When a comic’s wit turns deadly

A famous Monty Python sketch posits the existence of a joke so funny that anyone who reads it promptly dies laughing. Not so far-fetched, say two prominent Australian heart specialists, whose study concludes that the funnier a comedian is, the more likely he is to die.

Professor Simon Stewart of the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research and Professor David Thompson of the Centre for the Heart and Mind crunched the numbers for 53 British male comedians (including the entire Monty Python team) born