Memphis is funnier than Miami. Memphis is less funny than Philadelphia. But Memphis is definitely the funniest city in Tennessee.
The results come from a new study that looks at surveys, tweets, the concentration of comedy clubs, and more to find the funniest cities in America. Journalist Joel Warner teamed up with Peter McGraw, a scientist at University of Colorado Boulder [UCB], for the study, which is part of a new book called “The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny.”
McGraw runs UCB’s Humor Research Lab (or HuRL), which developed the Humor Algorithm (or HA) to rank the funniest cities in the country. The algorithm considers:
• Number of visits to comedy websites
• Number of comedy clubs per square mile in each city
• Number of famous comedians born in each city
• Number of comedy radio stations in each city
• Number of famous funny tweeters in each city
• Ratings by traveling comedians of audiences in each city
• Number of humor-related web searches in each city
Memphis ranked 26th overall, right in between Indianapolis at 25th and Baltimore at 27th. Nashville and Davidson County ranked 35th in between Dallas and Albuquerque.
The funniest city in America is Chicago, according to the study. The city is home to the world famous Second City comedy theatre, which has been the training ground for top comics from John Belushi and Bill Murray to Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert.
Atlanta ranked 3rd on the list and was the only Southern city to rank in the top 10. The study said the city leans heavily on racially-charged humor. But the region’s diversity also makes plenty of room for the redneck jokes of Jeff Foxworthy to the “gritty, urban humor” of Katt Williams, the study says.
Wade and online neckwear company, The Tie Bar, will release their second line of bow ties and pocket squares Thursday at the company’s website. Inspiration for the new line comes from Memphis, Harlem, New Orleans, and Chicago.
The Memphis collection is “diverse and dynamic,” according to the company. The collection’s “melodic patterns, motley color, and unique textures” is Wade’s acknowledgment the “city’s musical roots and soulful heritage.” The collection also features designs inspired by the “Memphis-Arkansas bridge.”
“Memphis is known for its influence of musical genres such as blues, soul, gospel and rock n’ roll,” Wade said in a news release. “Artists and musicians such as Al Green, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, and Elvis Presley all made their mark here.”
The Harlem collection is “bold and graphic” inspired by the mosaics and art that "fill the streets." The New Orleans collection was inspired by the “lush flowers and vines” of the city. The Chicago line “mimics the industrial sensibility of the Illinois city.”
Rabbi Micah Greenstein, senior rabbi at Temple Israel, made the list of “America’s Top 50 Rabbis for 2012," according to Newsweek/The Daily Beast.
According to this article in The Daily Beast:
“The only rabbi we’ve included from the American South, Greenstein is a star in Memphis, the senior rabbi of Reform Temple Israel, which has become a Jewish hub that draws also from Mississippi, Arkansas, and the Missouri bootheel. Greenstein is extolled for his magnetic energy and warmth, though even his diehard fans wish he would sometimes streamline his spirited-but-meandering sermons. He has taken a public stand for gay rights, works on behalf of women’s empowerment in Cambodia, and is popular in the Christian community, where he has done substantial interfaith work. According to Memphis’s largest newspaper, The Commercial Appeal, the telegenic Greenstein ‘sparks crushes.’”