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I’ll tell you what’s funny

Humor is a complicated phenomenon, and highly dependent on context, as Seth MacFarlane recently learned. The Oscar host’s much-discussed performance – and in particular his quasi-ironic opening musical number, “We Saw Your Boobs” – has inadvertently launched a cultural debate about several interlocking subjects, including sex and gender in Hollywood, whether p.c. attitudes are destroying humor, and the role of Twitter and other social media during major cultural events. That’s without even getting into the unresolvable and inherently subjective question of what’s funny and what’s not.

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