Published: Feb. 20, 2017

 Shane Mauss

So a stand-up comic, a literary scholar and a behavioral scientist walk into a lecture hall, and a Western American historian hands them the question, "What’s so funny about pop music?"

If you go
Who: Open to the public
What: Rock, Rap, and Laughter
When: Wednesday, March 8, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Old Main Chapel

To hear the answer, along with an abundance of punch lines, plan to walk into Old Main on March 8. Join comic Shane Mauss and University of Colorado Boulder professors Adam Bradley and Peter McGraw for an evening of learning and laughter at the Fools for a Day event Rock, Rap, and Laughter.

Why do some subjects shock us in speech but amuse us in song? What makes both Bruce Springsteen and Kanye West laugh? Through a blend of stand-up and science, music and comedy, the show unlocks some of the mysteries of two primal urges: shaking our butt and laughing out loud.

Mauss has made appearances on Conan and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, as well as programs on Showtime, Comedy Central and Netflix. He is also the host of science podcast “Here We Are." 

Bradley is the author of the book The Poetry of Pop and director of the CU Boulder Laboratory for Race & Popular Culture (RAP Lab). McGraw is the co-author of The Humor Code book and director of the Humor Research Lab (HuRL)

This event is sponsored by the Center of the American West and its ongoing Humor Initiative in collaboration with the RAP Lab and HuRL. The Humor Initiative, which explores the value of humor as the equivalent of WD-40 in friction-filled times, is made possible by the generosity of Bill and Jane Reynolds.

Laugh with Mauss and McGraw one more time

On Saturday, March 18, Mauss and McGraw are participating in the comedy game show Funny or True?, which pits scientists against comedians to see who has the best blend of brains and funny bone. Get your tickets now.