Two scientists rummaging around in a South American rainforest have stumbled upon, what may be, the most important discovery in comedy for more than sixty years.
Professor Hans Zoff and his English colleague Doctor Egbert Gilbert were secretly investigating the effects of 'Breathing on Global Change and Climate Warming' in the Amazon jungle, when they came across a cave containing skeletons of a long-dead tribe that may have been The Funniest People Ever To Have Lived.
Professor Zoff, a lecturer in Tosh at the University of Fantastic Ideas in Berlin, said: "Zeese volks may haf been ze fanniset paople ever to haf lived. Zehad ze oversized fanny bones."
Dr Gilbert agreed: "What a laugh! Their funny bones were enlarged to about the size of a tennis ball. Life must have been ever-so-funny!"
When the intrepid explorers took the relics back to a hiding place they had in Rio, they discovered that the bones, mashed up into a powder and added to a special Brazilian beer, had the effect of reducing a person to a state of "hystericalness", especially after having "downed more than twenty pints" of the stuff.
The professors are also thought to have discovered many "ancient jokes" in the caves, such as one which relates to a question about "Why a parrot crossed a trail" and others about "How many Paraguayans it takes to complete various tasks".
Opponents to the European doctors' theories have been quick to put down their suggestions.
Prof Humberto Humerous of Sao Paulo University, a much-respected and senior authority on Latino Laughing and Guffawing, told The Spoof: "Issa bollocks!"
The Professors' claims have been made in the scientific journal Madcap Theories, which is available this Thursday from all good bookshops, and a fair percentage of ropey ones, too.