I think you’re definitely on to something interesting. A certain type of clever humor is associated with exposing strange patterns that seem nonsensical or aren’t examined, which for whatever strange reason we find funny. Wordplay is part of this as well (Scott Alexander has a whole book based on humorous wordplay, among other topics).
I would strongly suspect humor doesn’t make you more rational/smarter/scientific, but is a fun grounds for playing around with strange ideas and patterns.
Having said that, I can think of worst ways to spend a Friday night :)
“I would strongly suspect humor doesn’t make you more rational/smarter/scientific, but is a fun grounds for playing around with strange ideas and patterns.”
Most humor (aside from physical comedy or a silly persona) seems to require deep verbal concept formation. Pointing out unexpected similarities based on the structures of ideas isn’t cognitively trivial; it means that the comedian is able to extract essential features across superficially different subjects.