If, as the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine, then the United States is one healthy nation.
Research commissioned by Shoebox, Hallmark's irreverent greeting card line, set out to find the hotbeds of humor in America. The result: Americans coast-to-coast love a good laugh.
Since California is home to movie and television studios, it's got to be the funniest state in the Union. Right? Think again. Try Rhode Island. That's right: The littlest state also is the funniest.
The survey ranked America's sense of humor through a humor score, measuring responses in three categories: consumers' humor sources, such as television sitcoms, movies or comics; responses from individuals who consider themselves "funny"; and sales of Shoebox greeting cards in American communities.
Colder Climates, Hotter Humor?
Just what promotes jocularity among Rhode Islanders is unknown, but there are a lot of laughs packed in the Ocean State's 1,214 square miles based on all three dimensions of the survey. Massachusetts came in second, followed by Minnesota, Colorado, Wisconsin and Nebraska.
Illinois, the seventh most humorous state, earns extra smiles by placing four of its cities on the list of the top 20 most humorous cities (Peoria, Champaign, Rockford and Chicago).
The overall No. 1 most humorous place to live? Mankato, Minn., followed by Helena, Mont., at No. 2. Mankato ties with Lansing, Mich., to top the score's Shoebox card sales dimension, while Milwaukee does the most comedy TV- and movie-watching, and residents of Cheyenne and Scotts Bluff, Wyo., are most likely to consider themselves funny.
Laughing last on the Shoebox Humor Score: the warm weather states of Hawaii, Alabama and Arkansas. And as for California, it comes in at 44th in the nation.
Shoebox keeps watch on what makes America laugh so that it can be translated into cards that help people connect. New Shoebox cards are available in Hallmark Gold Crown stores nationwide and wherever Hallmark is sold.