Home News STAND-UP RUNDOWN: Funny Physics


One scientist argues that the best way to teach physics is to bring humor to the lesson plan.

by Chuck king

As counter intuitive as it sounds, comedy can make people take physicists more seriously.

That’s the argument made by Irish physicist Jassamyn Fairfield, and there’s something to the notion. Being funny, Fairfield asserts, allows physicists – and teachers in general – to be more accepted within groups. When the physicist is liked, others in the group are more open to what is being taught.

The Stand-Up Spotlight has to agree. At the very least, high school would have moved a whole bunch faster if physics classes were entertaining.

Today’s Spotlight also highlights a comedy town hall of sorts headlined by Bert Kreischer; a backstage look at Hannibal Buress in his hometown; and news of Jerry Seinfeld heading Down Under.

Remember to incorporate the funny into everyday work.

STAND-UP SPOTLIGHT – November 14, 2023

Comedy as a Tool to Demystify Science

Most physicists will tell you that they don’t want their work to be laughed at. In fact, current societal challenges, from climate change to the ongoing pandemic, are exacerbated when policymakers and the public don’t take scientific evidence or mitigation strategies seriously. In fact, having a sense of humor about science can be a potent communication tool. Although comedy can be culturally specific or rely on insider knowledge, laughter is a universal human experience. It can also be an incredibly powerful means of bonding groups of people together as they consider new ideas.

Comedy Town Hall: Bert Kreischer, Fortune Feimster & More Dish On Trends In Booming Stand-Up Business

If the film and television industries have been challenged like never before in a year of double strikes, in the world of comedy, the story is very different.

In truth, stand-up has never been bigger, with one story after another rolling out of comedians setting records for attendance and viewership. Take Nate Bargatze, for example, who earlier this year set an Amazon streaming record with his special Hello World, before going on to sell a record number of tickets to an April show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, and bringing SNL its highest-rated episode of the season. Or Matt Rife, a young up-and-comer with 10+ years under his belt, who hit the upper echelons of comedy seemingly overnight after blowing up on TikTok, selling out a global tour encompassing some 600,000 tickets in less than 48 hours, before going on to land his own forthcoming Netflix special, Matt Rife: Natural Selection. Also operating at the highest level is Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, who after becoming the first comic to sell out Dodger Stadium, went back for a second show.


Backstage with Hannibal Buress at the Chicago Theatre: ‘There’s nothing like a hometown show’

STAND-UP RUNDOWN:It’s early November, the second night of Chicago’s inaugural 312 Comedy Festival, and the city’s own Hannibal Buress is preparing to take the stage at the Chicago Theatre in just a few hours. It’ll be the Austin native’s fourth time headlining the historic venue (his first since 2018), and he’s making himself quite at home backstage.

After walking through a long series of hallways where walls covered with autographs from past performers vie for his attention, Buress gets tucked away with two laptops open in front of him in a quiet dressing room.

Jerry Seinfeld announces Australian stand-up comedy tour as he returns Down Under for the first time in seven years

Comedy king Jerry Seinfeld is heading to Australia for his first national stand-up tour since 2017.

The New York native, 69, will return Down Under in June next year, performing a string of shows in Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne.

Seinfeld’s last Australian tour was a sell-out success, with around 140,000 tickets sold across the nation.


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