No Joke: This Woman Is Searching For The Funniest Joke In Cincinnati

Feb 1, 2019

Artist Sophie Lindsey is on the hunt for the funniest joke in town. She got the idea after reading an article calling Cincinnati the least funny city in America.

"I thought it would be interesting to try and contradict that by doing a mapping project," the Netherlands-based artist says. "It's evolved into thinking about what jokes can tell you about a community and how that can show the different kinds of people who make it up based on what they find funny and what they don't."

Lindsey is spending five weeks compiling jokes in a portable joke booth she's taking to pop-up events around the city. She's mapping the results and dissecting them at Wave Pool's gallery space in Camp Washington.

If you can't think of a joke on the spot, you can call or text the "jokeline" at 513-490-8495 and leave one as a message.

She'd like to make a pocket joke book at the end of the project.

Throughout the five-week project, Lindsey is also leading chicken-themed art projects based on perhaps the oldest joke in the book: Why did the chicken cross the road?

Humor is important to Lindsey because, she says, sometimes art is just too serious. "And that makes it quite inaccessible to people. Whereas for me when I make work, one question I always ask myself is 'Is it funny?' And that's the main motivation."

Ultimately, Lindsey's goal isn't to find the preeminent joke.

"I'm more interested in the diversity and the differences between different jokes and what they tell about each other and the different people and the different senses of humor that exists throughout Cincinnati."