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Vox’s December Highlight Issue Explores The Role of Humor in Society

Inside this issue: Vox dives into the myriad of ways humor influences American life, from defining the way we communicate to comedy in politics, the humor gender gap, and more. 

Stephanie Ramplin for Vox

For the December issue of The Highlight, Vox’s home for ambitious stories that explain our world, the team examines the role of humor in our society and its importance.

“When it comes to what makes us laugh, there’s a lot to dig into beyond punchlines and bad puns. We decided to spend this month exploring what it means to be funny: what kind of power humor bestows or takes away, how it shapes and reflects who we are, and who gets to wield it in the first place,” writes editor Julia Rubin in her introduction to the issue.

Contributors to the issue include Constance Grady on why liberals and conservatives don’t get each others’ jokes; Rebecca Jennings on the unified theory of “millennial cringe”; Allie Volpe on the very serious science of humor; Aubrey Hirsch on the humor gender gap; Emily Stewart on meme stocks and the limits of being in on the joke; Ashley Ray on grief, theater camp, and learning to make herself laugh first.

The Highlight, in partnership with Apple News, is a dedicated home for the signature features, essays, and explainers that help our audience go beyond the headlines of the day to tackle the big ideas and issues that are changing our present and influencing our future.