As some have pointed out, analyzing humour can be a bit like dissecting a frog – the frog always dies.
Nevertheless, Professor Ori Amir, who is not only Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychological Science at Pomona College, US, but also a stand-up comedian – has suggestions for a new humour analysis method, which, he says, might help in alleviating the death of the frog :
The method relies on the assumption that presenting participants with theoretical accounts for a specific joke would shift their attention to those joke elements or the perspective the theory deems relevant. A unique advantage of the method is that it does not require a manipulation of joke content (as does the experimental approach) or determining whether vague or abstract theoretical conditions are met (as does content analysis).
See The Frog Test: A Tool for Measuring Humor Theories’ Validity and Humor Preferences Frontiers in Human Neuroscience February 2016
BONUS : Professor Amir tells neuroscience jokes