Jokester

Jokester

[johk-ster]
Jokester is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. The story first appeared in the December 1956 issue of Infinity, and was reprinted in the collections Earth Is Room Enough (1957) and Robot Dreams (1986). It is one of a loosely connected series of stories concerning a fictional computer called Multivac.

A computer scientist is concerned that Noel Meyerhof, a Grand Master, one of a small cadre of Earth's recognised Geniuses, who has the insight to know what questions to ask Multivac, is acting erratically. As a known joke-teller, he has been discovered feeding jokes and riddles into Multivac. When pressed, he reveals that he's attempting to solve the question of what makes jokes funny. Finally, Multivac reveals that it is all part of an alien experiment, and that, now that the subjects know about it, the gift of humour will be taken away from everyone.

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