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Bob Mankoff + Scott Weems


Saturday, March 5, 2016
3:00 PM–4:30 PM
Sold Out

The New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff brings some examples of what makes us chuckle and learns from neuroscientist Scott Weems how neural impulses trigger laughter.

A book signing of Scott Weem’s Ha! The Science of When We Laugh and Why will follow the program.


About the Speakers

Scott Weems is a cognitive neuroscientist and the author of Ha! The Science of When We Laugh and Why. Weems’s career began as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he served as communications officer on-board the USCGC YOCONA in Kodiak, Alaska. His travels then took him to New Orleans, Boston, Los Angeles, Annapolis, and Little Rock, earning graduate degrees in psychology, education, and creative writing along the way. He has a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from UCLA and once made a little girl cry by telling her that some people go to school until the 26th grade.

Bob Mankoff is the cartoon editor of the New Yorker and founder of the Cartoon Bank. He has edited dozens of cartoon books, published four of his own, and is an accomplished cartoonist. More than 900 of his cartoons have been published in the New Yorker over the past twenty years, including the best-selling New Yorker cartoon of all time: a harried businessman at his desk with a phone to his ear reviewing his calendar and saying, “No, Thursday’s out, how about never. Is never good for you?”

In 1991 Mankoff took out a small business loan and started the Cartoon Bank, a business devoted to licensing cartoons for use in newsletters, textbooks, magazines, and other media. In 1997 the New Yorker purchased the Cartoon Bank from Mankoff. That same year Mankoff was named cartoon editor of the New Yorker.

Mankoff graduated from Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences in 1966, then entered the doctoral program at City University of New York to pursue a degree in experimental psychology. Just short of completing his dissertation, Mankoff decided to use his know-how in a new way: as a cartoonist. Now some forty years later, after having learned a little bit about humor from books and a lot from life, he has decided to give psychology another shot and will be teaching a course at Swarthmore College on the psychology of humor.

Brainwave is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

This program is now SOLD OUT.

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