"Great TED Talks About Comedy and Improv" by Jason Hensel

Raise your hand if you love a good TED Talk. Alright, nice, a lot of you do so this post is worth it. And since this is a venue focused on comedy, that's what these TED Talks are all about. Of course, this is a sampling. There are many TED (or TEDx) talks about these subjects, which you can find online via your preferred search site. 

Anatomy of a New Yorker Cartoon
"The New Yorker receives around 1,000 cartoons each week; it only publishes about 17 of them. In this hilarious, fast-paced, and insightful talk, the magazine's longstanding cartoon editor and self-proclaimed 'humor analyst' Bob Mankoff dissects the comedy within just some of the 'idea drawings' featured in the magazine, explaining what works, what doesn't, and why."

Comedy is Translation
"Every act of communication is, in some way, an act of translation. Writer Chris Bliss talks about the way that great comedy can translate deep truths for a mass audience."

Don’t Do Your Best
"How to lead an improvised life by the inventor of Theatresports and world-renowned improvisational theatre instructor Keith Johnstone."

Learning Lessons Through Improv
"After decades of working with comedian greats such as Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, Keegan Michael Key, and Steve Carell, Kelly Leonard shares the lessons he learned through improv."

Make 'Em Laugh: Common Ground in Comic Characters
"Are some things always funny? While most jokes rely on cultural context, comic performers throughout history have found common sources of amusement that transcend linguistic or national boundaries. Actor and historian Matthew R. Wilson finds the funny in character types from Greco-Roman comedy, Commedia dell'Arte, Kyōgen, and contemporary film and television."

Silicon-based Comedy
"In this first-of-its-kind demo, Heather Knight introduces Data, a robotic stand-up comedian that does much more than rattle off one-liners -- it gathers audience feedback through advanced sensors and tunes its act as the crowd responds. Is this thing on?"

Your Brain on Improv
"Musician and researcher Charles Limb wondered how the brain works during musical improvisation -- so he put jazz musicians and rappers in an fMRI to find out. What he and his team found has deep implications for our understanding of creativity of all kinds."

The Way of Improvisation
"Improviser and storyteller Dave Morris teaches you seven steps to improvising and how they apply to life in 'The Way of Improvisation.'"

What Makes Things Funny
"Pete McGraw is a leading researcher at the Humor Research Lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In this talk, he not only discusses what is funny but what makes something funny, as well."

Jason Hensel is a graduate of the DCH improv training program and performs with .f.a.c.e. and the ’95 Bulls.