We conducted a cross-cultural experiment on a sample of 230 participants, to examine how listening to an audio recording of a male telling a joke followed by either laughter (humorous condition) or an unimpressed murmur (non-humorous condition) affected participant ratings of that male’s social status, dominance, prestige and attractiveness. The experiment followed a between-subjects design. The sample was cross-cultural to explore possible cultural variation and compared effects among Western (UK & USA) ( n = 119, 74 females) and Turkish ( n = 111, 87 females) participants. We measured participants’ ratings of dominance/prestige and attractiveness, based on validated and previously used scales. In the humorous condition, the male was rated as having significantly higher social status and prestige but not dominance. He was also rated as more attractive by female participants from the UK & USA; this effect was mediated by prestige. Conversely, attractiveness ratings by female Turkish participants did not differ across conditions. The effect among the former was found to have been mediated via prestige. We interpret these findings as suggesting that humor production represents a means of gaining status but also highlighting that its recognized role in attractiveness varies cross-culturally. Although the present endeavor represents a pilot study, we believe that our findings raise new questions regarding the interrelationships of humor production, status, and attractiveness, and their evolutionary background.