Getting Serious About Cartoons

Robert Mankoff, the cartoon editor of The New Yorker, takes humor seriously. In his pursuit of getting published in the magazine he submitted over 2,000 cartoons, and since he landed in the hallowed weekly’s pages, Mankoff has continued to hone his expertise on every dimension of humor. Big Think talked to the cartoonist about his career—from his childhood clowning to his current position as a cartoonist who edits cartoons each week—and more about the science and the sociology of humor.

Mankoff isn’t only a specialist in making people laugh, but he is an expert on the science of humor. He told us the evolutionary importance of laughter—and not just in terms of human beings. We also learned the differences between men’s and women’s humor, between liberal and conservative humor, and between modern and ancient humor.

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