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World's Funniest Joke

2002-10-03 17:32:01+00 by Diane Reese 15 comments

Apparently LaughLab in England has been searching for something they can refer to as "the world's funniest joke". (Doesn't somebody do this every few years or so?) They finally came up with the following, which they say works across many different countries and with both genders and many ages. It was said to have "real universal appeal":

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy takes out his phone and calls the emergency services.

He gasps: "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator says: "Calm down, I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a gunshot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says: "OK, now what?"

OK, I admit, I laughed when I finished reading it. Once. :-) I kinda like jokes that are funny more than once, though. CNN offers a sampler of the most popular jokes from several countries. (I included that link, rather than the one on the LaughLab site, because the LaughLab site seems to be very slow and unresponsive.) Interesting things this says about our various cultures, don't you think?

[ related topics: Humor Pop Culture ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-10-03 18:31:13+00 by: other_todd

I'm sorry - every time I hear about something like this, I can't get Monty Python out of my head. "Mr. Ernest Scribbler has just finished writing the world's funniest joke." And he rereads it, and falls dead from laughing too hard.

#Comment made: 2002-10-03 20:04:21+00 by: alecmarlow


#Comment made: 2002-10-03 21:16:23+00 by: Dan Lyke

So this guy walks into a psychiatrist's office wearing only a skirt made of Saran Wraptm, and the psychiatrist says "well, I can clearly see your nuts".

#Comment made: 2002-10-04 03:28:00+00 by: Diane Reese

Believe it or not, Dan, here is a quote from a CNN article one level deep:

Men prefer jokes that are aggressive, put women down, and contain sexual innuendo, while women find word-play jokes funniest.

An example of a male joke was: "A guy walked into a psychiatrist's office wearing only cling-film underpants. The psychiatrist said: `Well, I can clearly see you're nuts.'"

You didn't actually read that far, did you, Dan? Or did you do that on purpose? I'm so confused...

(For completeness' sake, they then mention:

Women preferred: "A man walks into a bar with a piece of Tarmac under his arm. He says to the barman: `A pint for me, and one for the road'."

I don't think I would have voted for that one, myself.)

#Comment made: 2002-10-04 04:26:15+00 by: Dan Lyke

Nope, didn't actually read that far, Ken, who sits beside me, said that.

And, I'm kinda drunk and recovering from a really good Scotch Night (y'all missed it, I'll give a run-down in tomorrow morning's update, but it involved some interesting development of intellectual property and half crashing and half getting invited to a cool company party), besides the old "string walked into a bar" gag:

A man walked into a bar. You'd think he'd have seen it.

More tomorrow when I'm sober.

#Comment made: 2002-10-04 05:01:13+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Three men walk into a bar.

Ow, ow, OW.

#Comment made: 2002-10-04 05:56:52+00 by: topspin

This dyslexic walks into a bra.....

#Comment made: 2002-10-04 13:59:43+00 by: Larry Burton

I was on the road yesterday listening to some books-on-tape. The cassette was one my wife had gotten with a bunch of short stories. One was about a father who was trying to comfort his two young daughters after they believed that their pet goldfish had died by telling them that they would have a grand funeral for the goldfish. The two daughters went off to plan the funeral and the father went about getting the goldfish out of the bowl and discovered that it wasn't really dead. When the two daughters came back excited about the funeral they had planned the father interrupted them to show them that the goldfish had been revived. After a moment of silence one of the daughters spoke up saying, "Let's kill it."

I actually saw that coming but I still almost had to pull over from laughing. Maybe the researchers are on to something with their joke.

#Comment made: 2002-10-04 17:32:32+00 by: Dan Lyke

Lesseee... oh yeah:

A naked blond walks into a bar, with a poodle under one arm, and a two foot salami under the other. She lays the poodle on the table. Bartender says, "I suppose you won't be needing a drink." The naked lady says...

Sorry, I'm a child of the '80s, what can I say?

#Comment made: 2002-10-04 18:11:33+00 by: Diane Reese

No apology necessary, but wow. I had no idea what your reference was about, until I followed the link. I remember starting to watch that movie several times, only to find myself drifting off and losing focus every time. I never did see it all the way through, and only have vague memories of anything about it. Some chick with attitude in droopy black clothing, or red clothing, or something...

Now, if you start quoting lines from Alice's Restaurant (the record, not the movie, feh), or Hair, or Firesign Theatre bits, I'm right there with ya. (The thrill of finding someone else with whom I can trade Firesign bits is pretty electric for me, although it happens with less frequency these days...) I just realized that my quips and quotes all, pretty much without exception, come from records, and not from movies. Is this decade-dependent, I wonder?

#Comment made: 2002-10-04 19:22:19+00 by: other_todd

Diane, I stopped trying to toss Firesign Theatre bits at anyone because no one ever gets them except the people I have already deliberately exposed to them. I'm not sure who you had to have been, or what age, or where you have to have lived, to have gotten them naturally as one of your cultural references. I know I am NOT the correct demographic (at age 34) because *I* didn't encounter them naturally - I was exposed to them by an older couple who were sort of mentors to me back when I was sixteen or seventeen.

Maybe word of mouth is the ONLY way Firesign gets passed around, even from day one?

#Comment made: 2002-10-05 14:05:34+00 by: John Anderson

Must be something in the air...


#Comment made: 2002-10-07 01:10:00+00 by: Shawn

The only thing I know about Firesign Theatre is that it's (apparently) funny and some kind of radio broadcast. I've heard lots of people reference and/or talk about it (although only in the last 5 years or so) but I've never heard any.

Also being a child of the '80s, The Breakfast Club has always held a special place in my heart, but I'm equally endeared to Alices Restaurant (there was a movie?). For some reason I just get blank looks when I start doing the "kill! Kill! KILL!" routine, though. The "circles and arrows and a parapgraph on the back of each one" get a bit better reaction, but not by much.

#Comment made: 2002-10-07 03:16:29+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

You come on down here some week, Shawn, and let me turn you on. (To the Firesign, people, drag those minds out of the gutter, now.) Except for the people with whom I already traded Firesign quotes, and now my kids (who assume if a reference is oddly non-sequitur-ish and satirical and semi-political, it must be a Firesign reference), I haven't heard any at all in the past 5 years! What a difference a few hundred miles make.

It is an unbreakable ritual in our house that Alice's Restaurant is played every Thanksgiving. No exceptions. The kids can quote most of that, too.

Diane, child of the '60s (which of course you know extended until 1974), who believes in quoting good bits at every opportunity

#Comment made: 2002-10-09 08:16:38+00 by: TaoJones

I also thought it was funny... once. What really disturbed me was the funniest Belgian joke:

Why do ducks have webbed feet?

To stamp out fires.

Why do elephants have flat feet?

To stamp out burning ducks.

...odd folks those Belgians.

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