Where does funny come from?
Can it be automatic? The Subnova
"Pants Pants Revolution" project, an experiment in automated humor
, attempts to answer this question. It's a webcomic
, sort of.
Subnova has a Hotline server where people chat about MUDding, Something Awful, gaming, whatever. A bot monitors the chat, and it periodically starts recording. Once it has recorded enough, it assembles the text into a 4 panel comic strip, giving users random avatars. Subnova members can then rate the strips, and anyone can search the archives based on these ratings.
Most of the strips are not funny, but some are. Part of the fun comes from the avatars used, including gerbils, Admiral Ackbar and various Bungie characters. The bot produces anywhere from 4 to 10 comics per day.