Is this the world’s first robotic stand-up comedian?

First they came for the auto workers, and we said nothing. Then they came for the stand-up comedians, and we said, “Wait, what?” You can’t replace a stand-up comedian with a robot!

Or can you?

Or can Heather Knight, a “social roboticist” at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, who has developed a small robot with cameras and interactive voice that reacts to cues from its “audience” in comedic form. The Wall Street Journal profiled Knight and her little bundle of joyous wires in this short video. The video report includes more footage of Knight than of her robot, so you’ll have to go on the evidence you see here to evaluate the threat to your future touring schedule.

Roll the clip!

Of course, actual human comedian Ron Lynch already has shown us a different kind of future robotic comedian. Lynch has a classic bit that takes us into the future where a robot tells us what life was like before comedy ceased to exist. Scary! Roll that, would you please, so we can remember before we forget?

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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