Friday, October 07, 2005

MEME: Weekend Assignment #80

Weekend Assignment #80: Why is this man laughing?

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?

Dear John,

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.”

A Sergeant is interviewing three cadets who were training to become detectives. To test their skills in recognizing a suspect, he shows the first cadet a picture for 5 seconds and then hides it.

"This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?" The first cadet answers, "That's easy, we'll catch him fast because he only has one eye!" The Sergeant says, "Well...uh...that's because the picture I showed is his side profile."

Slightly flustered by this ridiculous response, he flashes the picture for 5 seconds at the second cadet and asks him, "This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?"

The second cadet smiles, and says, "Ha! He'd be too easy to catch because he only has one ear!"

The policeman angrily responds, "What's the matter with you two? Of course only one eye and one ear are showing because it's a picture of his side profile! Is that the best answer you can come up with?!"

Extremely frustrated at this point, he shows the picture to the third cadet and in a very testy voice asks, "This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?" He quickly adds, "Think hard before giving me a stupid answer."

The cadet looks at the picture intently for a moment and says, "The suspect wears contact lenses."

The Sergeant is surprised and speechless because he really doesn't know himself if the suspect wears contacts or not.

"Well, that's an interesting answer. Wait here for a few minutes while I check his file and I'll get back to you on that." He leaves the room and goes to his office, checks the suspect's file in his computer, andcomes back with a beaming smile on his face. "Wow! I can't believe it. It's TRUE! The suspect does in fact wear contact lenses. Good work! How were you able to make such an astute observation?"

"That's easy," the cadet replied. "He can't wear regular glasses because he only has one eye and one ear."


Bubba, Boudreaux and Thibodeau were sitting at de bar in de bayou havin a beer when dey saw de presydent talkin about Saddam. Bubba says "why don dey do sumpin bout dat", Thibodeau say all dey do is talk. Den Boudreaux say we gonna do sumpin and pick up de phone and calls Saddam.

Hello, Missuh Saddam, dis is Boudreaux in de bayou, me and Bubba and Thibodeau gonna come over dere and kick you butt ... Saddam says come on over but do you realize I have a 2 million man army ... Boudreax den say " I'se gonna haf to call you back".

Next day Boudreau call Saddam back and says me and Bubba and Thibodeau talk bout it and we still gonna come and kick you butt ... Saddam says do you realize I have 50,000 tanks and an airforce ... Boudreau den say "I'se gonna call you back tomorry".

Next day Bourdreau call Saddam and say "de war is off" and Saddam says are you chicken and Boudreau he say no de sheriff say he ain't gonna feed that many prisoners.

[Big Gun] [Flame Thrower] [Big Gun]

Say Good night, John.

Good night, John.”

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