Hey, you know what? I could use a chuckle.
Weekend Assignment #80: Share a favorite joke. Keep it clean, of course. Otherwise, go nuts.
Extra credit: Seriously: Do people think you're funny?
You've set an impossible task. There is no such thing as a “clean” joke – the phrase itself is an oxymoron.
That isn't to say that all things humorous involve vulgarities, for if that were true, a video of Athena cutting up wouldn't bring the smiles and guffaws that she evokes from adults. It isn't because she is just cute. It's because she is a ham at heart and loves the spotlight. Sort of like her Dada that way...
No, if things had to be dirty, then Jay Leno, Dave Lettermen and the other professional funny men (and women) wouldn't stand a chance – they'd be down here on the bread lines with the rest of us. But understand this: most of the so-called comediens tell no jokes. They do situational humor. Observational humor. The tell tall tales and short quips. But they don't tell jokes. They poke fun at politics, celebrities, their neighbors, newspapers, and themselves. But they don't tell jokes.
George Carlin just might be one of the funniest men alive. He cracks me up with just a look and a growl. But even some of his best stuff doesn't translate into a “joke.” For example, from his most recent book, “When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?” comes this observation on the battle of the sexes:
Here's all you have to know about men and women:
Women are crazy, men are stupid.
And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid.
Funny? Very, so long as you “hear” it in your mind with George's cadence and timing and gravelly voice. By itself, in black and white? No. Not funny. But I guarantee it cracks up thousands when he delivers those lines in front of an audience at Madison Square Garden or Royal Albert Hall.
My favorite joke is dirty – it uses the “F” word. But more importantly, it requires the use of 'voices' to truly convey the humor in the situation. Personally, I can only think of a couple of “clean jokes” that aren't simply sanitized versions of the “real thing.”
Say Good night, John.“Good night, John.”