Writing comedy is very, very hard! Fortunately I have never had to deliver my comic products; my jokes have always been delivered by a professional comedian. Could it be that he got more laughs than I would just because he was a pro?
Some new research looking at that question is getting lots of coverage in the press. For example: "Why the secret to a funny joke is in the teller's reputation" (Daily Mail). Excerpt:
When it comes to jokes, it seems the trick isn’t the timing after all.
The secret to a successful gag in fact lies in the teller’s reputation, a study has found.
Being a well-known professional comedian is enough to make your quips seem funny – even if they fall flat when delivered by non-comics.
- "It really is the way they tell 'em: why comics always have best gags" (Scotsman.com)
- "Jokes – it’s the way they tell ‘em" (Coventry University)
- "Why comedians get laughs for even their worst jokes" (The Telegraph)
Note: Confirmation bias is defined at Science Daily:
Confirmation bias is a phenomenon wherein decision makers have been shown to actively seek out and assign more weight to evidence that confirms their hypothesis, and ignore or underweigh evidence that could disconfirm their hypothesis.
As such, it can be thought of as a form of selection bias in collecting evidence.