585: Stupid Jokes

A Thousand Things to Talk About
585: Stupid Jokes

What’s the best stupid joke you know?

Full episode script

A neutron walks into a bar and asks for a beer. The bartender says, for you, no charge!


Yeah, ok, even I admit that one was bad.


The fact is, it could be argued that stupid jokes — better known as “Dad Jokes” – have become a bit of a culturally loved — and universally groaned at — phenomenon.


As the blog Man Repeller theorizes, quote:

I think the answer lies within the answer: irony. What’s funnier than an unfunny joke? It’s pure, unlike us; it’s uncomplicated, unlike us; and most importantly, it’s light, unlike us. While we on the internet are a collective dumpster fire of good and bad intentions, reacting to each other like Mentos and Diet Coke with all the simplicity of a Rubik’s-cube-shaped layer cake, dad jokes are the scoop of vanilla ice cream that helps it all go down. A groan, it turns out, is just as satisfying as a laugh.


But these terrible jokes may serve a function with actual dads, too. As an article in the Globe and Mail article discussed, quote:

Humour is a key way to track a child’s development. Infants giggle at peek-a-boo because they’re wrapping their minds around the idea of object permanence; toddlers love toilet humour around the time they are potty training; kids who are learning to string sentences together delight in puns because they are trying to understand the meanings and functions of words.


“That’s where parents can really get some practical value out of this – ‘Hey, this gives me an insight into my child’s developing brain,'” child psychologist Lawrence Kutner, author of several books on parent-child communication says.


And in addition to connecting to childhood development, these jokes may also have a use in helping create both language and relationships. As the Telegraph reported:

By playing with words, dads engage their kids in the flexibility of language – encouraging them to think about words too. As children grow they come to expect their dad to make these puns or crack one-liners that he only shares with them. This may actually bring father and child closer too. “Research shows that humour helps build stronger friendships and that the more intimate the ‘in-jokes’, the stronger the bond seems to be,” explains Dr Elena Hoicka, a psychologist at Sheffield University, researching how parents use of jokes in child development.


Looking for something to listen to this weekend?


May I suggest Kalediotrope? This college radio station, very slightly magical, and incredibly positive podcast is so much fun to listen to when I’m having a rough start to my morning. I may be a bit sullen and sarcastic at times, like one of the hosts… but the overly positive and cheerful side of this podcast manages to lift my mood, rather than annoy me. It’s an audiodrama that’s short on the drama and long on the fun.

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.