What is a joke? Is it just a funny story? According to comedian Lewis Black it's not that simple. Black says a joke is "delivery system" for information about ourselves and the world we live in--often stuff we don't want to hear. HISTORY OF THE JOKE, with Lewis Black, is the comedian's diverting and provocative quest for the secret ingredients of a great joke and essentially finding the greatest joke ever told. Black consults some of the funniest comedians around--including George Carlin, Shelley Berman, Robert Klein, Kathleen Madigan, Penn & Teller, Kathy Griffin, Dave Attell and other top comedians to get their thoughts on the origins of the joke and how they discovered comedy was their calling.