Jimmy Carr is the funniest British comedian, says science | Stand-up tops a laughs-per-hour table © C4

Jimmy Carr is the funniest British comedian, says science

Stand-up tops a laughs-per-hour table

Jimmy Carr is the funniest British comedian, according to a dispassionately scientific study.

Researchers took a strictly numerical approach to the art, counting the number of minutes of laughter each stand-up generated per hour.

And of the comics they analysed, Carr topped the poll with  4 minutes and 46 seconds.

Second was Peter Kay with  4min 38sec, then Jack Whitehall with 3min 59 seconds. Michael McIntyre and Ed Gamble round out the top five.

However, the votes do not appear to tally with how viewers rate each comic. 

Of the top 20, James Acaster’s stand-up special has the highest rating on IMDB at 8.4 out of ten, but could only manage No 12 on the laughs-per-hour list.

Eighteen of the 20 comics were male, with Sarah Millican at No 19 and gender-fluid Eddie Izzard at No 15. Victoria Wood was bubbling under the too 20 at 1min 59sec.

Online store OnBuy.com asked 2,563 participants to choose their favourite British comedians of all time from a list and then took the top 20.

Then 120 volunteers agreed to watch a random selection of the top 20 comedians’ most recent stand-up shows while a microphone monitored every time they laughed at  60 decibels or louder. Results were taken at home rather than in a live environment.

Top 20 comedians by laughs per minute

1. Jimmy Carr: 4min 46 sec
2. Peter Kay: 4min 38sec
3. Jack Whitehall: 3min 59 sec
4. Michael McIntyre: 3min 53sec
5. Ed Gamble: 3min 44sec
6. Billy Connolly: 3min 37sec
7. Jason Manford: 3min 20 sec
8. Romesh Ranganathan: 3min 11sec
9. Bill Bailey: 3min 7sec
10. Ricky Gervais: 3min 1sec
11. Frankie Boyle: 2min 58sec
12. James Acaster: 2min 49sec
13. Nish Kumar: 2min 35sec
14: Russell Howard 2min 22sec
15. Eddie Izzard: 2min 18 sec
16. Tom Allen: 2min 17sec
17: Kevin Bridges 2min 14sec
18: John Bishop: 2min 5sec
19. Sarah Millican: 2min 4sec
20: Rhod Gilbert: 1min 50sec

Published: 4 Feb 2021

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