I'd like to know who wrote this old short story and its name. I read it 30 years ago or so and I'd love to read that book again.

As far as I can remember, it told how the world ends because there were no more jokes. Jokes have been an alien experiment conducted on Earth and, for a reason I don't remember, at some point they decided to finish it, so people can´t tell new jokes.

Sorry I can´t remember anything more.


I believe this is "Jokester", by Isaac Asimov, first published in December 1956 in Infinity Science Fiction, and collected in Earth Is Room Enough (1957) and Robot Dreams (1986). It matches the description except for the part saying "the world ends". From the Wikipedia description:

By computer analysis, the characters in the story investigate the origin of humor ... The computer eventually tells them that humor is actually a psychological study tool imposed from without by extraterrestrials studying mankind. ... The characters of the story conjecture that figuring this fact out makes it useless as a tool, so the aliens would turn off humour. And suddenly nothing is ever funny again…

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  • 5
    You can read the story here. – user14111 Aug 18 '16 at 19:12
  • A joke is always less funny if you have to explain that it's a joke – Robotnik Aug 18 '16 at 23:47
  • Yeah! Thanks a lot. I guess I made up the ending :-) I was very young and I guess I thought that a world without humor was the end of the world. – Fernando Aug 20 '16 at 16:43

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