Academia Gone Wild

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m a big fan of Sociology humor and have participated in making some of my own at our department’s annual cabaret. So, this post just catalogs some of my favorite Sociology, Economics, Math, Philosophy and Statistics humor videos, including my own performance of “I am the very model of a modern sociologist” (at the end of the post). Did I leave something hilarious out? Leave a link in the comments! Also, it’s a long post!

First, recently mentioned on Freakonomics, “Baby Got Stats”:

In a similar vein, “Statz 4 Life” covers a wide swath of statistical humor:

The last stats video I’m going to post (there are many others, of course) answers the age old question, why do we plot?

But before I get too far from such things, I’ve got to throw in here my favorite academic humor of all time, a graduate-level math love song by the Klein Four Group, “Finite Simple Group of Order Two”.

A quote in case you decide not to watch it:
“The path of love is never smooth
But mine’s continuous for you
You’re the upper bound in the chains of my heart
You’re my Axiom of Choice, you know it’s true”

Ok, moving to the social sciences, with a slightly less musical bent, we have some economics entries. The first is by professional economist and comedian, Yoram Bauman, and I’ve posted it before: “Principles of Economics (translated)”

A shockingly useful guide to the most basic criticisms of economics. Check out his other videos, for sure, including his (legit) explanation of how trade can make everyone worse off.

Next, also from a conference humor session, we have “Chicken Chicken Chicken: Chicken Chicken.”

And my last economics plug, this time cull from Mankiw’s blog, a link to the song “Girl, Your Marginal Benefits…” by Ann Arbor’s own Mike Toomey (an econ grad student perhaps?).

Before getting to Sociology, let’s not forget the incredible philosophy advertising wars.
Nietzsche vs. Kant:

And here Kierkagaard takes on both Kant and Nietzsche:

Mmm.. Danish.

Finally, getting to the discipline we know and love, Sociology. There is actually relatively little excellent sociology humor in this vein that I’ve come across – hopefully y’all know about more than I do and can add a few links in the comments.
Here’s Tom Lehrer making fun of the urge to scientize the social sciences via quantification:

I want to take stats from Tom Lehrer!

The best tenure announcement video in history, I imagine, by KU Sociology’s Brian Donovan:

Structure, agency, kitty cats.

The UChicago Sociology cohort explains some funding discrepancies:

Last but not least, “The Modern Sociologist” from Michigan’s 2009 Cabaret, featuring myself and three other first-years. Enjoy:

Hmm, this list is rather light on legit sociology, given that I’m putting it together. Have I just missed a big segment of soc humor? Hope you enjoyed the vids.



  1. Also, a bit off-topic (and thus relegated to a comment), here’s the Simpsons and 30 rock making fun of graduate students.

    30 Rock:

  2. What a great collection! I particularly like the Finite Simple Group (of Order Two)

  3. Anomie – I tried very hard to memorize that song at one point. I know almost enough group theory and topology to get most of it, but I’ve never done functors…

  4. Thank you for collecting all of these together!

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