So, did you hear the one about the robot comic?
Sadly, I’m not kidding. Apparently there’s a subset of robotics research involving robots trying to be funny. The latest example, Robothespian, was highlighted by New Scientist magazine. And there’s video.
The idea is that the experiments with Robothespian – whose set is scripted – would help better understand how robots interact with people. I would suggest that they attend a few tapings of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and pay attention to the robot skeleton sidekick, Geoff Peterson. To paraphrase from the end of Robothespian’s set, there is a guy pushing the buttons (and giving the robot voice), but he’s well obscured from the audience (at home and in the studio). Sure, he’s not performing by himself, but I think it could serve the purpose of the research. And be much funnier.