Robot comedians performing stand-up

Often, bizarre headlines – such as the one at the top of this page – are frustratingly misleading. “What do you mean, ‘robots’?” you’re probably thinking.

Well, we mean what we say. This article is about robot comedians.


Yep – we’re not kidding. Researchers from the Cognitive Science Research Group at Queen Mary, University of London, developed a robot to perform stand-up comedy in order to test what makes audiences laugh.

According to one expert, robots are going to take over most jobs in the next 30 years, pushing unemployment figures through the roof. So does that mean stand-up comedians will be out of a job? Well, here’s a video of RoboThespian in action- what do you think?


RoboThespian is not the only bot on the circuit.

Heather Knight is a social robotics researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in the US, and she is finding ways to design robots that can pick up on social cues and nuanced human behaviour – important skills for stand-up.

Here, in a Wall Street Journal video, she explains her work.


No article about robots is complete without a visit to Japan. Get ready to witness one of the most unusual stand-up routines you’ve ever seen.

KOBIAN was programmed by researchers at Waseda University to tell a range of jokes based on a range of comedy techniques including impressions and good old fashioned tomfoolery. Here are the results:

Video originally posted on the IEEE Spectrum website.

Mr Zed

Okay, we are taking a bit of a liberty with this one. David Zed is actually a comedy character created by US comedian David Kirk Taylor. Here he is performing in the UK in 1993.

Read next: 3 of our favourite character comedians

Photo by Crystl


About Chris ShowSpot

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At ShowSpot we cover Comedy Shows, Videos, Reviews & have plans for much more so watch this space! Chris is our lead writer, bringing you the funny info since... well since he started bringing you the funny info.

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