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Journal Pioneer - 2021-07-21

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Survey says, P.E.I. is least funny province

OPINION

RYAN CADMAN JOURNAL PIONEER ryan.cadman@saltwire.com

CHARLOTTETOWN — Prince Edward Island has recently been named Canada’s least funny province, according to a new LeoVegas survey. In a total score out of 12, P.E.I. claimed the last place with a 6.08. Its neighbour New Brunswick was named the funniest province in Canada with a score of 8.94. Island comedian Patrick Ledwell said this could be because laughing out loud is new to Islanders. “There is a shifting tradition here of being considerate,” he said. “Laughing out loud, while not embarrassing, is something Islanders tend to keep to themselves.” The survey backs this up, with 26 per cent of Islanders reported being “gigglers” or those who laugh more under control. Even though Island residents are not throwing their heads back in laughter, that does not mean they don’t think things are funny, he said. “I’ve seen Island gentlemen of a certain vintage sitting in the audience with their arms crossed the entire show. They come up to me after and say, ‘It was so funny, I almost laughed.’” Ledwell said there is usually one common theme when it comes to the things Islanders find most funny. “We tend to laugh loudest and longest when we are part of the joke and laughing at ourselves,” he said. “When people hear a joke or story and think, ‘You know what? That sounds just like me.’” This is evident in the stories Ledwell tells on stage, he said. “People have some form of resentment towards others leaving rhubarb on their doorstep and asking what they’ve done with it,” he said. “Because people relate to it, it always generates a great laugh.” The survey showed 38 per cent of Islanders find their humour in social media, with another 38 per cent listing their close friends and family as the ones to make them giggle, which did not surprise Ledwell. “A laugh is shared. When somebody else climbs onto your funny thought and expands it further.” With COVID-19 restrictions in place, Islanders are also missing the conversations that produce the best laughs, he said. “Those sidebar conversations in gas stations and grocery stores create the most authentic laughter.” “When someone sees you as a friend or neighbour telling an honest story which they can relate to.” This is the kind of “Islander humour” LeoVegas may not have taken into consideration during the survey, he said. “It’s about relating to each other and having a shared experience. Bring them into the place you are from, and they’ll be able to connect it to where they’re from.” When it comes to social media, Islanders have been taking advantage of how easy it is to share things around, he said. “Sharing around laughs virtually is very important in a time when we aren’t able to see as many people as before.” “I’ve seen so many great opinions from Islanders about the times we are in, including someone editing the sign at the confederation bridge saying, ‘F off we’re closed.’” In a time when COVID-19 is taking over global headlines, P.E.I. residents are lucky to be able to distract themselves with funny local issues, Ledwell said. “Just recently, we have been more concerned with the butter on P.E.I. being slightly harder than it used to be or chasing a seal around downtown Charlottetown.” With increasing frustrations surrounding COVID-19 restrictions, laughing at the situation can make it easier to bare. Travelling with his son for hockey this past winter, Ledwell said the farther he travelled into smaller communities, the less likely they believed COVID would enter that community, he laughed. “I remember hearing someone say, ‘Well, how would I get COVID from you? I’ve known you for 35 years, you wouldn’t get COVID, it’s not like you!’” “While, of course, it makes no sense, it’s things like that I hope people can hear about, have fun with and laugh at,” he said. To read the full report and find out the top 10 funniest provinces, visit leovegas.com/ en-ca/blog/joker-of-thepack-humor.

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