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Why Vaudeville Was the Epitome of the Lean Startup

The following is adapted from Shtick to Business: What the Masters of Comedy Can Teach You about Breaking Rules, Being Fearless, and Building a Serious Career. (Kobal/REX/Shutterstock) There is a saying in Silicon Valley, “Launch early and often.”  To be successful launching early and often, it is critical to limit

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How a Pen and Notebook Can Prepare You for Life Post-Pandemic

How a Pen and Notebook Can Prepare You for Life Post-Pandemic The following is adapted from Shtick to Business. A notebook—not a microphone–is the most important tool of the masters of comedy. And it could be the most important tool for you as you think about your next product launch, entrepreneurial

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Are “K” sounds funny?

      Comedians often believe that words with a “k” sounds makes things funnier. Just google “K sound comedy,” and you will see lots of posts about it. Grammar Girl even dedicated a post to it: The humor potential of the letter ‘k’ has been part of comic lore

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Another Benign Violation: Drunk History

With Drunk History in its 3rd season on Comedy Central, let’s look at why this show is funny. Drunk History features a guest recounting historical stories while actors re-enact the tale. The catch: the guest story-teller is wasted. Imagine watching a History Channel special and having to wait for the narrator to

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Another fact about laughter: Laughing while alone

I recently wrote about how laughter can indicate one of two things: a situation that seems wrong is okay or a situation that seems okay is actually wrong. If laughter signals these two situations, you would expect it to occur mainly in the presence of other people, and it does.

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A professor walks into a MOOC…

(With Joel Warner. This post has appeared on the Humor Code’s Huffington Post and Psychology Today blogs.) Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are garnering lots of attention these days. Some see large-scale, web-based classes as the new frontier for colleges and universities, a great leap forward that could revolutionize

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Sleep more. Sleep better.

I just arrived in Australia. After 20+ hours of travel and a seventeen-hour time difference, I have been thinking about the importance of sleep. Bad news: People likely sleep less now than ever before. Good news: The overall quality of people’s sleep is likely better (e.g., air conditioning, more privacy).

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Curtain Call

  Welcome to the final episode of I’M NOT JOKING. Comedian JD Lopez returns from Episode 1 to debrief and reflect on Peter’s experience building

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