British behavioral psychologist Richard Wiseman set out to track humor on an international scale and discover the funniest joke in the world. After analyzing 1.5 million Internet ratings of 40,000 jokes, Wiseman’s Laugh Lab discovered that Germans were easiest to please, ranking first among nations in finding all sorts of jokes hilarious. Americans squeaked in at number eight with their love of put-downs, right behind the Belgians, with their penchant for the surreal.
Of course the results are extremely skewed, since they take into account only that portion of the populace willing and able to fill out surveys about jokes on the Internet.
Details from the study, as well as the official winning joke, are here.