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On the 20th April 2012 Back


In 2011, the NZ International Comedy Festival embarked on a hugely ambitious project. They gathered together an elite team of comedians and mathematicians to solve a riddle that had plagued mankind since the first controversial joke was told and fell flat.

When is it too soon to joke about something?

Their brief was to build an intuitive public search engine that could calculate precisely when a topic ceased to be 'too soon'. A search engine that would change the face of comedy forever.

After months of work, the team cracked an algorithm that was able to sample online conversations then submit the data into a complex, yet hilarious, equation to gauge the global mood on any topic.

Before the search engine goes live we wanted to share a BETA version of toosoon with New Zealanders to test it. It feels only appropriate that a country that was the first to give women the vote (ALL CLEAR), proudly took an anti-nuclear stance (ALL CLEAR), protested against Apartheid (TOO SOON), and launched EFTPOS (ALL CLEAR), be the perfect nation to act as a litmus test for this international social experiment.

Toosoon was created by a team of stand-up comedians and sit-down mathematicians for the NZ International Comedy Festival. This search engine was commissioned to calculate when a topic is too soon to joke about. All results are calculated in realtime, according to impartial online conversations. We apologise for any offense taken. We take no responsibility for topics entered, results produced, or jokes told.