So the Higgs boson walks into a...


July 4th was a monumental day for particle physicists at CERN, who announced that they had detected a particle that very well could be the long-sought Higgs boson.

It was also a huge day for established and aspiring humorists — who took advantage of the particle’s funny name and mysterious nature (it’s said to have something to do with the existence of all mass in the universe) to fish for chuckles on the Internet.

My personal favorite: Comedian Andy Borowitz’s contribution to the genre, in which the Higgs boson finally gets the red carpet treatment a celebrity deserves. Kanye, the Hamptons and a fragrance!


Xeni Jardin of BoingBoing collected a few jokes here; UK’s Guardian newspaper, here.

Agence France-Presse’s story on Higgs humor observed that a lucrative business in Higgs tchotchkes may now suffer. Now that a particle has been discovered, who’ll buy the “I finally found the Higgs boson — it was behind the couch the whole time,” T-shirt or mug?

There were agriculturally minded quips:

My moles are telling me Scientists have created another monstrosity, a Hogs Bison. I’m appalled. But I bet the meat’s good.— Peter More (@mrpetermore) July 4, 2012

I’m confused. Scientists have created a pigs/buffalo hybrid called Hogs-Bison. Have I got that straight...? ¿#Higgs— Mark McFadden (@MarkMcFadden) July 4, 2012

And of course, riffs on the popular nickname, “The God Particle”:

I hope Higgs-Boson isn’t an Old Testament God particle.— John Moe (@johnmoe) July 4, 2012

Scientists at the Hadron Collider found the subatomic Higgs Boson “God Particle” yesterday! To celebrate, i’ve decided to start a cult.— Misha Collins (@mishacollins) July 5, 2012

Science comedian Brian Malow watched a Higgs joke he’s been using in his act for years proliferate across the Internet — without giving him any credit.

My Higgs Boson joke - now with attribution! And video of bar jokes from 2009… Please share!— Brian Malow (@sciencecomedian) July 5, 2012

Science Laughs: Science Comedian Brian Malow from Wonderfest and Wonderfest on

“It’s really nice when somebody quotes you. But isn’t it traditional to include the person’s name?” he said, sighing Thursday.