Sadly this seems more like reality now.


Dramatization of transcripts from a legal deposition.

Verbatim: What Is a Photocopier? from The New York Times – Video on Vimeo.

humor at work tedx talk

Back in February I had the opportunity to give a TEDx talk at my alma mater, The Ohio State University. The topic was humor in the workplace and why I became a humor engineer. Watch the talk below and check out some of the sources below the video.

Key Points from the Talk:

  • People who use humor are more productive,1 less stressed,2 paid more,3 and happier.4
  • 83% of Americans feel stressed out at work,5 55% of Americans are unsatisfied with their jobs,6 and 47% of Americans struggle to stay happy.7
  • The average person sends and receives 112 emails per day8 and spends 80% of their time in some form of communication.9
  • Humor improves long-term memory retention.10
  • Humor increases our ability to solve problems.11
  • Laughing for 10-15 minutes can burn as many calories as 5 minutes of aerobic exercise, 10 minutes of dancing, or 15 minutes of milking a cow.12
  • Humor reduces anxiety, relieves frustration, increases resiliency, and lowers blood pressure.13
  • Executives who use humor are promoted faster and paid more.3
  • People with 3 close friends at work are 96% more likely to be satisfied with their lives.14
  • Humor builds trust, diffuses tension, and helps bring people closer together.15
  • Less than 1/3rd of people use humor at work.16

Want to bring humor to your workplace? Contact me.


1 All Work and No Play Isn’t Even Good for Work, David Abramis. Psychology Today, March 1989.
2 Anticipating a Laugh Reduces Our Stress Hormones, American Physiological Study. Science Daily, April 2008.
3 “Laughing All the Way to the Bank”, Fabio Sala. Harvard Business Review, F0309A.
4 Humor Therapy, Mimi MY Tse. Journal of Aging Research, 2010.
5 “Stressed Out at Work?”, Susan Adams., April 2013.
6 The Science of Workplace Happiness. US News, 2010.
7 US Happiness: Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 2008.
8 Internet 2011 in Numbers, Pingdom., 2011.
9 Why Communication is Important, Sherwyn P. Morreale. Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, 2000.
10 An Explanation of the Relationship between Instructor Humor and Student Learning, Melissa B. Wanzer. Communication Education Vol. 59, January 2010.
11 Positive affect facilitates creative problem solving, Alice M Isen. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1987.
12 “Give Your Body a Boost with Laughter.”, R Morgan Griffin. WebMD, June 2012.
13 “Ha! Laughing is Good for You!”, Amy Toffelmire., April 2009.
14 “The Innovation Equation”, Jerry Krueger. Gallup Business Journal, 2007.
15 “Humor in the Workplace: A Communication Challenge”, Robert A. Vartebedian. Presented at Speech Communication Association, November 1993
16 Humor That Works Survey, Andrew Tarvin,


The difficult life of a subject matter expert.


An inspirational (and funny) poem.