I graduated with a degree in engineering. I was presented with the offer of doing a masters straight after, this was during the dot com bubble, so I was keen to get out there and earn some mhulla! I have thought about going back and doing a masters in any thing but engineering. If given a choice I would love to have a masters in comedy. Alas I have yet to find the university that does that course. However there is some hope. Here is a link to a paper that tries to find out why people find immoral behavior (sic) funny.
I think I can summarise the paper though. We laugh at other peoples misfortune because deep down we know that it could be us and this time at least it isn’t.
Synthesizing seemingly disparate ideas into three jointly necessary and sufficient conditions (appraisal as a violation, appraisal as a benign situation, and simultaneity), we suggest that humor is a positive and adaptive response to benign violations. Humor provides a healthy and socially beneficial way to react to hypothetical threats, remote concerns, minor setbacks, social faux pas, cultural misunderstandings, and other benign violations people encounter on a regular basis. Humor also serves a valuable communicative function. Laughter and amusement signal to the world that a violation is indeed okay.
That’s what I said!
Any way if you are student of humour check it out.[via io9]