Last Updated on July 28, 2023
AI is on the verge of taking over various jobs, but it seems that stand-up comedians might be safe from redundancy. While AI has made significant advancements in recent years, can it truly master the art of comedy? Can ChatGPT, one of the most popular AI models, write stand-up comedy routines that can elicit genuine laughter from a live audience? Let’s delve into this intriguing question.
Before we proceed, if you’re interested in learning more about ChatGPT and its applications, I recommend checking out “What is ChatGPT – and what is it used for?” and “How to use ChatGPT on mobile.” These articles will provide you with valuable insights and save you from the potential cringe-fest you’re about to witness.
To conduct the ultimate test, we decided to have Talal, our brave and adventurous Head of Digital, perform a stand-up comedy set written entirely by ChatGPT. With a mix of nerves and excitement, Talal took the stage, ready to tread new ground and make history within our company.
The audience, fully aware of the experiment unfolding before their eyes, eagerly awaited the start of the show. Armed with nothing but his laptop, Talal kicked off his performance with the following prompt: “Write a stand-up comedy set for a room full of nerds.”
He began with a confident greeting, addressing the audience as his fellow nerds. Attempting to break the ice, he delivered his first joke, “I gotta say, this is the only room where I can make a ‘Star Wars’ reference and not have people look at me like I’ve lost my mind.” Unfortunately, the joke fell flat, and silence filled the room.
Undeterred, Talal moved on to his next attempt at humor, “You know you’re a nerd when your idea of a hot date is watching a documentary about quantum mechanics while munching on pizza shaped like the Fibonacci sequence. But hey, who needs romance when you’ve got a TARDIS and a lightsaber, am I right?” Again, the punchline failed to land, and the audience remained unresponsive.
Recognizing the need for improvement, we decided to have ChatGPT rewrite the routine in real-time, adding a touch of edginess. Talal, now armed with a slightly racier script, addressed the audience once more, warning them that the material might get a little edgy. He even suggested that if anyone was easily offended, they should pretend he was speaking in binary code. The response from the audience was lukewarm at best.
Despite our efforts, the set did not improve significantly. The jokes lacked the rapid-fire delivery and clever one-liners characteristic of professional comedians. Moreover, ChatGPT’s attempts to replicate the style and humor of talented comics fell flat. The AI simply couldn’t capture the essence of comedic timing, incorporate personal anecdotes, or provide humorous takes on current events and politics.
To make matters worse, ChatGPT’s closing lines were vague and uninspiring, resembling motivational speeches rather than comedic gold. It became evident that, for now, stand-up comedy remains an art form exclusive to human comedians.
In conclusion, ChatGPT’s foray into stand-up comedy was an undeniable failure. Talal’s natural charm and wit couldn’t compensate for the shortcomings of AI-generated jokes. This brings to mind the recent lawsuit involving comedian Sarah Silverman, who accused OpenAI and Meta of stealing her jokes to train their models. Considering the lackluster performance of AI in the comedy realm, it’s unclear whether the tech giants failed to replicate human comedians satisfactorily or if they inadvertently stole material from the less funny bunch.
However, there is still hope for AI comedy. Surprisingly, there are actual AI comedy shows happening right now. “Laugh GPT,” San Francisco’s first AI-powered stand-up comedy show, is being held at The Savoy Tivoli. You can even purchase tickets for this unique experience, and the show has garnered attention from notable publications like The Washington Post.
Ironically, the humor in Laugh GPT comes from how bad the AI is, according to Victor Treviño, one of the participating comedians. It seems that, for now, comedians are the ones having the last laugh.
While AI has made significant advancements, its ability to master stand-up comedy remains dubious. Talal’s performance, based on jokes generated by ChatGPT, received lukewarm responses and failed to elicit genuine laughter from the audience. This highlights the unique essence and timing that human comedians bring to their craft. It’s clear that AI still has a long way to go before it can compete with the comedic genius of humans.
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