The rational-minded Robin Ince conducts live experiments in comedy.
Is rational thought funny? And is comedy scientific? are the pair of questions on which Robin Ince has built his recent career. On his own and as part of the BBC4 radio show The Infinite Monkey Cage, Robin Ince makes science-friendly comedy with pals like Brian Cox, Ben Goldacre and Simon Singh. TIMC just won the Best Speech Programme at the 2011 Sony Radio Awards, the first science program to win in ... aeons. They recently took the show on the road as "Uncaged Monkeys," about which the Telegraph's critic said, "I was expecting more knickers thrown at the stage, to be honest."
Onstage, Ince conducts live experiments into the science of comedy and laughter. He and his team set out to discover secret of timing, discover if people are born funny, and if computers can tell jokes.
He says: "Most scientists I know have movies and novels in their houses, whereas there are novelists whose houses I've been to who don't have any science books."
“I’m glad the universe is pointless. It means if I get to the end of my life, the universe can’t turn to me and go, ‘What have you been doing, you idiot? That’s not the point!’”
“If you ever think that your life is rubbish, always remember there’s another you that’s made much worse decisions than that.”— on Many Worlds Theory
“My wife could turn to me and she may say, ‘Why do you love me?’ And I can with all honesty look her in the eye and say, ‘Because our pheromones matched our olfactory receptors.’”
“People say, ‘Oh, why do you insist on ruining the magic? You bring in science, and it ruins the magic.’”
“They gave 12 monkeys a typewriter for a week, and after a week, they only used it as a bathroom.”
“We have been mountains and apples and pulsars and other people’s knees. Who knows, maybe one of your atoms was once Napoleon’s knee.”