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The "world's funniest joke" is a term used by Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire in 2002 to summarize one of the results of his research . For his experiment, named LaughLab , he created a website where people could rate and submit jokes. [ 1 ] Purposes of the research included discovering the joke that had the widest appeal and understanding among different cultures , demographics and countries. The History Channel eventually hosted a special on the subject. The jokes The winning joke, which was later found to be based on a 1951 Goon Show sketch by Spike Milligan , [ 2 ] was submitted by Gurpal Gosal of Manchester : Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses.