|(E) The World's 'Funniest' Jokes
|By Nenad N. Bach |
Humor And Wisdom
(E) The World's 'Funniest' Jokes
The World's 'Funniest' Jokes
By TOM KUNTZ
IF you're a careful reader of this newspaper, you're
already aware that British scientists have released
preliminary results of their search for the world's
funniest joke. Reprinted below is the best-rated joke in
their global online survey, which will be followed up with
further diligent study. (You may be skeptical of online
surveys like this. If so, you may have a point; just read
some of the jokes.)
Now, for a closer look at the findings of Dr. Richard
Wiseman. He's the psychologist at the University of
Hertfordshire who devised the experiment with the British
Association for the Advancement of Science.
It's no surprise that women and men have different ideas of
just what constitutes funny. Or that different
nationalities do. But did you know that while computers can
beat grandmasters at chess, they still can't bring down a
room? And that those cutups the Germans (think lederhosen)
may be the most laugh- prone people on earth, followed by
zee zilly French?
Samplings from the research follow:
In the three-month experiment (www.laughlab.co.uk), some
10,000 jokes were submitted from more than 70 countries,
and an estimated 100,000 Internet users rated them.
Forty-seven percent gave the following knee-slapper the
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are going camping. They
pitch their tent under the stars and go to sleep. Sometime
in the middle of the night Holmes wakes Watson up: "Watson,
look up at the stars, and tell me what you deduce."
Watson says, "I see millions of stars and even if a few of
those have planets, it's quite likely there are some
planets like Earth, and if there are a few planets like
Earth out there, there might also be life."
Holmes replies: "Watson, you idiot, somebody stole our
Ba-dum, bum. Differences emerged between the jokes most
favored by men and women. The top jokes among men involved
aggression, putting down women and sexual innuendo. (Women,
curiously, did not see what was so funny in these kinds of
jokes.) Examples of two of the three types are given here
(no sex, please; we're The New York Times):
Aggression: While robbing a home, a burglar hears someone
say, "Jesus is watching you." To his relief, he realizes it
is just a parrot mimicking something it had heard.
The burglar asks the parrot, "What's your name?" The parrot
The burglar goes on to ask, "What kind of person names
their parrot Moses?"
The parrot replies, "The same kind of person that names his
Putting down women: This guy runs home and bursts in
yelling, "Pack your bags, sweetheart, I've just won the
lottery, all six numbers!"
She says: "Oh, wonderful! Should I pack for the beach or
the mountains?" He replies, "I don't care - just pack and
Women, by contrast, preferred jokes involving wordplay:
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
Ba-dum, bum. The researchers also ranked nationalities by
how funny they found the jokes. The Germans were the most
easily amused: They rated 35 percent of the jokes "very
funny." But have Germans ever been to the Borscht Belt? You
be the judge, from their two favorites:
Q. Why is television called a medium?
A. It is neither
rare nor well-done.
To tell the weather: Go to your back door and look for the
dog. If the dog is at the door and he is wet, it's probably
raining. But if the dog is standing there really soaking
wet, it is probably raining really hard. If the dog's fur
looks like it's been rubbed the wrong way, it's probably
windy. If the dog has snow on his back, it's probably
snowing. Of course, to be able to tell the weather like
this, you have to leave the dog outside all the time,
especially if you expect bad weather.
Sincerely, the Cat
The French were just behind the Germans on the chortle
index (maybe because the Germans are still laughing about
the Maginot Line). The favorite French joke:
"You're a high-priced lawyer. If I give you $500, will you
answer two questions for me?"
"Absolutely! What's the second question?"
favorites, starting with the joke rated second-funniest
A couple of New Jersey hunters are out in the woods when
one of them falls to the ground. He doesn't seem to be
breathing. His eyes are rolled back in his head.
The other guy whips out his cellphone and calls 911. He
gasps to the operator: "My friend is dead! What can I do?"
The operator, in a calm soothing voice, says: "Just take
it easy. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead."
There is a silence, then a shot is heard. The guy's voice
comes back on the line. He says, "O.K., now what?"
Well, you see, there are basically three kinds of people in
the world. Those who can count and those who can't.
A man left for a vacation to Jamaica. His wife
was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there
the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send
his wife a quick e-mail message. Unable to find the scrap
of paper on which he had written her e-mail address, he did
his best to type it in from memory.
Unfortunately, he missed one letter, and his note was
directed instead to an elderly preacher's wife whose
husband had passed away only the day before. When the
grieving widow checked her e-mail, she took one look at the
monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor
dead. At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw
this note on the screen: "Dearest Wife, Just got checked
in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Your
Loving Husband. P.S. Sure is hot down here."
A guy phones the local hospital and yells: "You've gotta
send help! My wife's in labor!"
The nurse says: "Calm down. Is this her first child?"
replies: "No! This is her husband!"
A man goes to the doctor and says, "Doctor, there's a piece
of lettuce sticking out of my bottom."
The doctor asks him to drop his trousers and examines him.
The man asks, "Is it serious, doctor?" and the doctor
replies, "I'm sorry to tell you but this is just the tip of
Perhaps in despair, the researchers tried generating jokes
by computer. One did pretty well, beating more than 300
Q. What kind of murderer has fiber?
A. A cereal killer.
But - go figure - a lot of people
didn't get this computer-generated joke:
Q. What kind of line has sixteen balls?
A. A pool queue.
Still, it takes a human - or a chicken - to really lay an
egg. The two worst-rated jokes in the survey:
Q. Why are chickens considered good employees?
they work around the cluck.
And of course:
Q. Why did the chicken cross the road?
A. To get to the
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