Joke

A joke is a short story or short series of words spoken or communicated with the intent of being laughed at or found humorous by the listener or reader. A practical joke differs in that the humour is not verbal, but mainly visual (e.g. putting a custard pie in somebody's face).

Most jokes contain two components: joke setup (for example, "A man walks into a bar...") and a punchline, which, when juxtaposed with the setup, provides the necessary irony to elicit laughter from the audience.

Psychology of jokes

Why we laugh has been the subject of serious academic study, examples being:

  • Sigmund Freud's "Jokes and Their Relationship to the Unconscious".
  • Marvin Minsky in Society of Mind.
  • Edward de Bono in "The mechanism of the mind" and "I am right, you are wrong".

Laughter, the intended human reaction to jokes, is healthful in moderation, uses the stomach muscles, and releases endorphins, natural happiness-inducing chemicals, into the bloodstream.

One of the most complete and informative books on different types of jokes and how to tell them is Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor, which encompasses several broad categories of humor, and gives useful tips on how to tell them, who to tell them to, and ways to change the joke to fit your audience.

Types of jokes

Jokes often depend for humour on the unexpected, the mildly taboo (which can include the distasteful or socially improper), or the playing on stereotypes and other cultural myths. Many jokes fit into more than one category.

Mathematical jokes

Main article: Mathematical joke

There are numerous jokes related to mathematics. Many of them are in-jokes, but may also be understandable by laymen.

A series of them parodies mathematical/logical chains of reason.

  • Mathematical proof:
  • Logic

Jokes in a certain category superficially look like math, but their essence is more akin to chemical composition.

Yo' mama jokes

Main article: The dozens. Jokes of this kind originate in the dozens, an African-American custom with West African roots in which two competitors -- usually males -- go head to head in a competition of comedic, often ribald, trash-talk. The target of the traded insults is most often the opponents' mothers, but can involve other family members as well.

  • Yo mama's so dumb when your dad said it's chilly outside, she ran out with a spoon.
  • Yo mama so dark that she can leave fingerprints on charcoal.
  • Yo mama so fat when she gets on the scale it says to be continued.
  • Yo mama so fat, when her pager goes off, people think she's backing up.
  • Yo mama's glasses are so thick, she can see the future.

Political jokes

Political jokes tell about politicians and heads of states. There are two large categories of this type of jokes. The first one makes fun of a negative attitude to political opponents or to politicians in general. The second one makes fun of political cliches, mottos, catch phrases or simply blunders of politicians.

Examples

A related subcategory is lawyer jokes plays on the commonly-held stereotypes about lawyers.

The following joke circulates for quite some time, with many different versions for <President> and <Other Country>.


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The following joke circulates for quite some time, with many different versions for <President> and <Other Country>. Laffy Taffy used to come in thick, square shaped pieces, but today, it is sold in thinner, rectangular shaped pieces. A related subcategory is lawyer jokes plays on the commonly-held stereotypes about lawyers. The name refers to both the texture of the taffy as well as its comedic character: on the outside of each wrapper is a joke, contributed by someone who writes to the company. The second one makes fun of political cliches, mottos, catch phrases or simply blunders of politicians. It is a small (about 1.5 oz.) individually wrapped taffy available in a variety of fruity flavors, as well as a chocolate "moose" flavor. The first one makes fun of a negative attitude to political opponents or to politicians in general. Laffy Taffy is a brand of taffy manufactured by Nestlé and sold under its Willy Wonka Candy Company brand.

There are two large categories of this type of jokes. Political jokes tell about politicians and heads of states. The target of the traded insults is most often the opponents' mothers, but can involve other family members as well. Main article: The dozens. Jokes of this kind originate in the dozens, an African-American custom with West African roots in which two competitors -- usually males -- go head to head in a competition of comedic, often ribald, trash-talk.

Jokes in a certain category superficially look like math, but their essence is more akin to chemical composition. A series of them parodies mathematical/logical chains of reason. Many of them are in-jokes, but may also be understandable by laymen. There are numerous jokes related to mathematics.

Main article: Mathematical joke. Many jokes fit into more than one category. Jokes often depend for humour on the unexpected, the mildly taboo (which can include the distasteful or socially improper), or the playing on stereotypes and other cultural myths. One of the most complete and informative books on different types of jokes and how to tell them is Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor, which encompasses several broad categories of humor, and gives useful tips on how to tell them, who to tell them to, and ways to change the joke to fit your audience.

Laughter, the intended human reaction to jokes, is healthful in moderation, uses the stomach muscles, and releases endorphins, natural happiness-inducing chemicals, into the bloodstream. Why we laugh has been the subject of serious academic study, examples being:. . Most jokes contain two components: joke setup (for example, "A man walks into a bar...") and a punchline, which, when juxtaposed with the setup, provides the necessary irony to elicit laughter from the audience.

putting a custard pie in somebody's face). A practical joke differs in that the humour is not verbal, but mainly visual (e.g. A joke is a short story or short series of words spoken or communicated with the intent of being laughed at or found humorous by the listener or reader. Yo mama's glasses are so thick, she can see the future.

Yo mama so fat, when her pager goes off, people think she's backing up. Yo mama so fat when she gets on the scale it says to be continued. Yo mama so dark that she can leave fingerprints on charcoal. Yo mama's so dumb when your dad said it's chilly outside, she ran out with a spoon.

Logic

. Mathematical proof:
. Edward de Bono in "The mechanism of the mind" and "I am right, you are wrong". Marvin Minsky in Society of Mind.

Sigmund Freud's "Jokes and Their Relationship to the Unconscious".

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