Batty McFaddin, Monkeys Spinning Monkeys, Pamgaea)
Simon Mathewson (Convergence Point)
Image via Rosie La Puma
Story 5: For all the Wrong Reasons
Miles S., a producer for State of the Human sits with the former White House Communications Director for the 40th President of the United States. Together they discuss how presidents use jokes (and speech writers) to make you like them.
Producer: Miles S.
Featuring: David Demarest, Vice President of Public Affairs for Stanford University and Professor of Political Communications in the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Former White House Communications Director for the 40th President of the United States, George H.W. Bush.
Image via Wikipedia
Story 6: The Best Medicine
We all know that sometimes practical jokes hurt. In our next story, we learn how they can also heal. Or can they?
Producer: Charlie Mintz and Ken Grobe
Featuring: Stanford Alumni Claire Slattery and Nathaniel Nelson